CORONA (CBS) — A marathon runner will dedicate a 24-hour, nonstop run in Corona Friday and Saturday to victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, where most of her family lives.
Mieko Morita of Santa Monica plans to jog on the quarter-mile track at Auburndale Intermediate School, 1255 Wind River Road, from 7:30 p.m. Friday to 8 p.m. Saturday to raise funds for the people of Sendai and other areas impacted by the magnitude-8.9 quake that struck last week.
“I want this money to reach the people there so they can get through this time,” Morita said.
So far, her online sponsors have pledged nearly $1,000.
Many of Morita’s relatives, including her brother, live near Kobe, Japan, about 400 miles south of Sendai.
“People are dying because they don’t have enough food. They don’t have something to keep warm,” she said. “There are so many children suffering. To me, this is the most heartbreaking.”
The ultra athlete and mom, who spends most of her spare time running, said she started exercising as a means to heal emotional wounds caused by her own experiences in a 1992 natural disaster.
Morita frequently runs with a group of marathoners. She will be one of 17 people participating at the 24-hour run in Corona.
During the event, area Boy Scouts of America troops will collect canned goods and any other items people wish to donate to help with disaster relief in Japan.
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