Shannon Ford, the reigning Mrs. United States 2011 will lead a group of 5,000 Miami-Dade County middle school children running the final 1.2-mile leg of the Miami ING Half Marathon on Sunday, January 29, 2012.

Shannon will be giving a pep-talk to the kids before kicking off the run. Running alongside the kids, Shannon will cheer them on along their way to the finish line.

The ING Run For Something Better is aligned with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign, which aims to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that any child born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight.

Junior participants have trained for almost a year for this event, in an effort of ongoing promotion of a healthy lifestyle. The run will begin near the courthouse in downtown Miami at 11 a.m. and continue down Flagler Street where the kids will cross the marathon finish line with the rest of the runners.

An avid runner, Shannon states, “Encouraging an active lifestyle from a young age is incredibly important, and I’m so grateful to ING for giving me such an amazing platform to help spread that message to kids in our community.”

For more information, visit, or contact Sara Shake of Exposed PR at 954.336.3275 or

Mrs. United States 2011, Shannon Ford is an active member of the South Florida fitness community, as well as, an outspoken advocate for the Celiac Foundation. She endorses a gluten-free way of life, and uses her healthy lifestyle as a platform for encouraging healthy choices in her community. In addition to her career as a Human Resource Business Partner for an International Wealth Management firm, Shannon is also a Miami Dolphins Ambassador and spokesmodel.