Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Community Notebook

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Community Notebook

Article excerpt

There's a new twist to the 23rd edition of the Ortega River Run. A mini-fair will be among the festivities surrounding the 5-mile Grand Prix run through picturesque Ortega Feb. 10.

Brian Turner and the Sleepless Knights band will perform for spectators, and race sponsors and vendors such as Lake Shore Schwinn and Smoothie King will set up booths.

About 1,500 runners from across Northeast Florida are expected to turn out for the event, which benefits St. Mark's Episcopal Day School, said Susan Bardin, communications coordinator.

The race begins and ends at the school, which is at 4114 Oxford Ave. It consists of a 1-mile fun run at 8 a.m., 1-mile inline skate fast blast at 8:30, and the classic 5-mile run, which is a Grand Prix qualifying event, at 9.

Awards will be given to the top three men and women overall, top masters male and female and top three male and female finishers in each age division.

Registration forms are available at all First Guaranty branches, 1st Place Sports and the day school. Participants also can register online at keyword: 1st place.

Fee for the 5-mile run is $12 until Saturday, $15 after that and $20 the day of the race, Bardin said. Proceeds are used for student scholarships and financial aid.

"Not many private elementary schools offer that," Bardin said. "We're very proud that we do."

St. Mark's offers the financial assistance to provide a more diverse population and allow deserving children to be able to come to the school, she said.

Race sponsors are Duval Ford, Duval Honda, First Union Bank, Alliance National Bank and The Florida Times-Union. For more information, call the race hotline at 739-1917.

-- Seventh-grader Mark Ferrer has been reading a lot of National Geographic magazines and watching a lot of Jeopardy! …

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