SYLVANIA, Ohio — More than 200 runners and walkers laced up their shoes and enjoyed the warmth for the annual Falling Leaves 8 miler and 5K at Secor Metropark on Sunday.
The race is put on by the Toledo Road Runner Club with all money raised going to help Guatemalan communities in need.
The Road Runners Club partnered with Second Sole and local non-profit SewHope. The organizers are making sure the money goes to a good place.
"We provide families with clean-burning stoves and water filters and we work with them to give them access to fresh fruits and vegetables by helping them build gardens at their home," Cecilia Chaudhary, the development director of SewHope, said.
Organizers and volunteers with SewHope will head to Guatemala in two weeks. They say it's important for them to be there and see the people that are being helped by Toledo's generosity.
"You know a lot of us here, we think we understand what true poverty is like and until you are there and you can see for yourself, it’s really a level that really hard to imagine," Chaudhary said.
The race director said 5Ks and other races like this one are the perfect way to make a difference. That's because your registration fees go directly to the organization and all you have to do is get some exercise.
"Lace up your shoes get out there, get a little running in, get some training in and get up to where you can do some 5Ks," Randy Ruch, the director of the Falling Leaves Race, said. "Just take it a little bit at a time it doesn't happen overnight, but you can get there."
You're never too young or too old to run. 10-year-old Ryder Rush said he started when he was 3 years old.
"Today's my 198th race," Ryder said. "I just really like running. I'm happiest when I can run in the woods and I'm also happy when I can run with my friends.”