Last year 1,053 students participated in the Kids Fun Run, a success by all accounts.
And organizers said participation in the Mill Race Marathon and its associated shorter events also exceeded all expectations, with about 3,400 people crossing the finish line.
But there’s one age group that organizer would like to see increase: teenagers. Last year’s event had 289 students ages 18 and younger participate in the 5K.
The marathon committee has a goal to reach 1,000 students in this year’s 5K.
Students 18 or younger can register for the Inspire Health Partners 5K for $10 — greater than a 50 percent discount on the $25 or $30 general 5K registration — thanks to financial support from sponsors Healthy Communities.
The Kids Fun Run committee engaged local elementary schools to have a minimum of 10 percent participation from each school, and more than 1,000 finishers this year.
Race organizers also engaged the middle schools to put up displays of the official shirt, race bag and medal, with custom posters promoting the bike giveaway to encourage students to participate.
WHAT: Inspire Health Partners 5K
WHEN: Event starts at 8 a.m. Sept. 24 in downtown Columbus
SPONSOR: Inspire Health Partners is the sponsor of the race, Healthy Communities is subsidizing the registration costs for students.
Finishers will receive a medal. Student age group winners (first, second, third) will receive awards from White River Running Co.
REGISTRATION: Those who signed up online before Sept. 21 can pick up their race packets (with event information, running bibs, goody bags and T-shirts) at the Health and Fitness Expo Sept. 23. Last-minute participants can still sign up at the expo, although shirt sizes will not be guaranteed.