Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

The opportunity to change your life one kilometer at a time

This is your mid-January check to see how those New Year’s Resolutions are going. Hopefully, there are a few of you that have set your goals and are still continuing down that path.

I’ve flaunted these numbers before, but just in case you forgot, researchers suggest that only 9% of Americans make a resolution and then complete it. Let me put that another way – 9 out of 10 don’t!

And many of us don’t even give it that old college try. Those same researchers say that 23% of people quit their resolutions by the end of week one of January and 43% quit by the end of January.

So, if you’re one of those that are already off the resolution train, I might have an idea for you.

Have you heard the name Diane Daruty? Among other things, she is a member of Newport Beach’s Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission. She’s also the CEO of the Newport-Mesa Spirit Run.

And that’s where my idea comes in.

First, some background detail. March 17 of this year will be the 40th Annual Spirit Run. It’s an important community event because it benefits schools, local sports programs and other youth causes, to the tune of some $370,000 in good hard cash. That’s hugely important to many.

Anyone can enter, which again brings me back to resolutions. Let’s say you decide to run – chances are you’ll have to give up smoking if that was one of your resolutions. I mean, honestly, have you ever tried lighting a cigarette halfway through a long run? It’s hard. Besides, running shorts don’t usually have a pocket to carry a pack of cigs or even a lighter, but that’s another story.

On the other hand, if getting in shape, losing weight or just taking better care of yourself was perhaps your New Year’s “I’m going to do this” attempt, you will be helped by running in the Spirit Run, too.

And Diane is going to make it easy for all of you by once again offering the “Couch to 5K Training Program.” The Couch to 5K is perfect for new runners and/or those just needing a tune up. Diane has coaches that will slowly and gently prepare you for the event you want to participate in.

In case you’re asking, the Couch to 5K is open to adults and families, and the modest registration fee will even cover your entry into the Spirit Run.

The coaches are expected to be the returning Coach Ashton Garcia and the returning Coach Tracy Thomas.

Garcia competed in cross country and track for UCI, where he made the Big West All-Academic Team three years in a row.

Thomas ran at Corona del Mar High School, then went on to Princeton. His credentials include winning the 2020 Surf City Marathon and qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the half marathon.

So, my guess is they both know what they’re doing.

For details or just to step up now and register, go here.

As far as race day goes, there are a lot of ways to take part. There’s the Adult 5K, the 5K Walk, the Youth 5K, the Adult Mile which is broken into the categories of Elite (for men & women who can run a mile in 4:15 and 4:50, respectively), Open (for adults 18-39 who don’t meet elite standards, but can finish in less than 10 minutes), Masters (40 and older who can also finish in less that 10 minutes) and Family (who can run or walk together with a target finishing under 20 minutes) and the always popular Dog Mile – where dogs on leashes run with their humans 13 and older.

The only requirement in the Dog Mile is no pooping…oh, it’s okay for the dogs, but not for the…well, you get it.

And, if nothing else, just plan to get out there on race day to enjoy the Youth, Fitness & Dog Expo…which also happens to be a great place for local businesses to market their wares and meet the community.

Here’s where you go if you want to run; here’s where you go for more info on the Spirit Run.

• • •

In late November, early December, news came out that the Newport Beach Police Department was investigating 21-year-old NBA basketball player Josh Giddey for allegedly having a relationship with an underaged local high school student. Giddey plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

However, after a complete investigation, the NBPD issued the following update on Wednesday (Jan. 17) of this week:

“After a thorough and exhaustive examination, we have completed our investigation into information that was circulating on social media involving Josh Giddey. Our detectives have reviewed all of the available information and were unable to corroborate any criminal activity related to Mr. Giddey. The Newport Beach Police Department is committed to ensuring that accurate information is disseminated to the public, while also ensuring the rights of all those involved.”

• • •

Last issue we discussed the Library Board of Trustees voting to approve a new appeals process for potentially controversial books at the library. Well, they did so and approved the new process.

Sara Hall writes about the issue elsewhere in today’s Stu News Newport.

• • •

Under the heading, “Well that didn’t take long,” Newport Harbor High School Principal Sean Boulton announced Matt Burns as the 18th Head Football Coach in Newport Harbor history.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Instagram

New Harbor Football Coach Matt Burns

Burns played football under former legendary Tars coach Jeff Brinkley back in the 1990s, and then spent some 20 years as one of his assistants.

Burns was strongly considered to originally replace Brinkley following his retirement in 2017, but because there was no teaching position available to also offer him, his candidacy fizzled.

Last week Peter Lofthouse resigned from Harbor to take over the head coaching duties at El Toro High School, giving Burns another shot.

• • •

It never surprises me who lives locally with celebrity creds and can pop into our lives on occasion. Before his passing, residents would often comment on seeing Laker great Kobe Bryant somewhere around town.

Heck, several weeks ago I’m walking out of El Cholo and almost bump into golfing great Fred Couples, who’s walking down the CdM sidewalk like every other common Joe.

Couples obviously will be seen in March at the Hoag Classic Newport Beach.

Some other local sightings include Bob Costas and Keith Morrison, who have even chosen to get further engaged in local events.

Costas, the legendary sportscaster, emceed the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation’s fundraising dinner last week, while Morrison, of NBC’s Dateline fame, has been the guy at the mike for the annual Newport Beach Police Awards Breakfast the last number of years.

And, there’s still a bunch more.

Last week, the so-called celebrity list grew again as reports circulated that comedian/actor David Spade purchased a home in the Cameo Highlands area.

He’s a funny guy!

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