NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ragnar Relay Tennessee, the two-day, 196-mile team relay run from Chattanooga to Nashville, today announced an official partnership with Soles4Souls, a Nashville-based nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting new and used shoes and providing them to families and kids in need across the U.S. and the world living in poverty.

As part of the partnership, Ragnar Relay Tennessee and Soles4Souls will be hosting a series of shoe collection drives in July at several retail outlets in Chattanooga and Nashville. The two organizations have set a goal to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes, which will be provided to needy individuals throughout Tennessee and the world. Additionally, Soles4Souls and Ragnar have launched an online donation platform for all registered runners of the November relay race, encouraging teams to consider using the event as a way to raise dollars for Soles4Souls. The two organizations have also announced they will be providing shoes to adults and children in need in Grundy County, Tennessee in partnership with the nonprofit Mountain T.O.P. The distribution will take place in the fall leading up to the race in November.

"In each Ragnar Relay event across the country, we try to find a nonprofit partner that offers a connection both to our runners and the communities in which they serve," said Leslie Keener, Ragnar Relay Tennessee Race Director. "Soles4Souls is a tremendous cause that delivers hope and a brighter future to hundreds of thousands of people around the world each day through shoes – a necessity that many Americans take for granted. We're thrilled to be able to partner with our runners and help Soles4Souls build on their mission to change the world, one step at a time."

"Athletes understand the need for proper footwear, and how crucial it is to their overall health," said Kevin Goughary, CEO of Soles4Souls. "But they also only use a pair of athletic shoes for a fraction of its life, and then they are tossed. We are excited to be partnering with Ragnar Relay Tennessee during this year's race, as they help the millions of gently worn running shoes receive a second life."

Soles4Souls and Ragnar Relay Series shoe drives will take place at retail running stores in both Chattanooga and Brentwood between now and the race date in early November. Participants can also bring used shoes to the Ragnar race in November to donate to Soles4Souls as well. Drop off locations include:

  • New Balance Chattanooga, 1820 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 300, Chattanooga, TN
  • Fleet Feet Nashville, 330 Franklin Road, Suite 262B, Brentwood, TN

Ragnar Relay Tennessee teams interested in helping raise funds for the Soles4Souls efforts can do so by visiting http://www.soles4soulsfundraising.org/index.html.

About Soles4Souls®, Clothes4Souls®, and Hope4Souls®

Soles4Souls collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-enterprise efforts to eradicate poverty. Soles4Souls' other two divisions, Clothes4Souls and Hope4Souls, provide the same relief and support through clothing and other necessities. Donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit www.giveshoes.org , www.clothes4souls.org, or www.hope4souls.org for more information.

About Ragnar Events, LLC

Based in Utah, Ragnar Events, LLC is the largest overnight running relay series in the United States. Traversing inspiring and scenic destinations around the country, these events make testing your limits a team sport. Teams of 12 run this 200-mile relay in the course of two days and one night. They connect in memorable relationships, conquer a challenge that could not be done alone and celebrate with medals and finish line festivities. Often called a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant, this unique relay turns out crazy costumes, inside jokes, close quarters and unforgettable stories. Begun as a single relay from Logan to Park City, UT in 2004 by college roommates, Dan Hill and Tanner Bell, now over 160,000 people have run in the Ragnar Relay Series presented by Nordic Track, which boasts 15 races and is growing every year. Visit www.ragnarrelay.com for race dates and exact locations.

615-391-5723, elizabethk@giveshoes.org

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The following pictures are available for download:

[Image] ragnar logo
[Image] Soles4SoulsP
Matt Braun, 414-270-8350


Elizabeth Kirk, Soles4Souls
615-391-5723