Finish Chelsea's Run

West side near 6th and Olive Start line is at 6th and Palm and finish line is at Balboa Drive south of Quince
San Diego, CA 92101

Running > 5k

Event Description

Please join us for the 7th Annual Finish Chelsea’s Run in honor of Chelsea King.  The event will take place in Balboa Park where Chelsea loved to visit and where she practiced with the San Diego Youth Symphony.  The event will feature a competitive 5K race and fun run/walk, family festival, children’s activities, team competition, entertainment and refreshments.

EVENT OVERVIEW:  In 2010, in the weeks following the passing of high school scholar and athlete Chelsea King, a handful of members of the San Diego running community were so affected by her loss that they asked some of their friends to meet one Saturday to finish the run Chelsea started on February 25 in Rancho Bernardo Community Park. 

Chelsea’s life was cut short by the heinous act of a known sexual predator while in the midst of her training run that day in the park. Word quickly spread and on the morning of March 20, 2010 more than 3,500 community members joined together to run and walk in solidarity with, and in honor of Chelsea, who they adopted as one of their own.

The original grassroots “Finish Chelsea’s Run” was such a moving and healing experience for the community that Kelly and Brent King decided to make it an official, annual tradition in San Diego hosted by the Chelsea’s Light Foundation, the organization they founded to make positive change for children. Click here to get a glimpse of the original community event that started it all.

This annual run/walk is now the primary fundraiser for the Chelsea’s Light Foundation Sunflower Scholarship Fund, providing scholarships for San Diego County college-bound teens who have embraced characteristics that embodied Chelsea’s academic prowess and service-over-self ethic.

We have joined forces with Girl Scouts San Diego, an organization that shares our values and has a long history of creating youth leaders. This partnership strengthens our common vision of recognizing and supporting young people who will make the world a better place. By combining forces, we anticipate growing the run/walk, leading to an even greater ability to protect children and provide scholarships for youth.


Balboa Park – West side near 6th and Olive Start line is at 6th and Palm and finish line is at Balboa Drive south of Quince

Chelsea’s Light Foundation is thrilled to be continuing its partnership with Girl Scouts San Diego on this great event. The two organizations share a common vision of recognizing and supporting young people who will make the world a better place.

In our effort to be a green event, we’re asking for your support. Please bring your own reusable water bottle to the event. We’ll have plenty of water distribution/refill locations (as well as cups) throughout the event site and on the course for you to refill your container.

From Interstate 5 south: Take Sassafras (Airport) exit. Turn left on Laurel heading east to the top of the hill. Look for free and metered street parking near and around the west side of Balboa Park and in available pay lots. From Highway 163 south: Take University exit. Turn right on University, then left on 4th Avenue. Once you near Balboa Park look for street parking. Do not attempt to drive to the race staging area from the east side of Balboa Park, as you will not be able to drive across the Laurel Street Bridge. There is metered street parking on 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Avenues between Upas and Grape. We strongly encourage you to carpool if possible, and allow extra time to walk from your car to the event site.

Additional parking will be available on the east side of Balboa Park in the “Old Naval Hospital” parking lot at Park Boulevard and Presidents Way and in adjacent lots. Complimentary shuttle bus service from these areas will run from 6 to 7 a.m. with pick up from Presidents Way and Park Boulevard. Traffic in the area may be heavy so plan to arrive early and give yourself plenty of time.

Your bib number must be worn on the front of your T-shirt or shorts, and  be clearly visible at all times. Blue colored bibs are for those who will be timed and white bibs are for those in the “just for fun” untimed category

Not up for going the full 5K (3.1-mile) distance? No problem! We have a “Short & Sweet Route” just for you! Register for the 5K (be sure to select the untimed option) and on race day, start the 5K at 7:30 a.m. At the intersection of Balboa Drive and Laurel Street (and before heading over the bridge toward the east side of Balboa Park) follow the signs directing you back to the festival area. This alternative course is approximately 1 mile.

Live outside of San Diego or unable to join us on race day? That’s okay, you can still be a part of this great event and support the cause by selecting “Virtual Participant” during the registration process. The Virtual Participant registration fee includes an event shirt that will be mailed in advance. This will allow all virtual participants to wear their event shirt on race day and celebrate in their own special way — we encourage you to wear your official shirt as you walk, run, play, sleep-in, or do something positive for your community. We’d love for you to share your plans and then post photos of yourself wearing your Finish Chelsea’s Run T–shirt on our Facebook page!

You have the option of doing the 5K “JUST FOR FUN” or “TIMED.” If you select “TIMED” you will receive a timing tag for an official race time. If you’re not interested in receiving an official time and want to run or walk just for fun, please choose “JUST FOR FUN”. Note: All participants will be able to see a digital clock at the finish line displaying the elapsed race time. If you’ll be taking the Short & Sweet route, sign up for the “JUST FOR FUN” option.

Awards will be presented from the main stage to the top 3 overall male and female timed participants. Age group awards will be mailed to the top 3 male and female timed participants in the following age divisions: 12 & under, 13-17, 18-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79 and 80 +. To qualify, you must select “TIMED” when registering.


To be announced soon!


After your race join us at the Family Festival where you can enjoy refreshments, take a moment to write a message on the inspiration wall, decorate a sunflower pot, listen to music, visit exciting vendor booths and much more. Sunflowers (Chelsea’s favorite) will be available for $1 and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Chelsea’s Light Foundation’s Sunflower Scholarship Fund.

NO NO’s:
With the exception of service animals, pets will not be allowed on the race course. Skates, bikes, scooters or any other similar devices are also not allowed on the race course. Please also note that smoking is prohibited in all San Diego County parks.

Click here to view which streets will be impacted on race day and when.

If you have any questions, please contact the Finish Chelsea’s Run team at 858.412.6787 or

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