HARLINGEN — Cristina Boreaux glistened with sweat in the morning sun.
A big smile had swept across her face, having just completed the second annual Run With the Heroes RGV Run/Walk yesterday morning.
“This is my happy,” said Boreaux, 36, a frequent participant in athletic events. Her husband Jeremy Bergeaux and her three children also had completed the 5K.
“I personally love it,” Boreaux said. “It’s a time for the whole family to come out and see all the action.”
Her daughter Mia also had a good time, although it was “hard.”
“It was just the distance,” she said with a laugh. “I had to stop and walk.”
Mia, Cristina and scores of other people mingled about the finish line at West Jackson and South A Street. The Harlingen Police Department hosted the event to raise money for several organizations.
Police Chief Jeffry Adickes said more runners registered this year than at least year’s event.
“How many runners do we have at this year’s event?” he asked everyone from the stage. “Whoever guesses the closest will get a prize.”
A young runner gave a wild guess, which wasn’t so wild as it turned out.
“I have 850,” he said. “Anybody else? It’s pretty close to 850.”
No one else made an attempt, and Adickes announced the race had 839 registered runners, most of whom paid a $25 registration fee. Some who arrived the morning of the race paid $30.
Adickes said it’s hard to tell yet how much money was raised for local charities. A considerable amount of money was spent on T-shirts and other items, but some of those costs were offset by local sponsors. It could not be denied, however, that more money was raised this year.
“Last year we gave $15,000 to local charities, and this year we expect to give more,” he said.
The morning was festive as the participants ran down Jackson Street.
“Uh, uh!” some runners grunted under their breath as shoes hit the asphalt.
Downtown businesses slept through the early morning as the runners passed by, their quaint facades creating a pleasant passageway to the finish. The morning sun cast shadows through oak trees onto the street. Sweat gleamed on rippling back muscles as a man took long strides. Another took rapid steps, energetically charging toward the finish line.
Sam Ruiz beamed with pride after he and his 9-year-old nephew, Josh Ruiz, completed the 5K.
“This is his first 5K,” he said with a broad smile. “We did it in 28 minutes. It was awesome. We are glad to be here, glad the city of Harlingen did this. We are here to support our heroes who put their lives on the lines, the Harlingen Police Department, the fire department and EMS.”
Josh is just beginning to run. His sport is baseball, which he plays with the ABC Broncos. Nevertheless, he was enjoying it.
“It was awesome,” said Josh, of La Feria. “I feel great.”
Boreaux and her family were feeling great, too.
“It’s good for the little ones,” said Boreaux, gesturing toward not only Mia but also Isa, 5, and her son Roberto, 8.
Her husband, Jeremy, had won the overall prize for finishing the race in 17.49 minutes.
“I train every day,” he said. “I swim, bike ride, run, I lift weights at the gym.”
“We are a tri-family,” said Boreaux happily, referring to the triathlons in which athletes run, swim and ride bicycles in one marathon.