A record number of students have signed up for Kids Run the OC, a youth fitness program organized around the ninth annual OC Marathon, organizers announced Tuesday.
On May 4, the day of the marathon at the Orange County Fairgrounds, kids in the program will run a mile, according to a news release.
That mile combined with the students' training up to that point will be the equivalent of 26.2 miles —marathon distance — organizers said.
Registration is now closed, but 4,500 participants from 70 schools signed up for the event, which is designed to battle childhood obesity in pre-adolescent kids.
Irvine Unified School District signed up the most students, for the second year in a row, with 830 entrants — up from 215 last year.
Newport-Mesa Unified School District signed up the fourth biggest number of students, 424, followed in fifth place by Huntington Beach's school district with 485.
"This is the fifth consecutive year of growth among schools and students, spurred in large part by a vital partnership with the Orange County Department of Education for outreach and training program development," Kids Run the OC director Angie Rowe said in a prepared statement.
Students in the program will now start training on how to set goals and modify their behavior to improve their diets and be more physically active.