SAN DIEGO - Organizers of "Chelsea's Run" dealt with a lot of rain and powerful wind gusts Friday at Balboa Park as they set up for Saturday's event. More than 6,000 people are expected run in honor of the murdered Poway teen.
The usual serenity at Balboa Park was blown away by powerful wind gusts and bursts of rain. The wind was so strong it knocked down street signs announcing the event, brought down tree limbs and sent palm fronds flying around the park.
It was a major mess less than 24 hours before the fourth annual run and is a stark contrast to last year's run when the sun shined brightly on those who came out.
Brent King, Chelsea's father, told 10News, "If it's not too powerful of a storm, we're OK."
King, a San Diego native, understands this storm is a big deal for San Diegans but he tried to put it in perspective with a sprinkle of optimism.
"We live in Chicago now, so this is great weather," he said. "Just as long as Mother Nature gives us a little bit of cooperation and everybody loves to play in the run, come on out."
"Chelsea's Run" was created in honor of the Poway High School senior, to finish the run she started in Rancho Bernardo Park when she was kidnapped and killed by John Gardner in 2010.
Every year, attendance has swelled and so has the amount of money raised.
"The more people that come out, the more scholarship money we give back," King said.
So far, the charity event has raised more than $230,000.
10News called the city's parks department to ask them about plans to clean up the debris along the event's route and were told almost as soon as crews pick it up, another round of wind and rain comes through.
Once again, King sees things in a different light.
"It's rain," he said. "We're in a drought. Come out early, get your shower for free. Come on out and have a good time."