Runners having fun along Sligo Creek during Leo’s Run. Photo courtesy Jonna Michelle Photography.
More than 400 people registered for this year’s Leo’s Run benefit 5k, raising between $7-8,000 for charity.
Of those, 26 were Spirit Runners, who couldn’t participate but sent in support, got a t-shirt and were with the group in spirit Feb. 5. All told, 284 runners and walkers were able to participate that day.
The third annual run, a 5K Run/Walk, is a memorial to a son of Mike Mowery (co-founder of Source of the Spring) and wife Caroline Joyce who was stillborn in 2014. The funds raised help support a non-profit called Leo’s Garden, named for a memorial garden in the parents’ backyard. The goal is to support people, such as parents and siblings, who have suffered a similar loss.
“The run is such an inspiring community event. We are overwhelmed by the overall support and the continued growth of the event,” Mowery said. “Thankfully, the weather held once again and we had a beautiful morning to honor our son and connect with anyone who has experienced loss in any capacity.”
A group of 32 volunteers assisted with the run.
It’s incredible what we’re capable of pulling off with a solid crew of volunteers,” Mowery said. “Starting at 5 a.m. when I run the course to ensure the signs are up and the route is safe, through approximately 12 noon when we are fully loaded out of the [East Silver Spring Elementary] gym, it’s inspiring to see so many people pitch in and help out. Without the volunteers and the community support, we’d never be able to make this happen.”
Afterward, participants went to the gym for entertainment and a raffle, with prizes donated by sponsors including Finn Family Group, Nidel Law, DC Brau, Furnace MFG, Sky House Yoga, Third Space Wellness, Crossfit Innerloop, UP in DC, Dark Matter Coffee, Foot & Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic, CSI Sign Printing, Merch Now, Outerloop Management, Source of the Spring, Fenton Street Market, Road ID, Mundy Development, the East Silver Spring PTA and Kaldi’s coffee.
Below are a few photos from the day, courtesy Jonna Michelle Photography. More photos can be viewed here.