More than 180 runners ran through the paseos and bike routes in Valencia for the Runner’s Lane 5k on Saturday where the community came together to support and raise money for those affected by the Saugus shooting on Nov. 14.
“It is an emotional day, and a lot of people came to support our event today,” said Flo Mina, CEO of Runner’s Lane. “It started as an old-school grassroots type of event and grew into an event where a lot of the community came out.”
The proceeds are going toward the victims’ families and Saugus High School’s cross country team, Mina said.
Runners were seen supporting Saugus in blue attire along with #SaugusStrong T-shirts and tank tops from Runner’s Lane and the ones given out at the Central Park vigil on Nov. 17.
Before the race started, Mina gave a speech to the runners about the importance of human connection. The need to bring human connection back by talking to your kids, parents and co-workers can be a solution in our community, according to Mina.
At the event, there were current and former Saugus students from the cross country team.
“My parents are a part of Runner’s Lane so we normally come to events like this, but since it was at my school it seemed that much more important that we all come together and raise money,” said Amanda Salinas, Saugus cross country team member.
“I graduated last year and after being a part of Saugus for four years, it is a close part to me still,” said Zach Fineberg, Saugus alumni. “I wanted to come here and support the cause by having fun running.”
Along with a donation box decorated in Saugus’ colors with #SaugusStrong plastered across it, piles of water bottles were available, which were donated by the community for the event. In addition, Runner’s Lane had posters for Saugus that runners could sign with words of encouragement and strength.
“As soon as (Flo) found out about this tragedy, she knew she had to do something,” said Stephanie Yoshida, co-captain of the Runner’s Lane team. “She embodies what brings the community together and exercising truly heals the soul.”