Thousands expected to ‘Finish Chelsea’s Run’

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Thousands of walkers and runners are expected to flock to
Balboa Park this weekend to pay tribute to slain Poway High scholar and track
athlete Chelsea King, the victim of a violent sex offender.

The 2nd annual Finish Chelsea's Run 5K Run/Walk is scheduled to start at
7:30 a.m. Saturday on the west side of Balboa Park. Organizers said last
year's inaugural 5K race attracted more than 5,400 participants.

In addition to the 5K, there will be activities this year that
organizers describe as “Chelsea-esque” set up in the park. Activities will
include a yoga booth, organic produce booth, group photo area and sunflower pot
painting station for children.

Sunflowers became a symbol for Chelsea when she went missing in early
2010. The annual 5K is the primary fundraiser for the Chelsea's Light
Foundation's Sunflower Scholarship Fund, which rewards “college-bound teens
who have embraced Chelsea's service-over-self ethic,” according to the
foundation's website.

The cost to participate in the run is $40 for adults and $25 for
children 12 and younger. Though online registration is closed, same-day
registrations will be accepted at Balboa Park starting at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

Chelsea's last run was on Feb. 25, 2010, along a trail above Rancho
Bernardo Community Park. The 17-year-old was grabbed by convicted sex offender
John Albert Gardner III, raped and killed. Her body was found on the shore of
Lake Hodges several days later at the end of an intensive search by law
enforcement personnel and volunteers.

Gardner later admitted that he killed both Chelsea and, a little over a
year earlier, 14-year-old Escondido High School freshman Amber DuBois. He was
sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Categories: KUSI