ATLANTA - A big prize had hundreds lacing up their running shoes this morning in Downtown Atlanta.
The top finishers in the Extra Yard 5K won tickets to the 2018 College Football National Championship game.
And those who didn't finish first still had a motivation to complete the 5K. The race helps the nation's teachers excel in the classroom.
In its third year, this is the official race of the playoff. Registration fees raise money for educators and their efforts.
The College Playoff Foundation supports 135,000 teachers nationwide. That's $2 million - now funding reading programs in Atlanta's public schools.
"Teachers are very underappreciated. My two kids are in Atlanta Public Schools so the fact our exercising helps them is a great benefit," said mom Leigh Alberici as she collected her medal with the rest of her family.
HE JUST WON TICKETS to National Championship game! pic.twitter.com/5b4oQHRX1M— Kaitlyn (@Fox5Kaitlyn) January 7, 2018
The first to finish was Rob Mullett. His girlfriend can't go to the game, so he's expecting a lot of phone calls.
And the tickets? "I'll be holding on to them tight," he said, laughing.
And THIS FORMER UGA TRACK RUNNER won tickets to National Championship game as well. First game she will see in person all season! pic.twitter.com/IKmzBEspVu— Kaitlyn (@Fox5Kaitlyn) January 7, 2018
The first female finisher, UGA graduate Bridget Lyons, once ran track for Georgia. She gets to go to the big matchup. too.
"Oh gosh, I haven't been in the new stadium yet," she said. "I haven't seen Georgia play all year so this is perfect."