28th Annual Newport-Mesa Spirit Run

Date and Time - March 27, 2011. Registration opens at 6:00 a.m., the first race starts at 7:00 a.m., and the event ends by 11:00 a.m.

Location – Edwards Big Newport, Fashion Island, Newport Beach

Attendance – 3,500 participants plus 3,500 spectators expected from all over Southern California

Events – The event hosts three adult races (15k, 10k, and 5k), and eight youth races (Youth 5k for pre-high school ages 14 and under & seven, 1/4 to 1-mile races for ages 4-12).

Youth and Fitness Expo – In between the eleven races, participants and spectators attend an event expo that offers fun food, bungee jumping, rock climbing, a skate park, a BMX demonstration, and other exciting activities for kids, along with massage and boutique shopping for adults. In addition, doctors, dentists, physical therapists, and other fitness experts present health and fitness information.

Beneficiaries - While offering all of this fitness and fun, Newport-Mesa Spirit Run benefits public education in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.  The event’s net proceeds benefit supplemental educational programs such as art, physical education, and technology at Newport-Mesa schools.  The event offers free entries fees to economically challenged students in the district.

Prominent Businesses and Interests that Support Spirit Run - The tremendous benefits offered by Newport-Mesa Spirit Run are apparent from the event's long list of prominent supporters: Sponsors have included the City of Newport Beach, Hoag Hospital, Fletcher Jones Motor Cars, Ralph's, Wells Fargo, The Allergan Foundation, Ruby's Diner, Spa Gregorie's, HOM Real Estate Group, Surterre Properties, Dick's Sporting Goods, Roadrunner Sports, Regal Cinemas, Fashion Island, and many others. At the event expo, the City of Newport Beach hosts its Camp Newport Expo bringing representatives, demonstrations, and activities from its summer camps.  The City also collaborates with the Spirit Run to present a dual running event (Spirit Run plus the City of Newport Beach Track Meet.) World-class athletes love Spirit Run.  Steve Scott, Olympian and World Record Holder for the most sub-4 minute miles, leads each youth mile race. Also, top members of the University of California-Irvine Cross-Country and Track Team lead the Youth 5k race. Spirit Run Promotes Health and Fitness and Fights Obesity in our Youth - Poor eating, inactivity, and obesity is on the rise in our children.  Newport-Mesa Spirit Run seeks to stop this trend by promoting health and fitness through running. Newport-Mesa Spirit Run will be promoted at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District elementary, junior high, and high schools. The event will also be promoted to youth running clubs and elementary schools outside the Newport-Mesa area.

Newport-Mesa Spirit Run Attracts Competitive Runners From All Over Southern California Newport-Mesa Spirit Run is one of the most competitive youth running events with the broadest range of races for all ages in Southern California and beyond.

Youth 5k – Newport-Mesa Spirit Run’s Youth 5k, a unique event for pre-high school children ages 14 and under, allows children to command the course, without adult interference, and a child to break the ribbon at the finish line. In its inaugural year, over 500 children competed in this race from all over Southern California. The Youth 5k is very competitive.  In 2010, the top boy finished in 16:43 minutes that would have placed him 7th in the Adult 5k. The top girl finished in 18:31 minutes that would have placed her 5th for the women in the Adult 5k.

Youth Mile races – Newport-Mesa Spirit Run hosts seven 1/4 to 1-mile races for ages 4-12.  Like the Youth 5k, each mile race is very competitive and draws children from all over Southern California.  These races also have the unique distinction of involving an Olympian.  Steve Scott, Olympian and World Record Holder for the most sub-4 minute miles, leads each of the mile races.  Indeed, you will see his photo running with the children on Newport-Mesa Spirit Run’s Website

Spirit Run Hosts Competitive Adult Races - The Spirit Run does not forget adults. The event hosts an Adult 15k, 10k, and 5k. The Spirit Run’s broad range of races includes everyone in the family, allowing families to enjoy the event together. Recent Management Change Allowing Any Newport-Mesa School to Share in Event Profits For the past 27 years, Spirit Run was presented as a community event and fundraiser by PTAs (and one PFO) from Newport-Mesa elementary schools in the Corona del Mar zone of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. In the Fall of 2010, these PTAs and PFO decided that -- while they remain supportive of the event and the role it plays in childhood fitness and in raising funds for local schools -- they no longer wanted to put it on.

This development resulted in three changes. First, the Newport-Mesa Spirit Run Board that oversees the event will now consist of parent representatives from Newport-Mesa schools rather than from the PFO and PTA's. Second, the new Board’s goal is that any Newport-Mesa Unified District School will have an opportunity to share in the event’s net proceeds, not just the five elementary schools whose PTA’s and PFO previously presented the event.  Three, the Board will offer scholarships for Spirit Run entries to economically challenged students in the district.

Information courtesy of the Newport-Mesa Spirit Run, Inc. Board of Directors

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