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    May 06, 2019

    CALEXICO — While the number of participants has dwindled through the years for the annual Run4Unity event, its purpose remains the same: To unite Mexicali and Calexico.

    Drawing about 150 runners in 2015, only about 20 participants made it out Saturday evening for the event’s fourth year of existence.

    Crowds gathered on both sides of the border — one at the corner of Cortez Park here and the other the corner of Cristobal Colon and Calle Pedro in Mexicali — in hopes of showing unity between the two sister cities.

    The group on the U.S. side was made up of residents from Mexicali, Imperial Valley and even Los Angeles.

    After about a minute of back-and-fourth chatter through the border fence, the two crowds agreed to start the run —making the downtown port of entry the “finish line.”

    Participants on this side were escorted by Calexico Police Department and Border Patrol vehicles throughout their nearly two-mile run down East First Street.

    Mexicali resident Esteban Leal led the U.S. group while running with a United States Flag, while another man led the group across the border while running with a Mexico flag.

    Once outside the port, the U.S. group entered through the pedestrian lane to congregate with the other runners across the border.

    Vincent Osuna, Staff Writer-I.V. Press