Woonsocket, R.I. (September 8, 2008) – Whether you’re aiming to reinvigorate an exercise regimen, channel competitive spirit into a healthy activity, or simply want to have a fun and active day with the family, the 2008 CVS Caremark Downtown 5K offers something for everyone. Scheduled for Sunday, September 21, Rhode Island’s largest road race will kick-off with youth races in the morning, followed by the main 5K event that will feature several Olympians including USA bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan. The event, which will include live music along the race course, will end with a 3K Inspirational School Run for high school students.
“This is a fun, healthy and exciting event, which truly offers something for everyone,” said Eileen Howard Dunn, CVS Caremark senior vice president of corporate communications and community relations. “While the Downtown 5K is highly regarded as a race for competitive runners, it is also an event that places a heavy emphasis on youth and family involvement.”
The CVS Caremark Downtown 5K includes 21 different races for children, Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade, including an All Kids Can Inspirational event for children with disabilities; a 3K Inspirational event for high school runners; and the 5K event, which draws Olympians and other elite athletes, as well as amateur runners competing as individuals or on college, corporate, police and firefighter teams.
“Youth races are an integral part of the CVS Caremark Downtown 5K,” added Dunn. “By introducing youth to the sport of running at a young age and providing medals to all participants, we have an opportunity to inspire them to continue running. Also, the youth races make this a real family affair as well – whether parents and relatives are present solely to be spectators and fans for the children or whether they plan to run in the 5K after the youth races are over.”
Race organizers point to the Lima family of North Kingstown, and their extended family members in the town, as well as in Providence, Warwick and Cranston — as a strong example of how the CVS Caremark Downtown 5K event can become a “family affair” and an annual tradition. The Lima family first became involved with the race in 2002 when Gary Lima – joined by his then 12-year-old son – decided to run for health reasons. Gary’s high blood pressure had provided the motivation and Gary’s tight-knit family turned out to cheer him on. Over the years, Gary’s wife Jen has slipped on running shoes for the Downtown 5K and all four of the couple’s kids – Justin who is now 18, 6-year-old Maya-Jane, 4-year-old Maddox and 3-year-old Malcolm – have all run or walked in the event. In addition, a number of the Lima’s extended family have run, walked or provided “cheerleader” support over the years.
Jen Lima said, “This is something we can all do together and look forward to each year. Our kids get to run with their cousins and they love getting medals and T-shirts just for running their races. Gary and I get to have some friendly competition with his siblings and their spouses, as well as an uncle in his sixties, and we love the fan support we get from some of our other relatives!”
“We make a day of it,” she added. “The Downtown 5K has become a family affair and an annual tradition. After the kids race in the morning with all of us cheering them on, we head to one of our houses for breakfast. Then we head back to the race for the 5k, and after that we wind up at one of our houses for a barbecue to cap off the day!”
Officials spearheading the 2008 CVS Caremark Downtown 5K encourage other families to consider participating in the event. Family members, along with all other interested runners, are advised to register for the event as soon as possible as online registration closes on September 16. Advance race registration for individuals and teams, as well as course map and complete event information can be accessed at http://www.cvsdowntown5k.com/.
For the second consecutive year, race headquarters will be at the Renaissance Providence Hotel, located at 5 Avenue of the Arts next to the Rhode Island State House and the Providence Place Mall. Late registration and race packet pickup will be handled there on Saturday, September 20, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on Sunday (race day), September 21, 7:15 – 10:45 a.m. All race participants will receive a gift bag. The CVS Caremark Downtown 5K will start and finish on Francis Street in front of the Rhode Island State House in downtown Providence.
About the Downtown 5K
The Downtown 5K is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that promotes health and fitness through road racing. Proceeds from the annual race event are donated to local youth charities in Rhode Island and Southern New England.
About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is the largest provider of prescriptions in the nation. The Company fills or manages more than 1 billion prescriptions annually. Through its unmatched breadth of service offerings, CVS Caremark is transforming the delivery of healthcare services in the U.S. The Company is uniquely positioned to effectively manage costs and improve healthcare outcomes through its approximately 6,300 CVS/pharmacy stores; its pharmacy benefit management, mail order and specialty pharmacy division, Caremark Pharmacy Services; its retail-based health clinic subsidiary, MinuteClinic; and its online pharmacy, CVS.com. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Investor Relations portion of the Company’s website, at http://investor.cvs.com, as well as through the pressroom portion of the Company’s website, at www.cvs.com/pressroom.