Sarah Gee / Houston Dynamo

Dynamo 5K kicks off All-Star Week

All-Star Week officially kicked off Saturday morning with the Dynamo Charities Go for Goal 5K Run and Dynamo Diesel's Kids Fun Run, both presented by Infinity Insurance. Thousands of runners lined the streets surrounding City Hall in downtown Houston to partake in the event. All proceeds from the event went to Recipe for Success, an organization dedicated to combating childhood obesity.

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"It was great to see the number of runners who came out for this event," Houston Dynamo COO Chris Canetti said. "This is only the first year we have put on this race, and I feel as if we set the bar very high. We hope to make this an annual event, one that runners of all ages will look forward to."

The Go for Goal 5K Run began at 7:30 a.m., with runners arriving as early as 6 a.m. to register and begin preparations for the race. Although many of the racers were jovial and in a joking mood in the wee hours of the morning, once the clock struck 7:30, the game faces came on. Luis Armenteros, who works at Luke's Locker, one of the race sponsors, was ecstatic when he heard that the Houston Dynamo were putting on this event.

"First I thought about how great it was to run a 5K," Armenteros said. "Then I heard you got a Dynamo ticket included in the registration, and I was sold!"

Armenteros, who runs competitive races frequently, said the weather conditions were not optimal for people going for their best times but that he understood what the Dynamo players have to deal with every day, playing in the heat and humidity. Even dealing with the weather conditions, Armenteros finished first in the overall men's competition with a time of 16 minutes, 10 seconds. Amanda Barth finished first in the women's competition with a time of 18:43.

At 8:30 a.m., the Diesel Fun Run began. Dynamo Diesel led the charge, as children of all ages followed him down the path for the 1K race. Some parents joined in the fun, either pushing a child in a stroller, or running alongside with them. The real warriors of the morning were those parents who ran the Go for Goal 5K, then added another 1K to their tally with the Diesel Fun Run, alongside their child.

"For a first-year event, we could not be more pleased," said Lori Stutt, Director of Dynamo Charities. "We were thrilled to partner with Recipe for Success, and we hope the money we were able to raise today aids their cause to battle childhood obesity."