Sun Health is now the title sponsor for the Arizona Marathon, a yearly West Valley running event entering its ninth year.

“We’re very excited to welcome Sun Health,” said Debra Undhjem, Arizona Marathon’s founder and race director. “We share the same ideas on health, wellness and giving back to the community, so it’s a great partnership.”

The first Sun Health Arizona Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. It will feature a marathon, half-marathon and a marathon relay. Race courses will begin or wind through eight West Valley cities and Luke Air Force Base. All racers will finish at the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.

The marathon is a labor of love for Undhjem, who works full time as a flight attendant and receives no pay for organizing the event.

“We started the marathon during the recession as a way not only to help people get their minds off the economy and focus on their health, but also to raise funds for organizations that help those in need,” she said.

Since 2009, the Arizona Marathon has raised more than $250,000 for charities, primarily in the West Valley. Fundraising totals have increased each year.

Participation also has risen. About 250 runners/walkers and 200 volunteers took part in the first Arizona Marathon. The 2016 event had more than 2,000 runners/walkers and 400 volunteers.

“We couldn’t be more excited to put our name and resources behind the Arizona Marathon,” said Ron Austerlade, chief marketing officer for Sun Health. “The partnership is a win-win for everyone and allows us to further our vision of being a leading advocate for healthy living.”

To learn more and register for the 2017 Sun Health Arizona Marathon – Half – Relay go to