True Loving Connections: TLC 5K

Adrian Soto, Writer

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  • After the TLC 5k Run on Feb. 23, Joel Sanchez, 12, was awarded third place within males, ages 15-18, who had the fastest times in the marathon. “Being in the run meant more than just running as fast as I could,” Sanchez said. “The ultimate purpose of running was to help others in need of things that everyone should have such as food and shelter.”

  • Throughout TLC’s 5K Run on Jan. 23, Alyssa Nevarez [left] and Sage Ceja [right] , 12, volunteered giving out medals at Apollo Park to participants at the finish line. “We made sure to be super excited and enthusiastic when giving medals to people who participated,” Ceja stated. “It helped make the run a positive experience and hopefully encourage them to stay active.”

  • Senior Linette Cortes participated in TLC’s 5K Run on Feb. 23 at Apollo Park for the purpose of wanting to help the organization raise money. “The Downey community came together as a whole,” Cortes said. “Everyone helped raise money to help promote a better and healthier life for everyone.”

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In Downey, there is a program to aid struggling members of the community.  The program, TLC or True Lasting Connections, organized the “2019 Stay Healthy Downey 5K for TLC” marathon run on Feb.23 to fundraise money for their programs.  Members from the Downey community participated and donated their time at Apollo Park for the run.


The 5K Run began at 8:00 a.m. and ended around 10:30 a.m, followed by thirty minutes reserved for the award ceremony.  Booths from the sponsors of the events filled the runners’ wait area. Sponsors ranged from Try FPCU, Rotatarty International, Luis’ Butchershop, Downey Education Association, and The Downey Family YMCA among more at the event.  


The waiting area where volunteers were working filled up as runners arrived in masses.  Students of all ages, dogs, and adults were all a part of the 5K run. When the buzzer rung, everyone moved as one through the course until they were divided up into their walker, jogger, and runner lanes.


Part of the track team and participating in the run, freshman Sarah Jauregui from Warren High School bonded with her teammates through the TLC 5K.


“It is a really good experience to be able to run with the whole [track] team,” Jauregui said.  “I think it is really good that it does a lot of people good to come here and support the whole thing.  It is really fun to run it with my friends.”


Accompanying Jauregui, Warren freshman Yulyana Valle loved the run as she crossed the 5K finish line.


“It was our first time running as a group and at the same time we were helping each other,” Valle said.  “They were saying ‘Keep going!’, supporting us basically. It felt good to cross that finish line, we felt accomplished.”


Throughout the marathon, the runners were cheered on by the crowd surrounding the course.  The Parks and Recreation Crew of Apollo Park provided water and fruits to finishing marathoners.  A group of Downey High School students also participated in the event by awarding “5K” medallions to all runners who crossed the finish line.


Daniel Estrella crossed the finish line at a time right under seventeen minutes, placing him as the first runner to finish the 5K.  He appreciated the effort TLC made with this 5K as it made it stand out among his previous marathons.