Anne Curtis Finishes Her First 21K at the UNICEF Heroes for Children Run 2015



Last month, I blogged about UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for ChildrenAnne Curtis, organizing a run for the benefit of the organization's 1,000 Days Campaign. This past Sunday, close to 3,000 participants, including children and persons with disabilities (PWDs), joined Heroes for Children Run 2015, Anne's first major fundraising initiative .

Anne victoriously crossing the finish line
"I've always held a soft spot for children," says Anne, who successfully finished her first 21 kilometers race. "In our country, more than three million children are stunted. Studies show that many [kids] in the Philippines do not live past their fifth birthday because of undernutrition. This run is where we can all come together as heroes to provide [them] with the best start in life."

21k runners preparing for gun start
The event aimed to support one of UNICEF's priorities, which is to promote access to essential nutrition and health services for children's first 1000 days of life starting from conception until their first two years. This time period is a critical window of opportunity within the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) framework. It provides the foundation to shape a child's growth and development, the benefits of which would last well into adulthood.

Anne and Lotta
"Children have a right to proper growth and development," agreed Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative. "By investing in early childhood development, we are giving the children and the nation a better and more productive future. We welcome Anne for her dedication and commitment in pushing for awareness and support for this important stage of a child's life."

kids joining the 500-meter dash
According to Anne, the Heroes for Children Run is just one of the many she has planned as a UNICEF Celebrity Advocate. "It's a small step in creating a better future for children, but it's a start of a long fruitful journey towards that." The run featured a 500-meter dash that was well-attended by kids aged 12 and below as well as 5k, 10k, and 21k. 

my barefoot runner hubby (in slippers) before the start of the race
It was my third time to run 10 kilometers (my first was during the NatGeo Run 2015, second was at the Milo Marathon Manila Leg 2015 ) and it was a good feeling to be able to say that I have become stronger in the past year, no longer afraid of not reaching the finish line. I'm not yet that confident though to say I could finish 16k or even 21k any time soon. But hey, let's see in the coming months and years!

race result from runti.me
For now, I'm thankful to have a new PR (personal record) even if the difference is just seconds earlier from my most recent one. The important thing for me now is that I am able to make time to include fitness activities in my routines so I can stay healthy to take care of my family.

10k and 21k finishers
Know more about UNICEF's programs by visiting www.unicef.ph or calling 758.1000 from Mondays to Fridays, 9AM to 6PM. 

* Thank you Renjie Tolentino for permission to use a couple of your photos


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