Five years after her death, a Poway High School student who was killed by a sexual predator while out on a run was remembered by thousands at the fifth annual "Finish Chelsea's Run" 5K at Balboa Park Saturday morning.
Thousands of runners and onlookers alike showed up bright and early for the event honoring 17-year-old Chelsea King. The huge turnout overwhelmed Chelsea's parents.
"It's beautiful, it's absolutely beautiful. I see a bit of Chelsea in every single person out here," Chelsea's father, Brent King, said. "In their smile, in their eyes, in the colors. It's spectacular."
Chelsea's mother, Kelly King, said the event reminds her of hope.
"Hope is not a fleeting thing," she said. "It's something that you carry in your heart every single day."
Brent King added that the event is more than just about Chelsea, it's a love for the community. He said he's amazed at the turnout each year, and that this year is no different.
"Kelly, I and Tyler all have a choice, and so does everybody else on how we choose to respond and this allows us to choose hope," Brent said.
The event is put on by the Chelsea's Light Foundation, and money raised from the entry fees go to its Sunflower Scholarship Fund, a program to help San Diego youth. Last year's event raised over $85,000 in scholarships for ten students.