DEL MAR — With one order from the Marine Corps — Have Fun! — about 200 runners took to the beach for the 22nd annual Red Nose Run.
Participants were there to do just that, but more importantly, to support Fresh Start Surgical Gifts and the Semper Fi Fund, the two beneficiaries of the 3K and 5K run/walk hosted by The Low & Slow Running Club.
“It’s a beautiful day and a good cause,” Carlsbad resident Patti Roberts said. “There’s no better way to start the holidays off right.”
It was the sixth year Roberts was participating in the event, in which she is always dead last. “And I just did the Turtle Trot in the Bahamans and I came in last,” she said. “I’m consistent.”
“It’s a beautiful event for a great cause,” said Emily Lord, also from Carlsbad, who was there with friends Kimberly Gross and Lisa White.
“It puts us in the holiday spirit, and the venue is unbelievable,” Lord added, pointing to the Pacific Ocean.
Kicking off the Dec. 13 event that began and ended in front of the Del Mar Safety Center were Dominique Valentino, who sang the national anthem, and Lt. Chris Scheckel, who led the group in warm-up exercises.
The Low & Slow Running Club of Del Mar, which includes runners of all ages and abilities, has been getting together for Saturday morning runs for more than two decades.
In 1992, several members started the Red Nose Run with about 40 participants who raised approximately $6,000 for Fresh Start.
Since its inception, more than $136,500 has been raised for that organization.
About $61,500 has been raised for the Semper Fi Fund since it was added as a recipient seven years ago.
Fresh Start Surgical Gifts provides reconstructive surgery free to disadvantaged children and young people with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse or disease.
The Semper Fi Fund provides financial grants and other assistance to injured and critically ill Marines and sailors and their families to help defray expenses incurred during hospitalization, rehabilitation and recovery periods.