Resolve for more fitness and fun while raising funds for schools 

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Photos courtesy of Spirit Run

Many of us have New Year’s resolutions. For most, exercising tops the list. For many, however, good intentions are not enough to accomplish what can be a lonely, difficult, and sometimes painful goal.

But what if you could exercise more with your spouse and children? Even better, what if you trained together to participate in a fun-filled community event?

Consider the 35th Annual Spirit Run on March 18, 2018 at Fashion Island. In addition to 5k, 10k and 1-mile running races for individuals, Spirit Run offers the 5k Family Walk and the new Family Mile. Families walk, jog, or run these events together. The entire family is welcome, from your baby in his/her jogger, to the grandparents.

Family Walk

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Afterwards, your family is certain to enjoy Spirit Run’s Youth & Fitness Expo. The expo offers complimentary finish line food and beverages, a pancake breakfast by Plum’s Café and other tasty treats. The kids will have fun on the rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline, mini skateboard park, and activities presented by the City of Newport Beach’s Camp Newport. Parents can wind down with a post-race massage, meet fitness professionals, and shop for fitness apparel and more. Spirit Run even remembers your family pet. Bring your furry family member, or adopt a new one at Spirit Run’s Dog Expo.

You needn’t worry about the price tag, either. Rather than charging each family member an individual entry fee, Spirit Run is introducing its new Family Rate. The Family Rate offers a family of five 30 percent off standard individual pricing. Not to forget the grandparents, Spirit Run has a new Grand Family Rate for a set of grandparents, parents and their children.

In addition to more fitness and fun, your family’s participation in Spirit Run can raise funds for your children’s school. Many long-term Newport Beach residents remember Spirit Run as a fundraiser for Newport Beach elementary schools. Since 2011, however, all schools in the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) are invited to share in the event’s net proceeds. And beginning last year, Spirit Run introduced its “Dash for Cash” fundraiser so that schools outside NMUSD can share in its funds.

“Dash for Cash” is simple. The more students, families and supporters who register and run for a school, the more money the school raises. Many schools participate in See’s Candies, wrapping paper, and/or dine-out fundraisers. School supporters purchase from a business. The business pays the school a percentage (typically 10 – 25 percent) of what school supporters spend, keeping the rest.

“Dash for Cash” is similar, but better. Spirit Run pays “Dash for Cash” schools a minimum of 25 percent, and as much as 45 percent, of registration fees paid by school supporters. Also, the percentage of the registration fees the school doesn’t receive benefits other children, not a for-profit business. Even better, “Dash for Cash” schools are promoting health and fitness, as well as school and community spirit.

OLQA group

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In 2017, “Dash for Cash” was the logical choice for Newport Beach’s Our Lady Queen of Angels (OLQA) school. Many OLQA students had been participating in Spirit Run for years.

“Health is the new wealth” as my dad always says,” shared Kaly Keating, OLQA Class of 2018. “This year I can’t wait to see so many families coming out to participate as a family in the 5krun/walk or the new Family Mile around Fashion island. This event is so much fun and as a community coming together always makes a big difference!”  Jen Awad and family

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OLQA’s Jen Awad with her children, Shane (left) and Brooke

The success of “Dash for Cash” in 2017 is attracting schools outside NMUSD in 2018. Spirit Run is pleased to welcome back St. John the Baptist and Harbor Day School. It is also excited to welcome first time participant, St. Joachim School.

It’s not too late for your school to sign up for “Dash for Cash”. Visit to learn more about the “Dash for Cash” Program, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  For event information, visit

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