The race route. Image courtesy of Omar Acosta
The race route. Image courtesy of Omar Acosta
When Omar Acosta’s began planning the business model of his new gym, OFIT, he wanted to focus on total well-being and health. For him, one big aspect of that was community outreach.

OFIT (400 Second Ave. W., Suite 200) opens May 1 in Lower Queen Anne, and Acosta isn’t wasting any time sponsoring his first community event. On May 17, OFIT, in partnership with the John Hay Partners Board, will host the Fit for Life 5K Run and Walk, which will benefit all public schools on Queen Anne.

The race will begin and end at OFIT; the starting time is 10 a.m. Most of the route will follow the water along Myrtle Edwards Park.

Acosta went to Lee Scovern, a parent and member of the John Hay Partners Board, with the idea. The board had been looking for opportunities to work with the other schools in the neighborhood. Scovern, the event coordinator, said one of their main motivations for the event is the community-building aspect.

The 5K is an easy run or walk, Scovern said. The event has a timing company for more serious runners, but people of all ages and ability levels are welcome. Scovern expects about 400 participants and 30 volunteers to fill the 3-mile route.

Entry fees are $30 for adults and $25 for those 17 and younger. Later, those fees will increase $5. Each 5K participant will be entered into a drawing for prizes, and all pre-registered runners will receive a T-shirt.

The event also has many local sponsors to alleviate the costs.

“We’re trying to maximize profits,” Scovern said.

Those profits will be split equally between John Hay, Queen Anne and Frantz Coe elementary schools and McClure Middle School.

One of Acosta’s missions is to have a different community event every quarter and be engaged with the local community. “The more you engage with the community, the more success you have,” he said.

The money will go to programs that the “district doesn’t sponsor but parents and staff still feel are critical,” Scovern said, such as reading and math tutors and art, drama or music programs.

“I’d love for it to be the first of many,” he said, “and do it on an annual basis.”

Feeding the soul

OFIT specializes in people who may be overlooked at other gyms. It has trainers for all fitness levels, Acosta said, but it specializes in people who are overweight or older.

“This is not your 24 Hour Fitness,” he said.

The core of the businesses is total fitness, from exercise to eating well to sharing and giving.

Acosta, a student at the University of Washington and personal trainer, said he understands what it’s like to have needs: “I’m not a rich guy.” It’s important for him to get the money back into the schools, which are struggling with budget cuts, to fund things like math tutors.

“Ideally, we want to help as much as we can and keep things going,” he said. “There is so much potential [in the students], especially with tech — that’s why we want to be engaged.

“When we give something...it feeds your soul, which is another level of fitness,” Acosta added.

Register in person at OFIT or online via www.active.com/seattle-wa/running/races/fit-for-life-5k-run-walk-2014.

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