Valley News -

By Alex Groves
Associate Editor 

Run for ALS research, health fair held in Wildomar


Last updated 5/22/2018 at 10:23pm

Alex Groves

Participants in a 10K, 5K and 1K race warm up at Marna O'Brien Park Saturday, May 19.

Hundreds of people flocked to Marna O'Brien Park in Wildomar Saturday, May 19, for a 10K and 5K run dedicated to finding a cure for a deadly neurological disease.

The ALS One Run for Life 10K, 5K and 1K was held at the park to raise funds for ALS One Foundation, which seeks to find treatment options and a cure for people who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The disease affects the nerve cells responsible for movements such things as talking, walking and chewing.

"Imagine losing your ability to speak, ability to walk, ability to eat, ability to breath and then eventually you die," event organizer Erin Hartley said. "To me it's like drowning – a long drowning and torture – and all while your brain is fully aware of what's going on."

Hartley's uncle suffers from the disease and was her inspiration for starting a race in Wildomar to raise money for ALS One. The Boston-based organization has a stated mission of finding either a treatment or a cure for the disease by the year 2020.

Saturday was the third year of the run, which had participants start at the park before running through neighborhoods and some bumpy terrain. Hartley said the event grows by about 100 people each year.

"I always say we're going to be the next Susan G. Komen race," she said. "That's my goal, and we're getting there. Every year if we can get 100 more runners, that's more awareness and that's all it's about is just creating awareness because a lot of people don't know what ALS is."

This year's event was dedicated to area resident Camilla Hurst, who died from the disease in February.

Hurst was from Sweden. Dozens of her family and friends, who dubbed themselves "team viking," donned viking helmets and Swedish flags as they ran through the starting line.

The event was accompanied by a city-run health fare where local organizations and health businesses set up booths for members of the public to peruse. Some of the organizations and businesses in attendance included Trauma Intervention Programs of Southwest Riverside County, Vista Community Clinic of Lake Elsinore and Shaklee Sports Nutrition.

For more information about ALS One, visit their website at

Alex Groves can be reached by email at [email protected]


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