Sunday will mark 27 years of running the annual Spirit Run, a community fundraiser that benefits all of the schools in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and promotes youth fitness. Starting times will go throughout the morning, beginning with registration at 6 a.m. and will include different distance runs and walks such as the 10k run, 5k run, youth 5k, and the 5k family walk and stroller. The children’s mile will be broken up into age groups that will span ages 7 to 12. The 6-year-olds and under will participate in a half mile race.
The races begin near Fashion Island and the courses circle the area. Participating runners/walkers are encouraged to come out and register on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. so you can pick up your bib and t-shirt and avoid the long lines on Sunday morning.
The Spirit Run’s central goals are to host an event that promotes childhood fitness and health and to provide scholarship money to children in the area who need financial help. Several local sponsors, including the Indy, have helped out this year and this year’s Spirit Run is shaping up to be the best one yet.
Julie Smith, third grade teacher and running club coordinator said, “Our students run each Wednesday at lunch. Our goal is to promote fitness and healthy habits in our students. This year we are so fortunate to have UCI students and community members as volunteer coaches. Some of our students have registered for the Spirit Run and we are excited that they have this opportunity to run in an event that benefits the schools in NMUSD.”
Several schools will be represented in Sunday’s race all across the NMUSD.
Kathy Sanchez, principal of the Killybrooke School said, “We have been training K-6th grade students on Mondays and Wednesdays after school since February 7 for the Spirit Run. Myself, parent volunteers, and community volunteers are training the students. They warm up with fun activities, run the equivalent of 1 mile, and then cool down. Nutrition is an important part of our training including the importance of hydrating, eating nutritional foods, and choosing healthy beverages.”
Both Smith and Sanchez noted that community volunteer Diane Daruty has been instrumental in training the children. Come out this weekend to support our schools and take part in a wonderful event. It’s all for a good cause, and it will be a blast!