Inaugural Veterans and First
5K is a community effort

Runners, walkers, veterans and first responders have a new cause for celebration this spring. The Town of Oro Valley and On Your Left Fitness will partner to host the inaugural Veterans and First Responders 5K run/walk on Saturday, May 20, 2017, from 7 to 11 a.m. at Naranja Park, located at 810 W. Naranja Drive.

The event includes a 5K run/walk and Memorial Mile by title sponsor Splendido at Rancho Vistoso. Kids can enjoy a free Kids Fun Run sponsored by Dr. JAW Orthodontists and fun activities sponsored by the Children’s Museum Oro Valley.

Half the proceeds will benefit fundraising efforts for the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial, which will be located at Naranja Park. Once built, the memorial, entitled “Stars at Home and Abroad,” will be a place of honor, reflection and education dedicated to those who have made sacrifices in service to our country.

Registration for the 5K is $40, and the Memorial Mile is $20. (Both races include a t-shirt and finisher’s medal.) Awards will be given to the top three male and female runners. The Kids Fun Run is free and includes a medal.

It was a community effort which got the ball rolling on the memorial, and it was two very special members of the Oro Valley community who brought this new event fruition.

Mark and Julie Stark, owners of On Your Left Fitness, are responsible for coordinating multiple local events, such as the Oro Valley Sprint Triathlons, Duathlons and upcoming Youth Splash-n-Dash in Oro Valley, so they were excited to add the Veterans and First Responders 5K to their offerings.
Mark is a veteran himself, having served in the Air Force from 1982 to 1987. He felt a great sense of pride serving his country, and immediately fell in love with the military way of life, traveling all over the world working on various types of aircraft. When his tenure ended, he worked in commercial aviation for nearly 10 years, and in 1996, he became a full-time member of the Arizona Army National Guard, retiring in 2009.

Mark and Julie have turned their passion for sports and their love of country into a meaningful event for the entire community.

So whether you run, walk or just want to support the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial, be  at Naranja Park on May 20.
To register (or make a donation) go to

For questions about the event, contact On Your Left Fitness at

Event food will be available for purchase from Fruit Shack Smoothies and Yogurt and GiGi Fusion. Live music will be provided by Swingset.
A special thanks to Title Sponsor Splendido at Rancho Vistoso.