affresh Brand Runners Log 5,000 Miles To Reach a Marathon
Fifteen Challenge Participants Selected To Compete in 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
PR Newswire

BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- This summer, affresh® Cleaners scoured the nation looking for dedicated runners to vie for a coveted spot in the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The "Who Do You Leave in the Dust?" training challenge was created as part of a larger campaign from affresh® brand to help athletes get the best performance from their washers when cleaning sweat-soaked clothes and workout gear. More than 2,500 people entered to win at, from which 50 were selected to compete against one another for 15 available race entries. Today, affresh® Cleaners is proud to announce the winners.

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Over five long weeks, the 50 enthusiastic participants logged countless hours of training for their shot at glory – all while sharing their progress, training updates and personal inspirations on the group's Facebook page. Overall, the team ran more than 5,000 miles, the equivalent of nearly 200 marathons. Through their hard work and sacrifice, 15 runners were selected to represent affresh® brand when they cross the finish line, including a Grand Prize winner and two First Place finishers. In addition to joining the affresh brand team, these top 3 runners - who logged the most mileage during the competition - will get the opportunity to race for a charity of their choice and earn $1 for every runner they pass on the course.

"The level of enthusiasm in this group has just been incredible," said affresh® Brand Manager Lauren Bigger. "They've supported one another from the start of this competition and have pushed themselves further than any of us expected. It's been great to follow their progress and track how far each one of them has come, literally and figuratively. This is an awesome group to have representing affresh® Cleaners in Chicago."   

The Grand Prize winner is Jim Ford, a father of three from Hattiesburg, Miss. Ford will be running for Clean Water for Malawi, which helps drill water wells for villages located in Malawi, Africa to provide a convenient clean water source for village populations. For every marathoner Ford leaves in the dust on race day, affresh® brand will donate $1 to Clean Water for Malawi. For all the hours he put into the challenge, Ford will also receive round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations for two over race weekend as well as a $1,000 American Express gift card.  

The other top finishers racing alongside Ford are Paul Bridge (Veradale, Wash.), running for  the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Tom Block (Louisville, Ky) who will race on behalf of The Family Tree Foundation. These two will receive entry to the race, a chance to run for their great charities, and a $500 American Express® gift card. In addition, the following 12 winners will also receive entries to this year's race. Affresh® Cleaners is honored to have all of these committed runners wearing the team's jersey in Chicago:

1. Ashley Smith - Cleveland, Ohio                   

7.  Kelly Soljacich – Chicago, Ill.

2. Debbie Goodman Harris - Chicago, Ill.         

8.  Melissa Brady – Chicago, Ill.

3. Francesco Tuzzolino – Houston, Texas        

9.  Mike Dover - Denver, Colo.

4. Gretchen Baus - Portland, Ore.                    

10. Tan Tran - Phoenix, Ariz.

5. Jeri Rysewyk-Howey - Stiles, Wis.               

11. Veronika Maltsev - Lake Orion, Mich.

6. Juanin Valdez - Chicago, Ill.                        

12. Vicki Francis - Orange, Calif.

Affresh® Cleaners is a proud sponsor of the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Marathon runners spend a lot of time in their workout gear, and when cleaning their athletic wear, they rely on their washing machine to go that extra mile. Affresh® Washer cleaner helps keep washers running at peak performance and smelling fresh by reducing or removing odor-causing residue that can accumulate in washing machines, particularly when too much or the wrong type of detergent is used, or when they're not properly maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. Affresh® Cleaners will be on-site at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo and 27th Mile Post-Race Party from October 5-7, 2012. The affresh® brand will also be in Grant Park at the post-race party supporting all of the athletes competing on race day.

About affresh® Cleaners

The affresh® brand of products are formulated to help keep appliances operating at peak performance, when used in conjunction with a regular maintenance routine as indicated in the appliance's Use & Care Guide. First introduced in 2007, the product portfolio has evolved to include washer cleaners, dishwashers and garbage disposal cleaner, and a new line of cleaners designed to help clean everyday kitchen food spills and stuck on residue. Affresh® Cleaners are owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of approximately $19 billion in 2011, 68,000 employees, and 65 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. Whirlpool Corporation spends over $7.4 billion annually to operate its US manufacturing facilities. Affresh® Cleaners can be found at Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot, and other local retailers. For more, visit

About the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Celebrating its 35th year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 participants, including a world-class elite runner and wheelchair field, and an estimated 1.7 million spectators. As a result of its national and international draw, each year, the iconic race assists in raising millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes while generating $219 million in economic impact to its host city in 2011 according to a report by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (R.E.A.L.). The 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will start and finish in Chicago's Grant Park beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 7. In advance of the race, a two-day Health & Fitness Expo will be held at McCormick Place Convention Center on Friday, October 5, and Saturday, October 6.

SOURCE affresh