Three stars of the U.S. women's soccer team's inspiring World Cup run will be helping to promote a major sporting event of a different color: the Chicago marathon.
Bank of America, which sponsors the race, has contracted with goalie Hope Solo and forwards Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan to be spokespeople for a charitable program that "will play an integral role" in the marathon, the bank said in a press statement released Friday [PDF].
“The opportunity to partner with Bank of America and the Chicago Marathon is a thrill for us,” Solo said in the statement. “There’s going to be such a tremendous spirit of camaraderie – from the public and private organizations working together to stage the event to all the athletes and their supporters pursuing a personal best or advancing a community cause. It’s going to be a great weekend."
The three women will also reportedly be lacing up their running shoes: FOX Chicago reports that they'll be running in a charity relay team. They won't be doing the full 26.2 miles, but they'll be hitting the pavement along with the 45,000 other runners on October 9 of this year.
This year's marathon was the most popular in the race's history, according to NBC Chicago, with registration filling up in just 31 days, a record time and three weeks faster than it filled up last year.
The race has always had a charitable component. Last year, there were 10,000 charity runners who raised more than $12 million for hundreds of local, national and international causes. And Bank of America plans to expand that element of the race by putting Solo, Wambach and Morgan at its helm. They'll be releasing details about the program throughout the summer; runners and others can follow the updates on the event's Facebook page.
Meanwhile, Solo's getting ready to run, according to her Twitter account. "Can't wait to be apart of the bank of america chicago marathon. I should start training now! Any tips you crazy runners?" she wrote last week.