More than 1,400 runners raced through downtown Glendale during Sunday's fifth annual Downtown Dash, an event that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for treatment services at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.
For longtime Glendale resident Christa Miller, who is 80, it was her forth time participating. Miller regularly exercises and said that having a routine to keep fit, "is very important to me."
"I play tennis, I surf and ski and I walk my dog every day," she said.
She rallied her son, Hajo Katinszky, 57, and granddaughter Jessica Katinszky, 19, to race this year.
"It's our first time doing the dash," Hajo Katinszky said, "But we figured if she could do it at 80, we gotta do it too."
The 5K run and walk sponsored by the Glendale News-Press raises money for Glendale Adventist's stroke center. In the past three years, the run has raised more than $300,000 for the hospital, organizers said.
Kevin Roberts, the hospital's president and chief executive, said $120,000 were raised last year alone.
And with 1,470 participants on Sunday and more than 200 runners than last year, it was the biggest race so far.
Elaine Miller and Narina Minassian guided runners in a stretch before state Sen. Carol Liu encouraged them over a microphone shouting, "Let's get going!"
In a gray jogging suit and Nikes, Mayor Laura Friedman sent everyone off running on Brand Boulevard, through the Americana and back to the Alex Theatre where the race began.
It was the fifth time for Kevin Danni, a South Pasadena resident who sits on Glendale Adventist's Civic Advisory Board. He helped recruit a 15-member team of friends and family who participate as "The Heartbreakers" each year.
"We've always supported this event. It's a great cause," he said.
About 150 students from Glendale, Crescenta Valley and Hoover high school, as well as Crescenta Valley Adventist School, also participated.