Local 5K runners take to the Diamond Valley Lake trails to benefit survivors of human trafficking and sexual abuse

The Seraphim Project director Lauren Lindstrom, right, stands with the top three winners of the Nov. 30 ROAR10 5K run Carlos Guzman, brothers Troy and Drew Dotinga. The run was held on the Diamond Valley Lake trails. Valley News/Tony Ault photo

More than 40 determined runners braved the cold weather Saturday, Nov. 30, for the second annual ROAR10 5K run at Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet, all to help the survivors of sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Greeting the runners was Lauren Lindstrom, director of the recently organized nonprofit The Seraphim Project, and guest speaker Jenna Christakas from the Children of the Immaculate Heart, a Catholic organization dedicated to helping the victims of sexual abuse and other trauma.

It was the second year for the 5K run on the Diamond Valley Lake trails with the runners contributing to the cause of The Seraphim Project and warming up for future 5K and long distance runs in 2020.

Lindstrom was a runner on the Great Oak High School track team in Temecula and with Dartmouth College. She founded The Seraphim Project to “fundraise for those survivors of sexual abuse and sex trafficking so they can attend some different retreats, workshops and programs that we offer… We understand the intense trauma and pain that sexual abuse causes and we want to provide resources that are much needed for those that have experienced that. It really takes a lot to overcome for these young women or men. They need as much help as they can get.”

The men’s top male runner, Carlos Guzman, finished in 19 minutes 22 seconds.

“I really admire their assistance (to the sexually abused),” Guzman said. “I have a daughter, and I support all that sort of stuff and everything they do and go to any of their events and participate.”

He said it was the first time he participated in the ROAR10 5K, and he said he found it challenging and the run will help him take on the hills in other upcoming races.

Second-place winner Troy Dotinga was followed by his brother Drew Dotinga in third place. The top female runner was Lilac Stahley in 25:50, followed by Nora Israelson and Lisa Mariella. The winners received gift cards. All the runners received a T-shirt and a medal for their efforts. Menifee resident Tom Rothhaar, 77, outran many competitors with his time of 35:32.

The seven-member Joy Team from the Church of Christ in Murrieta won the “Biggest Team” prize.

The runners had an opportunity for a free massage by a Total Health Body Care therapist after the race, entertainment by musician Caden Levi from Temecula and face painting by Teresa Carlisle.

Lindstrom said The Seraphim Project is planning to sponsor another 5K run at Diamond Valley Lake in 2020. To help The Seraphim Project, visit www.theseraphimproject.org.

Tony Ault can be reached by email at tault@reedermedia.com.