The annual Race for Autism 5K Run/Walk, hosted by Harbor Fitness through Bay Ridge, was another success.
Over 230 runners participated in the Sunday, June 10 event designed to raise money for children with special needs. HeartShare, which offers quality education and therapies to children and young adults diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, receives the funds raised.
The 5K race began in front of Harbor Fitness at 92nd St. and Fourth Ave. Runners ran through Fort Hamilton Army Base, then back to the gym. The day also featured a block party, pee wee run, Zumba warm-up, raffles and more, including Feats of Strength, a program that pitted attendees in strength competitions.
On the men’s side, 23-year-old Brooklynite Jacinto Martinez took home first prize with a time of 17:30.02. Thirty-three-year-old Rachel Marks of Brooklyn won the women’s race with a time of 20:38.31. They both won a three-month membership to Harbor Fitness.
“There are so many people whose lives have been impacted by autism,” said Lisa Lekacos, manager at the Harbor Fitness Bay Ridge branch. “The work that HeartShare does is so important and positively impacts many children and their families. It’s an honor to be able to support them.”
“Year after year, Harbor Fitness members show their tremendous generosity at the Race for Autism and this year was no different,” added Harbor Fitness Group Fitness Manager Jodi Heywood. “The 11th annual event was a huge success, and owners Chris and Mike Ganim are pleased to again to donate all proceeds from the event to the HeartShare Schools to help in the important work that they do for children and families in Brooklyn.”
“Many of the students who attended are from the Children’s Residential Program. The students from our school came from all over Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. They’re excited because the run celebrates them,” said Director of The HeartShare School in Bensonhurst Sharon Toledo.
Momentum Real Estate, Starbucks and other local businesses contributed to the charity run by providing food, refreshments and games. Free massages and other physical therapies for participants after the race were provided courtesy of Sarrica Physical Therapy.