SAN ANTONIO – More than 100 participants ran through the Mission Park Cemetery in south San Antonio to honor their loved ones who have passed away. The Celebrating Life 5K Run and Walk is part of the city's three-day celebration for Day of the Dead.
For Dick Tips, co-owner of Mission Park Funeral Homes and Cemetery, Saturday's race is a chance to continue with their mission of compassionate care of the departed and their families.
"People who are left behind truly struggle," Tips said. "This (event) is a good way to come back and celebrate the lives that were here before us."
A mariachi group led participants from the altar lined with marigolds, to eventually make their way to the starting line. For participants, it was a moment to celebrate those they wish they could hug once again.
"The flowers, gravesites and the sun rising, I thought, was very meaningful and symbolic," Isaiah Salinas said. Salinas ran in memory of his grandfather, Matias P. Salinas. "It was hard," Salinas said. "I was motivated by him the whole time. I had to stay focused."
Some runners had never been to Mission Park Cemetery, but others, including Janie Gonzalez, say they know the burial park far too well.
"I have my mom, grandmother, aunt, my grandmother's sister and brother here," Gonzalez said. "I felt them in spirit, joining us as we ran."
Mission Park Funeral Homes and Cemetery plans to continue hosting the Celebrating Life 5K for years to come.
Click here for more Day of the Dead San Antonio events happening this weekend.