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Runners share their connections to Rock 'n' Roll San Diego

By Perla Shaheen,


More than 3,000 runners took off on the Rock 'n' Roll 5K Saturday, including Grace Bernal.

“Twenty years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was training for it,” Bernal said.

Bernal has been running since the Rock 'n' Roll marathon began in 1998. She says the race kept her going after two breast cancer diagnoses.

“I had the surgery anyway, and I ran the marathon," Bernal said. "So I had to focus, and Rock 'n' Roll helped me pull through.”

Team Hoyt San Diego also looks forward to this run every year. They push children and adults with disabilities in endurance races.

“I’m very excited because it’s my first time being here,” said Jesus, one of the Team Hoyt runners.

Saturday’s race felt sentimental for many members after one of the team founders passed away last week.

“Rick has been racing in endurance races for over four decades, so we are celebrating his life,” said Tania Zamora, Director and President of Team Hoyt San Diego.

Some runners didn't need the extra push. Thomas Croshaw finished in first place with a 16-minute 5K.

“Not too tired. I think the idea today was to try and not go too all out and see where my fitness is at before training for the summer,” Croshaw said.

On Sunday, some of these runners will compete in the half and full marathon runs.

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