Ripa To Lead High Heel-a-Thon

Stilettos Are De Rigeur For This Fundraiser

Hundreds of women are set to put their best high-heeled foot forward on Wednesday in Central Park as contenders in the High Heel-a-Thon fund-raiser hosted by “Live With Regis and Kelly.”

Participants in the 150-yard dash must wear, at a minimum, three-inch heels. Proceeds from sponsorship coin benefit the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health’s program on women’s heart health. “Live’s” first High Heel-a-Thon in 2008 drew about 500 runners and raised $60,000 for the March of Dimes.

“The No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. is heart disease, so we thought this would be perfect for our audience,” said “Live” exec producer Michael Gelman.

Co-host Kelly Ripa will once again be a contender. In 2008 she completed the dash in 31.9 seconds in five-inch heels. This year, Ripa plans to shave an inch or two off of her heel: “Lower is better,” she admits.

The primary dash is open only to women, but male sprinters won’t be left in the stiletto dust. Guys can enter a separate event where heels are still required.

“Women are more adept at running in heels,” Gelman explained. However, he noticed in 2008 that “there are some guys who spend a lot of time in heels. I can tell.”