The Cardinal Orthopaedic Institute encourages athletes of all ages to get up off the couch and lace on their running shoes for the third annual Spirit Sprint 5K.

The Cardinal Orthopaedic Institute encourages athletes of all ages to get up off the couch and lace on their running shoes for the third annual Spirit Sprint 5K.

The 5K run and walk steps off at 9 a.m. April 29 at the institute, 170 Taylor Station Road in Columbus.
Registration is $25.

The more people who register, the more funds area schools can win, said Stephanie Rauschenbach, marketing director at Cardinal.

"Last year, Gahanna Lincoln High School won big, raising more than $4,600 for the girls cross country team," she said. "Reynoldsburg schools were second, earning more than $1,500."

Rauschenbach said the competition is heating up this year as more schools participate.

Besides Gahanna and Reynoldsburg, Canal Winchester, Groveport Madison and the Columbus School for Girls all will send runners this year.

The race allows every person who registers to support one of the participating schools.

Each school district will receive 80 percent of its registration proceeds. Once that 80 percent is allocated, the school district that registers the most participants will earn 75 percent of the remaining proceeds, with the runner-up earning the other 25 percent.

"All registration proceeds will directly benefit athletic programming at each school district and, in some cases, may offset athletic participation fees," Rauschenbach said.

The event has raised more than $8,900 so far in support of school athletics, she said.

Family fun is built into race day, with inflatables, music, mascots and refreshments for all participants.

Race registration begins at 8 a.m. April 29, with the run and walk beginning at 9 a.m. A free fun run for children begins at 9:40 a.m.

Rauschenbach said all registrants will receive an event T-shirt, refreshments and a "loaded" goodie bag.

"Awards will be presented to the top five male, female and under-18 finishers," she said. "A special trophy will be presented to the winning school district."

To register, visit the websites cardinalortho.com or premierraces.com. To request registration brochures, call 614-545-7914.