Dan Jansen and Pat LaFontaine to take on the 2009 ING New York City Marathon

September 28, 2009 New York City Share: Print Subscribe to Email Alerts

Former Olympic speed skater Dan Jansen and National Hockey League (NHL) legend Pat LaFontaine will each trade in their skates for a pair of orange laces and running shoes as they take on their next athletic challenge -- the 2009 ING New York City Marathon.

On Sunday, November 1, 2009, Jansen and LaFontaine will partner with financial services leader ING as they participate in the 40th running of this premiere distance race. The two will be serving as ambassadors for the ING Run For Something Better, a national initiative that promotes youth fitness and provides grants and funding to school-based running programs across the country.

During the marathon, Jansen and LaFontaine will each wear a pair of ING’s signature orange shoelaces. Orange laces are given to those who make a charitable donation of $10 or more to the ING Run For Something Better cause. ING’s orange laces are available at www.orangelaces.com. The two champions will also raise money for the program through fundraising websites. Fans can support their efforts by visiting www.orangelaces.com/nyc.

"As an elite speed skater, it was necessary for me to develop good fitness habits early in life. Starting off on the right foot as a child makes it much easier to lead a healthy lifestyle as an adult," said Jansen. "By participating in the ING Run For Something Better program and running the marathon, I hope to encourage young people across the country to learn about the importance of physical activity and the benefits of setting their own health and fitness goals.”

"Not every child is going to become a professional athlete – but they can take the right steps toward leading a healthy life,” noted LaFontaine. “My parents and I always focused on proper exercise, training, and nutrition so that I could be as successful as possible. Today, these things are still very important to me. I’m excited to be partnering with ING and supporting the ING Run For Something Better so that other kids can learn these same values.”

Dan and Pat’s training and involvement in the ING Run For Something Better can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/OrangeLaces as well as by visiting a newly launched ING Facebook page (search ING Run For Something Better on Facebook).

“We’re thrilled to have Dan and Pat join our team as they participate in this year’s ING New York City Marathon. Not only are these two men fantastic athletes, but they serve as incredible role models for young people everywhere,” said Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president, Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs. “The ING Run For Something Better program is all about teaching our children the benefits of being healthy and fit, and the dedication it takes to setting and achieving goals in life. The support we get from Dan and Pat will help us continue spreading this positive message.”

Childhood obesity has become a serious health concern in the United States. Educating kids about the importance of living an active and healthy life is the cornerstone of the ING Run For Something Better.

Since 2003, over 50,000 children have participated in ING Run For Something Better programs across the country. Children in these programs have reached a milestone of running more than 1.5 million miles. Nationally, ING has committed over $2.5 million to fund grants and school-based running programs through the ING Run For Something Better.

Press inquiries

Joe Loparco, ING Americas, 860.580.2677 or joseph.loparco@us.ing.com

About Dan Jansen

Dan Jansen is a former Olympic speed skater best known for winning a gold medal in his final Olympic race in 1994. He was awarded the Amateur Athletic Union’s James E. Sullivan Award, presented annually to the outstanding athlete in the U.S. who exhibits the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship, and the ideals of amateurism. In honor of his sister, the Dan Jansen Foundation was established, contributing funds for Leukemia research, youth sports, and educational programs. Jansen was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2004. Today, Jansen is a speed skating commentator for NBC and, from 2005-2007, the skating coach for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.

About Pat LaFontaine

Pat LaFontaine is a former center in the National Hockey League (NHL) who played his entire career for all three New York State-based teams: the New York Islanders (1983–1991), Buffalo Sabres (1991–1997), and New York Rangers (1997–98). In 1998, after 15 years in the NHL, LaFontaine retired prematurely as a result of a series of head traumas and concussions suffered through his career. In 2003, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. On March 3, 2006, the Buffalo Sabres retired LaFontaine’s number 16. He was also inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame in 2006. Since 2001, the Pat LaFontaine Trophy has been awarded to the winner of the Rangers-Islanders season series. Today, LaFontaine devotes most of his energy today to The Companions in Courage Foundation http://www.cic16.org/ an organization he founded to build interactive game rooms in children's hospitals throughout North America.

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million private, corporate and institutional clients in over 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of more than 110,000 people, ING is dedicated to setting the standard in helping our clients manage their financial future. In the U.S., the ING (NYSE: ING) family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves approximately 30 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com/US.

About the ING Run For Something Better

The ING Run For Something Better is a fundraising campaign that supports community and school-based youth running programs. Linked to ING’s long-distance race sponsorships, the program was created to introduce kids to the benefits of sport, a habit of physical fitness, and a healthy lifestyle that prevents conditions such as childhood obesity. In today’s world of poor nutrition and less-active lifestyles — which may contribute to childhood obesity — ING is using its position as a sponsor of marathons as a platform for helping kids get fit through free, school-based running programs. Nationally, ING has committed over $2.5 million to fund grants and school-based running programs through ING Run For Something Better. Since 2006, over a half a million dollars has been raised by individual donors through the orange laces program. ING has also created a special charitable fund to encourage others to support the cause by making their own contribution. When someone donates $10 or more to the ING Run For Something Better, ING will recognize their contribution by giving them a special pair of orange shoelaces to wear showing that they are “tied” to supporting kids’ fitness. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of orange laces go to the ING Run For Something Better fitness programs. For more information about the orange laces, go to www.orangelaces.com.