Family and friends were invited to dress up as their favorite superheroes for the San Dimas Superhero 5K run/walk on Saturday. All proceeds went to the Crime Survivors Resource Center, whose vision is for victims of crime to recover from their experience mentally, emotionally and financially by receiving support from their community, law enforcement and the judicial system.
Many people were in attendance just hours before the race started for registrations and warm-ups. More than 400 people showed up with positive spirits and amazing costumes, eager to start.
“I really love the atmosphere,” Charlee Larsen, a resident of Pasadena and runner, said. “Seeing people bring their friends and making this event more fun and creative is what catches people’s attention.”
Pre-registration for the event was $30, and registration for the day was $40. Shirts, medals and goody bags were offered to the first 500 people who pre-registered.
“I have been here since 8 a.m., and there were already so many people here with vendors already set up,” Magdalena Natividad, a resident of El Monte and runner, said. “This is my first time participating in the run, and I am so excited to start.”
The run, which started and ended at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park, took participants on a lovely route. It was marked with cheering crowds and volunteers, who handed out water and snacks to the runners.
“What felt like a long route turned out to be an amazing experience,” Chloe Lomonaco, a resident of Rancho Cucamonga and runner, said. “I am exhausted, but I met some cool people along the way.”
Participants were encouraged to express their creativity and show off their costumes. Some runners wore full-body suits, while others had homemade capes and masks. There were groups of runners who dressed up as a team, such as Marvel’s “Avengers.”
“I feel like a kid again, running around in my costume,” Natividad said. “It’s a great way to stay active and have fun at the same time.”
The event was not just a chance for runners to throw on their capes and costumes, but they did recognize the Crime Survivors Resource Center.
Crime Survivors is one of the leading “victims-focused” educators in Southern California. Whether it is training law enforcement, testifying in front of legislative committees, or sitting down with the family and support structure of a newly created crime.
“From what I understand, they work around communities,” Larsen said. “The goal is for victims of crime to recover from their ordeal on a mental, physical, emotional and financial level.”
The run was not only a fun and charitable event, but it also provided an opportunity for participants to exercise and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Many participants ran the entire route, while others walked and jogged. The event was inclusive and welcomed people of all fitness levels.
“I thought it was nice not having to run because I know I would have given up quickly,” Diane Gomez, a resident of San Dimas and runner, said. “I felt comfortable knowing I could go at my own pace.”
The Los Angeles Superhero 5K Run provided a virtual event for those who wanted to donate and participate in the run but did not have time to attend the event.
“It just makes sense to let others have access to donating and running whenever and wherever they want,” Natividad said.
Anyone could donate to the Crime Survivors Resource Center by selecting a cause and choosing their donation amount during the in-person and virtual event.
“I feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself when I run in this event,” Larsen said. “Knowing that we are raising money for important causes makes it all worth it.”
The event served as a platform for participants to express themselves and their individuality. Many runners chose to incorporate their own unique style and personality into their costumes, making for a truly diverse and colorful event.
“This is the only run I have been to where I see adults dress up in costumes while sweating for miles,” Lomonaco said.
Sabin Gabra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.