By McKenna MIDDLETON, intern
Exercise is always a good thing but it is even better when it is done with a purpose greater than just to keep in shape. The second annual Midnight Mission run/walk, held on Sunday, June 22, offered precisely this opportunity.
The Midnight Mission is an organization that offers all types of aid to community members living in homelessness or severe poverty. The walk/run celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Mission.
“Unfortunately this is an increasing problem but, with the community’s efforts and support, we have been able to meet that need,” said Midnight Mission President Larry Adamson who attended the event to cheer on participants.
The run began at 8 a.m. at La Cañada’s Oak Grove Park. Over 600 participants took off at the gunshot to complete either a 5K or 10K around Oak Grove Park. The park offered a sharp contrast to the previous year’s race in terms of location. Last year’s run was held at Dodger Stadium which features extreme hills compared to Oak Grove’s relatively flat course.
Runners of all abilities took part in the event and each participant received a finisher medal to commemorate their efforts in completing the course and aiding the Mission’s efforts. The top athletes also received gift certificates for shoes from race sponsor Fleet Feet Sports.
The race was accompanied by various sponsors’ booths, a live DJ and a Famer John catering truck that provided lunch at the event. In addition, a kids’ 1K followed the main 5K and 10K events. Participants included teams, couples and individuals. Some runners from the Loyola High School cross-country team took advantage of the race as a practice during summer training.
Although the Midnight Mission covers a wide variety of service efforts, this event specifically benefitted the health and wellness program. Event coordinators were encouraged by the results of this year’s run and are preparing for next year’s event which they expect will be bigger – and better – than before.