Registration for the 30th Newport-Mesa Spirit Run is now open from anyone from toddlers to adults.
The annual race supports local schools and encourages youth fitness. In the last two years, the event has raised more than $100,000 for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, according to the race's website.
On the morning of March 3, runners will race around Fashion Island in a 5K, 10K or 15K. Children as young as 2 can register for a variety of events including a new-this-year Toddler Trot.
Two- and 3-year-olds will scamper along a fenced turf-covered course between 10 and 11 a.m. on race day while older participants race in their own 5K or quarter-mile to mile-long race.
To encourage under-privileged students to run in the race, organizers offer them transportation and entry-fee scholarships. They have also been conducting fitness training at three Costa Mesa elementary schools.
Schools that partner with the Spirit Run to promote the event will receive a net portion of the proceeds.
To celebrate the race's 30th anniversary, organizers are asking racers to submit "then-and-now" pictures of past races.
The price to run ranges from $20 to $60 depending on the event.
For more information or to register, visit nmspiritrun.org.
— Jeremiah Dobruck