Thousands to Run Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K this Sunday

This running/walking event, presented by AmeriHealth NJ will benefit over 22,000 Special Olympics NJ

Cranbury, NJ - April 24, 2012 - More than 3,500 runners will take to the pavement, under water, for the 26th Annual Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K presented by AmeriHealth New Jersey. Proceeds benefit the more than 22,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in the Special Olympics New Jersey program.

The event, which begins and ends at the south tube of the Lincoln Tunnel in Weehawken, is a USATF Certified Grand Prix underwater 5K run which features two starts: 8 a.m. for runners with times under 25 minutes, and 8:45 a.m. for all other runners and walkers.

A fundraising vehicle of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey, the 2012 Lincoln Tunnel Run has already raised more than $170,000 through the approximately 3,488 pre-registered participants and their online pledges.

"We are expecting a full field of runners for the race this weekend," said Marc Edenzon, President of Special Olympics New Jersey. "However, the overall support increases with each year, from the incredible commitment from Port Authority Police and our presenting sponsor AmeriHealth New Jersey, to runners reaching out to family and friends to pledge their support for our athletes. While we may have approximately 3,000+ runners going through the tunnel, there have been well over 20,000 individuals who have reached out to support our athletes through this event."

In addition to individual participants, there are 176 teams, the largest of which is Megabus.com's team with 125 members. The largest fundraising team prior to the race is Taylor Management Company, whole 46 members have raised $8,195. Eighteen states are represented, including Colorado and California, as well as two runners from Sao Paolo, Brazil.

"We are very proud to partner with Special Olympics New Jersey again this year in support of the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge," said Judith L. Roman, president and CEO of AmeriHealth New Jersey. "This event is truly in line with AmeriHealth New Jersey's mission of helping individuals reach their maximum state of wellness. We commend Special Olympics New Jersey on its great work, which has a significant impact on the lives of thousands individuals across our state each year."

The 2012 Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K is presented by AmeriHealth New Jersey and hosted by the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey. Additional support has been provided by Law Enforcement Torch Run, Megabus.com, NJ TRANSIT, WCBS News Radio 880, WFAN Sports Radio, Taylor Management Company, M & M Sanitation, Digital Realty Trust, EarthWise, La Yogurt, Mendon Truck Leasing & Rental, Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel, Ssips, and Tree Ripe, Genpro, Modell's, Inserra Supermarkets/Shoprite Hoboken, Mary Kay and Burger King.

"There are many people and organizations that are committed to supporting the athletes of Special Olympics New Jersey," said Larry Mays of the Port Authority of NY & NJ Police Department, and event organizer for the past 15 years. "We want to ensure that they can train and compete absolutely free-of-charge all year long,"

Please visit www.sonj.org for more information on Special Olympics New Jersey including how to sign up an athlete, volunteer, become a coach, or support Special Olympics in your community.

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ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEW JERSEY - Special Olympics New Jersey provides free year-round sports training and athletic competition in 24 sports for more than 22,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

ABOUT THE LAW ENFORCEMENT TORCH RUN – The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is part of an international campaign for Special Olympics coordinated and managed by all divisions of Law Enforcement officers and officials from throughout the world whose mission is to raise dollars and awareness of the Special Olympics movement worldwide. The statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey has been recognized in the world for many years as one of the top grassroots fundraising organizations for Special Olympics. In 2011 the LETR for Special Olympics New Jersey raised more than $2.7 million.

ABOUT AMERIHEALTH NEW JERSEY
AmeriHealth HMO, Inc. and AmeriHealth Insurance Company of New Jersey (collectively, AmeriHealth New Jersey) provide health insurance coverage to employers and individuals throughout New Jersey. The company has the largest provider network in New Jersey*, and that network includes access to hospitals and doctors across the nation. The company is also committed to offering value-added insurance solutions for customers through its innovative wellness and incentive programs and benefits designs.

The company's managed care plan, AmeriHealth HMO, Inc. is accredited by National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

AmeriHealth New Jersey and its affiliates are a growing group of insurance and health companies whose product portfolios include health insurance, workers' compensation, property and casualty insurance, and management services. AmeriHealth New Jersey headquarters are located in Cranbury, NJ. For more information on AmeriHealth, visit www.amerihealthnj.com.

* Based on analysis done through an independent source.

Media Contact

Jill Roman
Manager, Public Relations
AmeriHealth New Jersey
(609) 662-2454
Jill.Roman@AmeriHealth.com