Top five reasons to attend Spirit Run 

New Year’s Resolutions are still in our thoughts. For most, exercising tops the list. Spirit Run could be your incentive to exercise more. There are at least five reasons.

No. 1 - Wide range of running and walking events for all ages and ability levels, and even for your dog.

Mile: Depending on your age, and how fast you can finish, there are several options.

elite mile start line

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Photos Courtesy of Spirit Run

Elite Mile: This is for men and women who can finish a mile in four minutes 30 seconds, and five minutes, respectively. The point to point course travels primarily on a decline and is fast! The winner is expected to break four minutes.

Open Mile: If you’re not elite but can finish in 10 minutes, set a personal record or check your fitness in the Open Mile. You must be 13 or older to enter.

Sean Gildea

Last year’s Dog Mile winner, Sean Gildea, finished in four minutes 41 seconds

Dog Mile: Test your dog’s speed or jog with him in the Dog Mile. Although you’re allowed 15 minutes to finish, this race is popular with the speedsters. Last year, the winner and his dog finished in four minutes 41 seconds!

Family Mile: This new event is for families to jog and/or walk together. Participants have 20 minutes to finish.

Youth 1/4 - 1 Mile: There is a 1/4 mile race for age four, a 1/2 mile race for ages five and six, and three separate mile races for ages seven through 12.

5k: Spirit Run is the only event to host separate 5k races for children and adults. Both courses loop around Fashion Island.

fierce youth competitors

Youth 5k: This is open to high school aged youth and younger. Children race without adult interference and a child breaks the finish line.

Adult 5k: Elite athletes and joggers alike enjoy Spirit Run’s most popular adult race.

5k Walk: Infants to grandparents and all ages in between participate in the Family Walk beginning immediately following the Adult 5k start.

10k: This is the first choice of Spirit Run loyalists who demand a longer workout.

Toddler trot

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Toddler Trot: If they can walk, the little ones love the Toddler Trot. It takes place in a fenced, Astroturf-covered area in the expo. Multiple start times occur between 10 and 10:30 a.m.

No. 2 - Compete to win cash and over two hundred fifty great prizes.

With the help of its generous sponsors, Spirit Run strives to celebrate participants with the most impressive array of prizes around. Southern California USA Track & Field (So Cal USATF) is partnering with Spirit Run to present its 2018 Road Mile and 10k Championships. Elite and Open Mile competitors who are USATF members are eligible to win cash. Blaze Pizza Fashion Island is offering more than 150 children and adults the chance to win free Blaze Pizza every month for a year. Baking Betty’s is sharing its delicious cookies with 42 children ages 8 and younger. Lazy Dog Café is awarding lunch or dinner to six Dog Mile competitors. Spa Gregorie’s is offering a rejuvenative massage to 18 winners in the Elite and Open Mile and the 15k (5k and 10k).

No. 3 - Double or triple your workout by competing in multiple events.

At Spirit Run you can compete in two, even three races. In the 15k, competitors race the 10k and the 5k. Their times are combined and ranked and prizes are awarded.

But why stop there? In between the 10k and the 5k, there’s time to jump in the Open Mile or join your dog for the Dog Mile. Or race the Elite, Open, or Dog Mile, take a breath, and then run the Adult 5k. Even the children double their fitness and fun. Many run the Youth 5k followed by their age appropriate mile race.

The best news – you can win in every race. For example, if you compete in the 15k and the Open Mile, you are eligible to win Blaze Pizza for two for a year, two Spa Gregorie’s massage certificates, and cash.

No. 4 - Enjoy Spirit Run’s energy with family, friends, and community. 

family in dog expo

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The energy at Spirit Run is contagious. As a fundraiser for youth education and fitness, students and their families attend, as well as teachers, principals and other school supporters. The enthusiasm of parents watching their children compete and the school spirit is electric.

youth start with Steve Scott

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No one could know better than America’s Preier Miler, Steve Scott. Scott is an Olympian who holds the world record for running the most sub-four-minute miles. He has been attending Spirit Run since 1983 to warm up and run with the children in the youth mile races. “I have never been in a race with such great enthusiasm and support from the participants.” Scott said. “They cheer for everyone from start to finish.” Spirit Run began with five local schools but has grown to include the entire Newport Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD).

“I first attended Spirit Run as a principal supporting our students running their races,” shared NMUSD Board Member Charlene Metoyer. “Now, I enjoy participating, seeing friends and former students and supporting all our schools. It’s such an exciting community event.”

No. 5 - Raise funds for youth fitness and education.

Spirit Run is presented by a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to youth fitness and education, and its net proceeds are donated to local schools. More than $1,500,000 has been donated, with more than $300,000 in the last seven years alone.

Visit www.nmspiritrun.org/partners to find out if your children’s or grandchildren’s school is participating in Spirit Run, or if not, how it can do so.

For event information, visit www.nmspiritrun.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For the second consecutive year, Stu News is proud to be Spirit Run’s media sponsor.