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Posted: March 3, 2009  : Add to Mixx!

Athletics: Spirit Grows For 26th Annual Run Benefitting Local Schools

Orange County’s Favorite Family Race Keeps Healthy “Spirit” Alive for Generations

Newport Beach, CA – Past, present and future “Spirit Runners” unite…Sunday, March 22, 2009, the Spirit Run, presented by HOM Real Estate Group, will keep the healthy “spirit” alive for generations to come by promoting family, community, fitness, and fun! The five Newport Beach elementary schools (Roy O. Andersen, Eastbluff, Harbor View, Lincoln, and Newport Coast) responsible for organizing Spirit Run will benefit from the net proceeds from this marvelous, longstanding running event. For the third year, these five schools also invite all Newport-Mesa schools to share in the race proceeds by donating $5 of every entry that identifies a Newport-Mesa school directly to that school and offering online registrants the option to make donations to each Newport-Mesa school. This gives more than 25 schools the chance to share in the fitness and the funds.

This 26-year old event will include an adult 5k, 10k and new 15k (where participants’ 10k and 5k times will be combined and ranked). Children’s races include ¼ to 1- mile races for ages 4-12 and the popular Youth 5K for children in 8th grade and under. The growth of the competitive Youth 5k continues to raise the bar on children’s fitness with participation from private and public schools and youth track clubs throughout Southern California. In 2008, over 500 children participated in this unique race where fans will watch a child break the ribbon as he/she crosses the finish line without interference from adult runners. New this year is too is the “Spirit Cup” award that encourages school spirit and participation.

This year’s event is offering fabulous prizes to entice adults and children alike. Top three overall in the 15k will take home designer sunglasses, 10k division winners will win rejuvenating spa treatments from Spa Gregorie’s, and 30 men and women in the Adult 5k will enjoy a year’s worth of delicious coffee or smoothies from local favorite Buon Giorno Coffee. Top finishers in the youth races will enjoy prizes from New Balance, Toy Boat and more.

“We are thrilled to continue this fabulous tradition, but also strive to keep things new and exciting, “said Diane Daruty, Chair of the Spirit Run Management Committee. “We hope our adult distance runners will enjoy our new 15k. We also hope to inspire youth participation with the new “Spirit Cup” to be awarded to the school with the largest percentage of its students participating. All of this fun while benefiting education - it doesn’t get much better!” Daruty added.

Once again, Steve Scott, America’s Premier Miler, will lead the youth mile races. "I have never been in a race with such great enthusiasm and support from the participants. They cheer for everyone from start to finish," said Steve Scott.

The Spirit Run will take place adjacent to Edwards Big Newport 6 in Fashion Island on March 22nd, 2009. The Family Health & Fitness Expo will be bigger and better than ever with interactive games, entertainment, rock climbing, bungee jumping, great food, the sounds of local youth bands, and more. Race day registration begins at 6:00 a.m. and the first race takes off at 7:00 a.m. More information and online registration for the 2009 Spirit Run is open to the public by visiting

Over the past 25 years, the Spirit Run has raised over $1,500,000 for educational programs in the Newport-Mesa area. The 2009 Title sponsor is HOM Real Estate Group, with other sponsors including: Dr. Bar Boutique Pediatrics, Regal Cinemas, Spa Gregorie’s, Newport Children’s Group, Fletcher Jones Motorcars, Fashion Island, Howard Building Corporation, Pension Benefits, Newport Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry and Dr. Starnes Orthodontics. More information on the race, registration and how to get involved is available at

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