Team Garrett crosses finish line at America's Finest City race

Team raises more than $20K for NF2 research

SAN DIEGO - More than 7,000 runners hit San Diego streets Sunday for the 37th annual America's Finest City Half-Marathon and 5K.

The 13.1-mile race began at 7 a.m. at Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma. The course ran along the Embarcadero and downtown San Diego before the finish in Balboa Park.

The 5K course, which was entirely within Balboa Park, began at 6:45 a.m.

Entry fees benefited the Cabrillo National Park Foundation and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

The race comes nearly one week after researchers determined that races like this had a $64.1 million economic impact on San Diego last year, with 134,000 participants in 66 events. More than one out of three entrants were visitors from outside San Diego County, coming from all 50 states and about 22 countries, bringing new money into the region, according to the report.

Nelson Oyugi of Kenya, who won last year's AFC Half-Marathon, once again crossed the finish line first. His winning time was 1 hour, 5 minutes and 17 seconds. Kosuke Amano was the first male from San Diego County to finish, placing 15th overall.

On the women's side, Lindsey Scherf of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, finished with a winning time of 1 hour, 14 minutes and 33 seconds. Natasha LaBeaud-Anzures was the first female San Diego County finisher, placing fourth overall among all women.

Team Garrett crosses AFC finish line

As each runner crossed the finish line, Suzanne Baumann thought about her son Garrett.

"He knows we are here doing this for him," Baumann said.

10News first introduced you to him Friday. His mom told 10News about Garrett's heartbreaking battle with NF2 (neurofibromatosis type II), a disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves. The disorder has already taken away his ability to speak and has affected his hearing.

Baumann said it's a battle they are close to losing.

"It's so horrible and I don't want other families to have to go through this," she said.

But she's not giving up, and she's fighting a different way -- with more than a hundred people right next to her.

Team Garrett completed the 5K race, alongside more than 7,000 runners, and they did it to raise money for NF research.

Some even dressed in Nintendo costumes, a favorite of Garrett's. It was a way to make their friend happy even though he couldn't be there to see it for himself.

K.J. Higgins, a friend of Garrett's, said, "To cross that finish line with all of my friends, it meant a lot … a lot to help out Garrett."

They wore their costumes and visited him Saturday night, making sure he knew this race was for him.

Team Garrett raised more than $20,000 for NF research.

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