TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Thousands hit the streets of downtown Tucson this evening for the 12th Meet Me Downtown 5-k, despite the heat.
"Summertime in Tucson, why not be outside?," asked Randy Accetta, the race's director - who created the race more than a decade ago to bring the community together.
Accetta said some people might be scared off by the heat, but it's a love of the outdoors that motivates those in attendance.
Thousands laced up their running shoes and warmed up for the big event. Mother Nature was warming up as well.
"It is so hot," said Helen Valdez, who ran in Saturday night's race
Valdez took part with her friend Lierin Cox. Both share a love of the sport.
Cox explained why she loves to run, "Being in your own zone, doing it for you."
Those same sentiments are shared by many others. At Armory Park, it was a cheery atmosphere.
With a true taste of a Tucson summer night, Valdez knew what it would take to beat the heat at any outdoor event this time of year.
"Water, staying hydrated," Valdez said.
There was plenty of that to go around. As you walked around, you couldn't help but notice water bottles in everyone's hands. People came prepared.
Race coordinators were prepared too. Ambulances sat on the corners, ready if something were to happen.
Those who ran will tell you just because it was hot, it wouldn't stop them from getting outside and enjoying life in the desert.
"I think everyone here loves the heat," said Ian Brannon, who also ran.
He said it's because they love where they live, and everyone running has a common goal of crossing the finish line.
Money from the Meet Me Downtown 5K goes towards several local charities and organizations, from the Greater Tucson Leadership to the Children's Museum of Tucson.