Last year's inaugural 5K, organized to benefit the Central Ohio Down Syndrome Society, drew almost 500 people and raised $24,000.

Last year's inaugural 5K, organized to benefit the Central Ohio Down Syndrome Society, drew almost 500 people and raised $24,000.

The event was organized by "2 Fit Guys Running," formerly "2 Fat Guys Running," and still brings smiles to the faces of the organizers as they call it a success.

"It was magical," said Dan Gorner, marketing director for the race.

"We were on cloud nine for weeks," said race director Tim Mills.

This year's 5K, slated for May 19, will benefit DownSyndrome Achieves (formerly CODSS), and 2FGR hope to see a repeat. Organizers are working to raise money and were happy to get Cardinal Health Foundation as a presenting sponsor. They're also working toward prizes and food for racers.

"Shelley (Lambert) is in charge of fundraising, but we're all doing it. Everybody has brought something to the table," Mills said. "That's what's made this thing so great; so many people are involved."

The entire group started in 2007, when Nanda Nair and Gorner decided to get healthy and run. The inaugural members eventually shed some pounds, prompting a name change. They cajoled others into joining their 5:30 a.m. run that starts at the Dublin Community Recreation Center on Post Road.

The run that's free and open to anyone had 10 to 12 members in the winter, but they're expecting an average of 20 runners each morning as weather improves.

With a growing membership, 2FRG decided to organize a 5K last year.

"When we originally talked about doing a race, the goal was 100. We would be happy with 150. We would knock it out of the park," Gorner said.

Instead of 100, the race swelled to 484 runners and 80 children, Gorner said.

Last year's event started with a children's race that included children from the CODSS. Gorner said race participants lined up along the 200-yard children's race route to support the children.

"It was deafening," he said. "Everyone was cheering."

Lambert said she was touched by the scene.

"I have a child with Down syndrome, and to see these guys with no experience with Down syndrome light up when they see the kids run was priceless," she said.

This year's nonprofit beneficiary, DownSyndrome Achieves, focuses on research, legislation and education.

Along with raising money for DownSyndrome Achieves, organizers also intend to create awareness in the community. Last year's event touched many people, whether they were running or volunteering, Lambert said, and they're looking to expand that.

"It was a great family event. What was so great was, the community came out," she said. "A Girl Scout troop came out and volunteered. The farmers market was there giving out fruit."

"The Historic Dublin Business Association partnered with us, and local businesses gave out coupons and stuff," Gorner said. "We had door prizes. Nearly everyone got something."

Other volunteers gave water to runners and helped with registration, trash pickup, setup and other responsibilities.

"We couldn't have done it without the volunteers," Gorner said.

Registration for the 5K is $25 until May 9 and $30 afterward. Race-day registration is available for $35. Registration for the children's 5K and kids fun run for children ages 5 to 13 is $10, or $15 on race day. Family and team rates also are available.

Registration for the run will begin at 6 p.m. May 19 at the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road. The runs will begin at 7 p.m.

All children will receive a finishers medal and a T-shirt. Awards will go to the top three male and female finishers.

For more information or to register, visit premierraces.com/ 2011Races/ 2FGR.html.