NEW YORK – The Milk Processor Education Program’s latest campaign aims to sponsor as many women as possible in this year’s New York City Marathon.

Known as 26.2, which also is the number of miles traveled by runners in a marathon, the campaign announced any woman competing in the Nov. 6 race can sign up to join Team Milk. Women who become team members receive essential running gear, educational resources, a network of support and inspirational guidance from Peloton experts Olivia Amato and Selena Samuela.

Additionally, the campaign will match every Team Milk member’s registration fee (up to $600,000) in a pledge toward Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization that involves teaching life skills through interactive lessons and running games.

“Milk is honored to support female runners in this year’s marathon,” said MilkPEP chief executive officer Yin Woon Rani. “When it’s been predicted that only 0.2% of the $481 billion total sports-related revenue is associated with female sportswomen, it's well past time to change the narrative. Milk has always been a performance beverage for all athletes – a nutritional resource for all genders - and MilkPEP is proud to have a long history of supporting and showcasing female athletes. The 26.2 program works to shine a light on incredible women who are proving to future generations that their dreams matter.”

Liz Wian, vice president of partnerships and development at Girls on the Run International, said nearly 40% of USA athletes are female, but they receive only 2% to 4% of media coverage, and added that needs to change.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Milk on 26.2 to not only bring female athletes to the forefront but prove to future generations that female athletes are just as important,” Wian said. “In addition to providing 13 essential nutrients that active girls need at a crucial growth period, Milk is providing opportunity and inspiration, which is priceless.”

Women who want to join Team Milk for the marathon can do so online at the Gonna Need Milk website. Upon joining, the runners gain access to nutritional, mental and physical advice from sports experts, on-site support, community support leading up to the race, encouragement from the campaign’s cheer squad during the race and access to a dedicated recovery station post-race. 

Washington, D.C.-based MilkPEP is funded by US milk companies and focuses on educating consumers and increasing consumption of fluid milk.