The 30th annual Spirit Run, which combines running races for all ages with school fundraising, will take place March 3. But this year’s event offers runners more options then ever before, said organizer Diane Daruty.
“This year, Spirit Run is part of the Newport Beach Road Racing Series,” she said. “The Spirit Run is also part of the So Cal USATF Grand Prix Road Running Championship Series, which we hope will bring more competitive adult and youth runnners which makes things more fun and hopefully will generate more revenues to increase distributions to Newport-Mesa Unified District.”
The Spirit Run will feature an expo with a Newport Beach summer camp preview for families that want to learn more about summer activities offered through the city. There also will be a pancake breakfast, and races for kids (including a new race for 2- and 3-year-olds) and a family walk.
Serious runners can participate in 10K and 5K runs; click here for complete information and registration details.
This year, the Spirit Run is part of a new Newport Beach Road Racing Series for adults and children. This series includes Spirit Run and the Corona del Mar Scenic 5K for adults, and the same events plus the Newport Beach Track Meet for youth participants. The track meet will take place April 5, and the Scenic 5K will take place June 1. Runners who participate in the series pay discounted prices ($55 for kids and $60 for adults), and youth finishers will earn special medals and adult finishers will receive series t-shirts.
“We want to see as many people out there running as possible,” Daruty said. “It’s so good for the community.”
Janet Cates, recreation manager for the City of Newport Beach, agreed.
“The City of Newport Beach and the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce are delighted to partner the Corona del Mar Scenic 5K with the Spirit Run to produce the first-ever Newport Beach Road Racing Series,” Cates said in an email. “Both events are well-respected among running enthusiasts on their own merits – together, they showcase one of the most scenically beautiful places in the world as the backdrop to two wonderful events. What more could a runner ask for?”
The Spirit Run began in 1983 and traditionally had been a fundraiser for the five elementary schools that feed into Corona del Mar High School. Each school was responsible for $20,000 in sponsorship money to cover the costs of running the event, but schools saw dwindling returns despite hundreds of volunteer hours, leading all but Eastbluff Elementary School to decide to drop out in 2010; read our earlier story here.
Daruty stepped in and revitalized the run, expanding it to raise money for all Newport-Mesa Unified School District schools. The Spirit Run continued in 2011 under her leadership; read our story here.
In the past two years, the event has contributed more than $100,000 to the district, according to the event’s website.