Qualcomm Stadium roared to life Saturday morning as 3,000 runners crossed the finish line for the second annual Bolt to the Q. A joint venture of the San Diego Chargers,
“This is crazy,” said Mathews, standing proudly at the 50-yard line to greet the runners. “It’s just awesome to see this kind of turnout and it makes me feel good. I know what it’s like to be homeless and for people to come out and support the cause like this, it means a lot to me.”
Participants ranged in age from seven-years old to 82, and came from all over the country from as far away as Alaska and New York. Every last one of them experienced the same joy when they crossed the finish line and looked up to see themselves on Bolt Vision.
“It felt good to run,” said eight-year old Max Miller, who ran the course with his father. “When my dad told me about the race I thought I could do it and that it would be fun, and it was.”
The race started at Chargers Park at 7:00am, and just fifteen minutes later the first runner, Roosevelt Cook, crossed the finish line.
“It’s a really fun course,” said Cook, a professional runner. “This is towards the end of my season, and I wish I could have done a little better, but it’s a good course and you fly downhill. It’s fun to look up as you come to the stadium and see your face on the jumbotron. It makes you pump even harder and go as hard as you can.”
Just over a half-hour into the race, Mathews cheered wildly as a woman with the number 10 pinned to her chest entered the stadium, ran past the applauding Chargers
Girls and crossed the finish line. This woman was Mathews’ mother, Trish.
“It was awesome to see her finish the race,” beamed the star running back. “I know she is dead tired right now but she wanted to support the cause and I’m proud of her.”
Following the 5K, a half-mile fun run for kids took place as children of all ages raced around the stadium before entering the field. Just a few minutes after it began, 10-year old Kanoa Tyler sprinted through the tunnel and crossed the end-line to finish first.
“I’m surprised I won,” he said, breathing heavily but extremely excited. “I’ve never won before so it was cool.”
Overall, Mathews said the event was a great experience, and is something he hopes they can do for a very long time.
“Coming out here and seeing this, it makes you want to do even more. All of these runners are heroes. I would probably finish in the middle of the pack seeing how hard these guys run. I’m more of a quick sprinter kind of runner, so they could probably teach me a thing or two.”