ORLANDO, Fla. – Hundreds of racers and walkers participated in the 6th annual CommUNITY Rainbow Run to remember the lives lost in the Pulse tragedy.
The sounds of cheers and clapping motivated the participants to push forward while dodging raindrops. And even as they all moved at different speeds, they all felt the beat of one pulse.
“Feels like yesterday,” participant Joel Ogburn said.
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The sea of rainbow racers made their way along the 4.9K course. Many took a moment to stop at the Pulse interim memorial site and remember the 49 lives lost.
“This is a somber moment where you realize, it all puts in perspective why you’re doing this and who you’re doing it for,” Ogburn said.
Melissa Smith said this is her fourth year participating in the race. She said seeing all of the love and support six years after the tragedy shows just how strong Orlando really is.
“It’s nice to have the community here, it’s nice to see people brought together and that’s what I love is having the community together,” Smith said.
This year’s race has even more meaning for some, including Ogburn, who said this gives him hope in light of recent policies passed by Florida lawmakers affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
“Love always wins. Hate will always try, but love always wins, even through the political climate,” Ogburn said.