Where Your Dreams Become Reality
Representing Team Fox Chase Olympic Trials Qualifying Time and Vow to
Donate Prize Money to the Michael J. Fox Foundation at the Bank of America
Chicago Marathon on Oct. 11
CHICAGO, IL (September 30, 2009) –One-hundred thirty men from around the United States qualified for the 2008 U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials. In a country booming with a population north of 300 million, the percentage of men who will actually qualify for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials is akin to the percentage of people who will win the lottery. With the standard toughened to 2:19:00, less than 130 men are expected to qualify in 2012. But nothing – not a toughened standard or the thought of stringing together 26.2 miles at a blistering pace of five minutes and eighteen seconds/mile - will stop twin brothers Kyle and Drew Shackleton from pushing each other to their Olympic Trials dream. “The Olympic Trials dream is our most recent collective goal where we have both held one another accountable and plan to work as a pair in Chicago in order to achieve it,” says Drew.
WHO: Kyle Shackleton and Drew Shackleton
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, California
MARATHONS COMPLETED: 1 (Kyle); Debut (Drew)
CHARITY: Michael J. Fox Foundation
The Shackleton Twins Leave Their Mark
Kyle and Drew Shackleton’s goals do not stop with qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Trials, however. The Shackleton twins are chasing another number that swells well beyond 26.2: they are on a mission to raise $10,000 for Team Fox and The Michael J. Fox Foundation, and should they break the 2:20 barrier in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and each earn a $2,500 time bonus for American athletes, they will donate it directly to Team Fox.
“My grandfather has Parkinson’s and my family is closely connected with the Foundation,” says Kyle. “Given the developments made by the Michael J. Fox Foundation over the past nine years, Team Fox offers a unique opportunity for any person to make a significant impact on a very worthy cause, and, in my case, I get a chance to show support for my grandfather, who has been my biggest fan since I started running.”
The Michael J. Fox Foundation was established in 2000 to accelerate the delivery of life-changing treatments, and ultimately a cure, to people with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that afflicts five million people worldwide. Founded in 2006, Team Fox is the Foundation’s grassroots community fundraising program. Fifteen runners, including the Shackleton twins, will run this year for Team Fox at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. While most athletes with the talent of the Shackleton twins will toe the line on October 11with the name of their shoe sponsor or running club prominently displayed on their jersey, the Shackletons will have the name of their charitable cause proudly etched across their chests: “Team Fox.”
“I want to do well enough,” says Drew, “so that the people watching the race say, ‘Whoa, who are those two nonprofessional (me and my brother) guys beating all of those pros? What club is Team Fox?’ and then have them look up Team Fox and learn about the Michael J. Fox Foundation.”
Kyle and Drew both had successful running careers at UCLA and both agree that having something greater than them – a team or a charity – defines and fuels their running. “What I value about running,” says Kyle “is that it gives me the chance to represent something far greater than myself. This is a big reason that I chose to race for a charity; it provides me with a similar motivating factor to what I had when I represented my high school and UCLA.” Drew adds, “The thought that I am about to race for Team Fox, something so much bigger than me, is very inspiring.”
Alike in many ways, the difference between the twins on race day will be that Kyle is making his second appearance at the marathon distance while Drew is making his first. Kyle enjoyed an impressive debut in the 2008 New York City Marathon, finishing 17th overall in 2:20:38. While the twins could wager on who finishes first, they both say that they are not as competitive with each other as many people believe. “We obviously do our fair share of smack talking,” says Drew, “but we do not have the rivalry a lot of our friends and teammates have tried to promote . . . I can honestly say that I would not be the athlete I am today if it was not for Kyle.”
Kyle and Drew credit their family with instilling in them the discipline to work hard for a goal and the humility to see beyond the finish line toward a higher purpose. “I want to show the friends and family who are donating money to me that my race is completely dedicated to raising money to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease,” says Kyle.
About Bank of America Chicago Marathon
In its 32nd year and a member
of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon annually
attracts 45,000 runners including a world class elite field and 1.5
million spectators. As a result of its national and international draw,
the iconic race assists in raising $10 million for a variety of charitable
causes while generating an estimated $143 million economic impact to
its host city.
The 2009 Bank of America Chicago
Marathon will start and finish in Chicago’s Grant Park beginning at
7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. In advance of the race, a two-day Health
& Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place on Friday, October
9 and Saturday, October 10. More information on the race and how to
get involved is available at the event Web site, chicagomarathon.com.
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the development of better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for Parkinson’s disease through an aggressively funded research agenda. MJFF has funded over $150 million in research to date.