MIDDLEBURY, Conn., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- United States Army veteran, actor, motivational speaker and "Dancing With the Stars" champion J.R. Martinez announced today that he will trade in his dancing shoes for running shoes and a TIMEX® GPS watch as he vows to take on the 2012 ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 4th.
Best known for his role on ABC's daytime drama All My Children as combat veteran Brot Monroe and as the season 13 winner of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars", J.R. is also recognized for his work as a motivational speaker. He began his motivational speaking career after being severely burned on 34 percent of his body while deployed in Iraq. Since then, Martinez has traveled the country spreading his message of resilience and optimism to thousands of people.
As he embarks on training for his first-ever marathon, Martinez will enlist the help of the TIMEX® IRONMAN® Run Trainer™ GPS watch that provides real time pace, distance and heart rate. The Run Trainer is part of Timex's growing portfolio of advanced training products. Timex and Martinez will work together to support New York Road Runners (NYRR) Youth Programs, which currently serves more than 100,000 children in hundreds of schools and community centers nationwide, promoting health and fitness, character development and personal achievement in underserved communities.
Timex will train Martinez to get him in the best shape of his life, because he has to do more than just run the marathon. On November 4th, he will be the very last person to start the race and for every person he passes, Timex will donate $1 to NYRR's Youth Programs. The campaign will also raise money through the fundraising network Crowdrise.com, where fans can go to support the charity's efforts.
"I have learned to embrace every challenge and I am especially excited to train for the ING New York City Marathon." Martinez said. "As a motivational speaker, I want to continue to spread the message that you can accomplish anything that you put your mind to. I'm excited that together, Timex and I will make an impact on the lives of children benefiting from NYRR Youth Programs."
Martinez is training with the TIMEX® IRONMAN® Run Trainer™ GPS watch, boasting real-time speed, pace and distance as well as compatibility with ANT+™ Foot Pod all wrapped in an iconic design and durable, water-resistant case that has made the TIMEX® IRONMAN® brand a favorite among runners for years. The watch also features a large, customizable display, allowing users to easily view their preferred information during workouts and can download workout data to a computer to review maps and performance.
Timex will also supply Martinez with a coach to assist with training, Timex Multisport Team athlete Mac Brown. Brown will develop a specific training program for J.R. in order to maximize his safety and performance. He will stay by J.R.'s side, serving as an advisor, until the end when they'll cross the finish together in November. Brown is a professional triathlete, a level 1 USAT certified coach, four-time USA Triathlete All-American and two-time Inside Triathlon All-American.
"J.R. has overcome major obstacles, making the most out of every situation, to become the person he is today and that is what the ING New York City Marathon is all about – helping people achieve what they didn't think they could accomplish" said Adam Gurian, President Timex Business Unit. "We are excited for the opportunity to play a key role in J.R.'s training by providing him with TIMEX® GPS products, which allow him to monitor and track his progress as he prepares for what is arguably the greatest marathon in the world."
Timex, one of the world's largest watch companies is the official timing sponsor and the Trusted Training Partner of the ING New York City Marathon. The brand's partnership with Martinez follows the precedent set by the company in 2010 with former New York Giant's wide receiver, Amani Toomer and in 2011 with softball standout Jennie Finch, both of whom trained using TIMEX® IRONMAN® GPS watches, raising $25,817 and $30,394 respectively for NYRR Youth Programs.
Timex's presence in the fitness world has been evident for years via its partnership with the NYRR in conjunction with the ING New York City Marathon, the IRONMAN® Triathlon event series and several worldwide marathon sponsorships. With a wide array of wellness and training instruments priced at various levels, Timex has established a broad appeal to the millions of consumers who want to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
After growing up playing football Martinez dreamed of playing professionally, but his plan was derailed after a sports injury during his junior year. After graduating high school, Martinez saw a commercial for the Army. Following a meeting with an Army recruiter, Martinez decided to enlist in the United States Army. Martinez was deployed to Iraq in March of 2003. On April 5, less than a month into his deployment, he was the driver of a Humvee, when his tire hit a roadside bomb, causing an explosion. Trapped inside the vehicle, Martinez suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to 34 percent of his body. He spent 34 months in recovery and underwent 33 different surgeries including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. During his recovery, a nurse asked him to speak to a burn patient and after a short visit, the patient opened the curtain letting light in his room and into his heart. Martinez saw the impact he had on this one person and decided to use his experience to help others, visiting with many patients in the hospital, sharing his story and listening to theirs.
Since then, Martinez has become a sought-after motivational speaker, traveling the country to spread his message of resilience and optimism. In October 2008, Martinez stepped into another role, when he was cast as combat veteran Brot Monroe on ABC' s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama All My Children. In 2011, Martinez was cast on "Dancing with the Stars." Partnered with Karina Smirnoff, they became the early favorites en route to the Mirror Ball Trophy. Martinez's book, Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength and Spirit will be out on October 30th. He continues to balance his speaking engagements, along with his extensive charity work.
Fans can follow Martinez's progress and view his TIMEX® GPS training logs on the TIMEX Sports Facebook Page, as well as @TIMEXSports and @iamjrmartinez on Twitter. The TIMEX® IRONMAN® Run Trainer watch is available for purchase in U.S. Sports Specialty retailers, TIMEX.com and sporting-goods websites priced from $189 to 229 (with Heart Rate Monitor chest strap).
About TIMEX® Sports Watches
Timex has an unparalleled heritage of creating innovative, technologically advanced and reliable timepieces for endurance athletes, having introduced the first licensed IRONMAN® brand watch in 1986. The TIMEX® IRONMAN® brand legacy of leadership, innovation and style in international sport is evident in the brand's extensive anthology of elite training devices and fitness aids. TIMEX® IRONMAN® timepieces are worn by athletes on every continent and have been added to the Smithsonian National Museum of America. Fans are invited to engage with the brand on www.Facebook.com/TIMEXSports.
About the TIMEX® Group
Timex Group designs, manufactures and markets innovative timepieces and jewelry globally. Founded in 1854, Timex is part of the Timex Group, a privately-held company with numerous brands and over 5,000 employees worldwide. It is one of the largest watch makers in the world with companies and exclusive licenses worldwide.
New York Road Runners was founded in 1958 when a small group of passionate runners vowed to bring running to the people. Over the past 54 years, NYRR has grown from a local running club to the world's premier community running organization. NYRR's mission is to empower everyone, of all ages and abilities—beginners and competitive athletes, the young and the elderly, adult professionals and underserved schoolchildren—to improve their health and well-being through the power of running and fitness. NYRR's races, community events, instruction and training resources, and youth programs give hundreds of thousands of people each year the motivation, know-how, and opportunity to start running and keep running for life. NYRR's premier event, the famed ING New York City Marathon, attracts the world's top pro runners and committed amateurs alike while also raising millions of dollars annually for charity and driving economic impact for the City. But NYRR is equally committed to the runners of tomorrow, passionately providing youth fitness programs that educate and inspire more than 100,000 kids in underserved communities in New York City, all 50 states, and around the world. Headquartered in New York City, NYRR implements a unique nonprofit model that teams contributed and earned income to make all its efforts possible. To learn more, please visit www.nyrr.org.
About the ING New York City Marathon
NYRR's premier event, the ING New York City Marathon is the most loved and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting elite athletes and recreational runners alike for the challenge and thrill of a lifetime. The race has grown tremendously since it began in 1970 with just 127 runners racing four laps of Central Park. Now, more than 47,000 participants from all over the globe flock to New York City every November for an adrenaline-filled road tour of all five boroughs, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and ending in Central Park. Some run for prize money or bragging rights, others for charity or their personal best. All are cheered on by more than two million live spectators and a TV audience of 330 million.
SOURCE Timex Group