The Dublin Special Olympics Annual Run, or SOAR, will kick off the first track and field season for the group.

The Dublin Special Olympics Annual Run, or SOAR, will kick off the first track and field season for the group.

The SOAR 5K, slated for March 9 at Glacier Ridge Metro Park, will act as a fundraiser, help to get the word out about the new group and get athletes ready for track season.

Krista Keir, who started the group last year, said a cash drop held in September and the approaching 5K will be the major annual fundraisers for Dublin Special Olympics.

"We look at the cash drop and 5K as an opportunity to get the name out in Dublin and raise funds as a program," she said. "We receive funds throughout the year but want to make sure we make an active effort."

Dublin Special Olympics started in the fall with swimming and began offering basketball in November to 25 athletes who attend the practices.

"Bowling starts this week," Keir told the Dublin Villager Feb. 12. "On Saturday, we have an area competition for basketball skills. Thirteen athletes will be participating in that event.

"They'll participate in target pass, the 10-meter dribble, spot shot ... From that, they can qualify for the state competition at the end of March."

Bowling is set to run until June and Keir said it has 14 athletes so far. Track and field starts next month and June will mark the beginning of softball skills.

Athletes can join the programs at any time and will be taught skills by volunteers.

"We have great youth volunteers signed up," Keir said. "Everything is kind of coming together."

The group's first 5K is also coming together as Premier Sports is donating its services for the race through a Leadership Dublin project.

"We got very lucky," Keir said.

The group is aiming for 250 runners for the inaugural event; race winners will receive prizes from Special Olympics athletes.

"Some (prizes) will be handmade by a local artist and she also happens to be a swim coach," Keir said. "She'll come to a basketball practice and help them make prizes for the top three male and female finishers."

Special Olympics athletes are also likely to be part of the 5K that will help fund programming throughout the year.

"The athletes are having fun," Keir said of the team so far.

The Dublin SOAR 5K will begin at 8:30 a.m. March 9 at Glacier Ridge Metro Park.

Registration for the 5K is $25 and an untimed one-mile walk will be offered for $15. The first 250 people registered will receive a shirt.

Registration can be completed online at or at the race.

To register an athlete for the Dublin Special Olympics or volunteer, contact Keir at