Weekend warriors rejoice -- the seventh annual Worthington Wellness Warrior Run at Granby Elementary School features a "Mile of Mayhem" for serious thrill seekers, but also a "Lil' Warrior" race for children.

Weekend warriors rejoice -- the seventh annual Worthington Wellness Warrior Run at Granby Elementary School features a "Mile of Mayhem" for serious thrill seekers, but also a "Lil' Warrior" race for children.

Granby teacher Tyler Hollinger and physical education teacher Rick Armstrong are urging residents to "Bring out the warrior inside!" for the event scheduled 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at Granby, 1490 Hard Road.

Participants shouldn't wait to sign up as registration is online only this year, due on or before Saturday, Sept. 17.

Start the registration process on the district website, worthington.k12.oh.us, then look for the "Warrior Run" link.

There will be no registration on race day.

Registration is free, although donations will be accepted on race day to help fund next year's event.

The course requires climbing over obstacles and barriers, ducking through tunnels and crawling through the mud.

"Everybody says their favorite part of the event is the mud," Hollinger said.

School leaders said, "go for it" when he and Armstrong first proposed the idea of expanding a small course they made for Granby kids in 2010 to a much larger course, Hollinger said.

Hollinger said the conversation began with, "So here's what we're thinking ... we want to flood the school yard and then have 1,500 kids and parents run through it. It will be so much fun-can we? Please?"

The course changes a little each year to keep things interesting.

"There is usually a new obstacle or two," Hollinger said. "Nobody knows exactly what to expect the day of the run."

He said a lot of students like to watch and cheer for favorite teachers as they run through the course.

"It's amazing to watch parents and children leave the event covered in mud with giant smiles on their faces," he said.

All ages are welcome on the course, he said, but the "Lil' Warrior" run is shorter, designed for participants in pre-kindergarten through grade three.

"To keep the Lil' Warrior run safe for our younger runners, we ask that our older participants remain off the course during that event, unless they are providing support to a little warrior," Hollinger said.

He said registration still is required for younger participants but not for adults who plan to accompany children on the course to provide support.

Registrants should pick up their race numbers at Fleet Feet Sports, 1270 East Powell Road, on Sept. 16 or 17, during regular store hours.

Armstrong said he and Hollinger created the race with goals to provide a fun and exciting wellness event for elementary students "that would leave them thrilled and hungry for more" and to offer a professionally run race with free admission.

"With those goals in mind, we were privileged to partner with Fleet Feet Sports and created a mile course that would offer more than just running," he said. "We wanted kids to be excited, intrigued and challenged as they worked their way around the course.

"Soon the course became so fun that we wanted to run it, so we created the 'Adult Wave.'" "Now, teachers, parents, support staff and administrators can join the Mile of Mayhem."

Armstrong said Fleet Feet's donation of time and resources helps keep the event free.

"We believe the Worthington Wellness Warrior Run is turning into a wonderful community event for elementary families and Worthington staff, introducing students to lifetime fitness activities in a non-threatening, fun-filled and festive environment," he said.

Both teachers said they love to create opportunities for children to be physically active.

"I regularly say our goal is to provide every one of our students with an opportunity to have a super awesome experience doing something that is new to them," Hollinger said.

He said the event is something students and parents talk about all year.

"It sparks an interest in physical activity at an early age and it's a ton of fun. We take donations so that we can make the event as professional as possible, but it is our goal to keep it free for every student that wants to participate."

@PamelaThisWeek