MLK MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION TO HOST MARATHON AND HALF MARATHON AS PART OF MLK WEEKEND COMMEMORATION

(ATLANTA – October 6th, 2017) – Dust off your bikes and bones—there’s a new race in Martintown; one that has a social good cause at its core.   The Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Merchants Association (MLKJDMA) announces today that it will hold its inaugural MLK Race for the Dream on Sunday, January 14, 2018.  The events will include a marathon, half-marathon, bike tour, a weekend Mixer as well as a health and fitness expo. 

The events will begin and end on MLK Jr. Drive and Whitehouse Drive, at Booker T. Washington High School, which was attended by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta, GA.   The Health & Fitness Expo will feature the latest athletic gear and equipment as well as health and fitness experts.  Registration will be open as of August 1, 2017.

“The races and bike tour are just one of many initiatives that we are launching in the community to benefit the MLK Dr. Corridor,” says Terry Collier, President of the MLKJDMA.  “Our mission is to improve and increase economic impact in the district.  Over time we have lost historic businesses.  We are working in conjunction with the Mayor’s office as well as city and state officials to launch initiatives that will preserve established businesses as well as attract new businesses to the district for the next generation.  We have a three-phased plan to upgrade the corridor and bringing a weekend of events to our community will highlight not only the advances that have been made, but also strategies for the future.”

Nationally, there is a movement to improve conditions along MLK corridors in US cities.  The MLKJDMA plans to pilot this program in Atlanta and then expand it nationally, with the next targeted city being St. Louis.  Several major metropolitan cities with MLK districts have expressed interest in bringing the competitions to their areas, not only for the economic impact, but also to educate their communities around health and fitness. 

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The MLKJDMA also saw the MLK weekend as an opportunity to educate and increase community awareness of healthier lifestyle choices.   “Health issues tend to pervade communities of color,” continues Collier.  “By focusing on health, wellness and nutrition in conjunction with the competitions, we were able to partner with the Greater Southeast Affiliate Multicultural Initiatives of the American Heart Association (AHA) to provide programs and educational materials to increase awareness of the seriousness of cardiovascular disease and other risk factors.”  Hypertension disproportionately affects the African- American community with over 45% of African-American males and 46% of African-American females affected by high blood pressure compared to a national rate of 33%.  The CDC reports, age 75 years and older, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Fulton County and the State of Georgia.

Concludes Collier, “Atlanta is the birthplace of Dr. King.  We want to honor his legacy by building up the communities that he wanted to see flourish, particularly because 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of his untimely death.  We are excited and grateful for the support we are receiving from the City of Atlanta and intend to be a shining example of Dr. King’s dream.”

To register for the marathon, half marathon or bike tour, please visit www.mlkjdma.com.  Registration is now open. 404-564-3636 mlkjdma@gmail.com

About the MLKJDMA

The mission of the Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Merchants Association is to provide professional business building guidance to our members.  Develop affordable marketing tools such as social media and the internet. Create employment opportunities for the youth in our neighborhoods. Bundle the purchasing power of the combined membership to attract new business opportunities. Create a sustainable blueprint for promoting the healthy economic growth of our membership.

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