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  • Avon Running Global Championship
    Expected To Draw Record Field from Around the World
    Top Finishers to Share Richest Women's 10K Purse

    by Kelley Wall, Avon Products, Inc.

    NEW YORK (March 12, 1999) - The Avon Running Global Women's Circuit, launched last year by beauty leader Avon Products, Inc., will stage its first Global Championship 10K on May 22 in New York City's Central Park. The all-women's event will take place as part of the prestigious "New York Mini Marathon," the 27 year-old race now presented by Avon Running. The Avon Running Global Championship will uniquely showcase top U.S. and international athletes alongside steadfast local runners of every ability in one unified event. In all, some 8,000 runners will participate. The richest women's 10K purse - $50,000 in prize money - will be awarded to the topiS overall finishers and the top three masters division finishers.

    The champions of 12 Avon Running Circuit races held last year have been awarded travel to New York to compete in the Avon Running Global Championship. In addition to the United States, the champions will represent Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, Thailand and Venezuela. They will join a field that includes many of the top world-ranked 10K women, as well as many of New York's own talented and dedicated amateur runners.

    0124.jpg - 28613 Bytes "New York is synonymous with running and we believe no other city can capture the excitement of hosting the first Avon Running Global Championship quite like New York," said Susan Kropf, President of Avon North America. "Avon is proud to celebrate our commitment to women's fitness in a running community rich with enthusiasm and support, especially for women. We welcome local and international runners to what we know will be a truly rewarding event for every participant - experienced runners and those new to the sport - and for the thousands of fans cheering them on."

    "I am extremely excited about Avon's Global Championship," said Jody Hawkins of Dallas, Texas, 1998 Avon Running U.S. National Champion. "It is a rare opportunity for American runners to compete alongside great international talent."

    Avon Running Global Women's Circuit Reaches Far and Wide

    Avon made a strong commitment in support of women's fitness during the inaugural year of the Avon Running Global Women's Circuit. To realize its grass roots mission - "to bring women to the starting line of fitness" - Avon Running conducted 23 events in 11 countries, attracting more than 50,000 women to the circuit's 10K runs and 5K walks, far exceeding expectations. In fact, the races averaged approximately 2,000 women, doubling the circuit's anticipated participation. Unprecedented in the sport of women's road racing, Avon Running is the only global circuit of its kind that provides women the opportunity to pursue elite racing, moderate running or just simple fitness together in unified events.

    In addition to the Global Championship in New York, this year the Avon Running Global Women's Circuit expands, with 29 events in 12 countries. The international circuit kicks off with a race on March 13 in Sao Paulo, Brazil and two races on March 14 in Santiago de Chile and Dagupan, Philippines. The Circuit then visits 10 additional countries, including the U.S., throughout 1999. March 27th marks the start of the U.S. series with 10K Run and 5K Walk/Fun Run events in Dallas and continues to nine more cities around the country, including the Avon Running U.S. National Championship in Cincinnati on October 31.

    0124a.jpg - 19735 Bytes Avon Running Global Women's Circuit Promotes Benefits of Regular Exercise

    The 1999 Avon Running Global Women's Circuit is expected to draw tremendous international participation, building upon its first-year success and spreading the word to tens of thousands of women - half of them beginners - about the benefits of a regular running and walking regimen. In fact, regular running and walking can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among women.

    The Circuit is set apart from any other with its unique addition of grassroots training workshops conducted in race cities, which serve as support and outreach to beginner walkers and runners. Last year, nearly 10,000 U.S. women registered for the workshops, which consisted of lectures and panel discussions on topics such as fitness, nutrition and running safety, as well as training workouts for enthusiastic groups of 20 to 200 women. The workshops, continuing in 1999 in most circuit cities, encourage participants to forge ahead with their fitness goals and to meet and develop companionship with other fitness-conscious women. The workshops are organized by Avon Running in partnership with local healthcare organizations and running authorities.

    In addition to encouraging American women to the starting line of fitness, a portion of the U.S. Avon Running entry fees supports the Road Runners Club of America and to the RRCA's "Roads ScholarT~" Program, which provides training funds for deserving, developing runners. In 1998, Avon Running U.S. Circuit events generated more than $25,000 for this important grant program.

    Avon is the world's leading direct seller of beauty and related products, with $5.2 billion in annual revenues. Avon markets to women in 135 countries through 2.7 million independent Sales Representatives. Avon product lines include such recognizable brands as Anew, Skin- So-Sofi; Avon Color; FarAway, Rare Gold, Natori, Millennia, Josie, Staffing, Avon Skin Care, and Women of Earth. Avon is also one of the world's largest manufacturers of fashion jewelry, and markets an extensive line of apparel, gifts and collectibles. More information on Avon and its products can be found on the company 5 website: www.avonrunning.com..

    Those interested in additional information or obtaining applications for Avon Running events may call (212) 282-5350 or visit the Avon Running website www.avonrunning.com.

    ###

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