Sweaty and visibly exhausted from their mile-long run, a group of boys from Harbor View Elementary School stood in a circle showing off their newly earned participation medals.
A parent walked over and high-fived each boy.
Ben Schaefer, a fifth-grader at Harbor View, shared his secret for a successful run with his friends.
"They tell you to jog so you won't get tired, but I always sprint," the 11-year-old said.
He admits, though, that he did get the dreaded side stitch that plagues even the most experienced runner.
Orange County families laced up their running shoes and raced Sunday morning at Fashion Island for the 31st annual Spirit Run, an event organized to raise money for Newport-Mesa Unified schools and promote youth fitness. Twenty of the district's schools participated in the races.
The event has raised $150,000 for Newport-Mesa schools over the past three years, said Diane Daruty, Spirit Run president and race coordinator. The amount of money raised this year was not available by press time.