Super Bowl Sunday is more than two weeks away, but it’s not too early to get into the football spirit.
The NFL Dream Run, featuring 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer races, will be held Saturday morning to benefit Kastner Intermediate School.
“NFL stands for No one Finishes Last,” said race director Therese Gulesserian. “We started it as the NFL run because the first year it was held the week before the Super Bowl.”
The event is chip-timed to appeal to serious runners, but many of the race’s participants are out there to have fun, Gulesserian said.
“We throw footballs out at the equivalent of the 50-yard line at the end of the race,” she said.
While those competing for time might run right through the airborne footballs, participants who run or walk for fun are happy to catch a football and take it into the end zone — the finish chute.
“The students in particular absolutely want you to throw it so they can catch it and finish the run with the football in hand,” Gulesserian said.
The race has grown since its inception three years ago.
“We have a 5K and a 10K,” Gulesserian said. “We had about 150 participants the first year, 180 the second year, and this year we are anticipating about 200.”
All proceeds to go the Kastner Intermediate Parent Teacher Club, which funds 32 extracurricular activities at the school including sports, robotics, clubs and the science fair, Gulesserian said.
“It started because we as a parent club wanted to boycott selling cookies and candies and things that were unhealthy to the kids,” Gulesserian said. “We wanted to start a movement of health and promoting lifelong habits.”
Participants are invited to dress up in their favorite football team’s gear and run the 3.1-mile or 6.2-mile course through Woodward Park.
The chip-timed event will be held in the Mountain View Shelter area of Woodward Park in Fresno. The 10K will begin at 8 a.m. and the 5K will start at 8:30 a.m.
First Quality Produce will donate healthy snacks for participants, including apples, carrots and oranges. A massage therapist will be available after the race to knock out kinks and cramps.
Online registration costs $30 and includes a T-shirt and goodie bag. For details and to register, visit www.5kdreamrun.com.
If you go
What: NFL Dream Run hosted by Kastner Intermediate Parent Teacher Club
When: 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23
Where: Woodward Park in Fresno, Mountain View Shelter
How much: $30. Register at www.5kdreamrun.com.