By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Early Sunday morning Brand Boulevard was a runner’s mecca, a place where folks of all ages and running – or walking – skill came together to support the 5th Annual Glendale Dash 5K Run/Walk.
The event, hosted by the Glendale Merchants’ Association, benefitted Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s Stroke Services for the community. With 55 teams participating, more than 1,500 runners/walkers in several age categories converged on Brand Boulevard, laced up their running shoes and lined up in front of the iconic Alex Theatre to participate. The route wove along the boulevard and through the Americana before doubling back to the finish line.
Runners weren’t the only participants in the event. The morning started with breakfast prepared and served by members of the Glendale Fire Dept. Thirty-two vendor booths were scattered along Brand providing information on everything from nutrition to newspapers.
Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the San Fernando Valley and the leading cause of long-term disability. Stroke is responsible for one out of every 14 deaths, killing more than 160,000 people every year. Funds from this year’s Glendale Downtown Dash raised $120,000, bringing the total over the past five years to $420,000 for Glendale Adventist Medical Center.
The Dinger family of La Crescenta knows personally the toll that stroke can take. Son Gavin, 8, suffered a stroke while he was in utero, which affected the right side of his body. He has undergone speech, occupational and physical therapy at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. Last year, the center named an award for Gavin for his tireless fundraising for the annual Dash.
On Sunday, members of the Dinger family were found along the Dash route, waving to supporters and reminding everyone why they were there.