CENTENNIAL, COLO. – Four years ago , the beef checkoff, through the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (N.E.B.P.I.), decided to sponsor a runner in the Boston Marathon to promote beef as an important protein source to fuel active bodies. The sponsored runner, a veal producer from Wisconsin, marks the birth of Team BEEF – a concept that has since spread to many states and races throughout the U.S.

More than 100 Team BEEF runners will be competing in the annual Boilermaker Race in Utica, N.Y., and 229 Team BEEF members competing in races in Texas, to cite just a few examples. During the 2010 Boston Marathon, which will held April 19, 12 marathoners will wear the BEEF jersey, promoting their chosen protein source.

The beef checkoff is also teaming up with the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo, booth #2024 at the John Hynes Convention Center, to inform runners and spectators about the protein power found in lean beef. Research shows incorporating high-quality protein into the diet throughout the day can help in maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle and fueling physical activity. The team will also sample Marinade-on-Demand Chimichurri Beef, which features Schwan’s exclusive packaging that marinades meat within one package.