9 Year Old Runs for Children at Runner’s World Festival



Media Contact:                                                                                 
Paul Daigle                                                                         

Tara Toocheck

9 Year Old Runs for Children at Runner’s World Festival

Plans to Run a Marathon on Every Continent to Raise Awareness and Money

for Children’s Charity

Bethlehem, PA. – 9 year old Nikolas Toocheck will run a 10k on October 20th at the Runner’s World Half and Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The weekend’s festivities, the first ever like this by Runner’s World, will include a 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon, seminars led by elite athletes, running movies, and events with the Runner’s World editors. Nikolas will be running in preparation for his upcoming marathons as part of his campaign for “Running the World for Children”. 

Nikolas is fundraising to help supply new winter coats to disadvantaged children through Operation Warm, a nonprofit organization founded by his grandfather Richard Sanford.  Nikolas’s goal is to complete a marathon on each of the seven continents and aims to raise a dollar for each step he takes when he embarks on his quest.  Nikolas hopes to raise 1 million dollars, the approximate number of steps in 7 marathons. Nikolas literally will be running the world for children. 

Since a young age, Nikolas has volunteered with Operation Warm in various ways from handing a child a new coat to donating money from his own piggy bank. Nikolas bared no hesitation when deciding to combine his passion of running with his belief in Operation Warm’s mission.  “I’ve learned how important it is to help other people who need it,” Nikolas says “and I think that Operation Warm is great because every kid should be able to have their very own warm coat.” 

Nikolas has already earned distinguished titles as three-time US Youth Track and Field All American, two-time Race Walk National Champion, six-time USATF National Junior Olympics National Qualifier, as well as other records.  Nikolas enjoys all types of runs; from a muddy trail to the open road.  “Nikolas just loves to run,” said Tara Toocheck, mother of Nikolas and daughter of Richard Sanford.  His plan to “run the world” developed from his love of running, and he is eager to complete his first marathon, The Fortitude for First Descents, in Lewes, Delaware on December 1st

Nikolas also is excited to see Dean Karnazes, record holding, ultra-marathon runner, at the event.  Nikolas plans to run an international marathon with Karnazes.  “Dean has been a huge role model for Nikolas and he is so thrilled to see Dean again.” said Tara Toocheck.  Nikolas had previously met Karnazes and was lucky enough to run with him. 

On Saturday, after the completion of the 10k, Nikolas is excited to take part in the other festivities. “Being a part of a festival all about running is like a dream to Nikolas.  After the 10k, he is going to a seminar about pancakes and how they relate to running. Nikolas can’t wait for the tasting part of the seminar; pancakes are his favorite food!” Toocheck adds. 

“In the end, Nikolas will be at the event because he loves running and really wants to help children in need!”

To learn more about Nikolas Toocheck and his cause or to make a donation: nikrunstheworld.com

Operation Warm, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of new winter coats to children in need. Operation Warm’s vision is that every child wearing a new winter coat is healthy, able to attend school regularly and develop a strong self-esteem. In the winter of 2011-2012, Operation Warm served over 200,000 children.  In February 2012, Operation Warm served its one MILLIONTH child.  For more information visit: www.operationwarm.org.                                                                                                                                                                           ###

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