Orlando hosts 8th annual CommUNITY Rainbow Run

The starting horn went-off to begin the eighth-annual Pulse CommUNITY Rainbow Run, on a sunny morning. Organizers said about 2,000 runners hit the pavement at City Hall Plaza in downtown Orlando. "I've done this every year since they've been doing it, so it's become an annual tradition and a great way to get out and remember obviously the Pulse shooting and support the community," said runner Keith McClinsey.

It was a 4.9k run/walk, in honor of the 49 victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The route took runners from City Hall, past the Orlando Health campus, to the Pulse nightclub site, and back. "I just wanted to go to Pride this year, get involved in stuff, and I wanted to run. I like to run," said runner Skylee McMahon.

Things were a little different, this year. Before, the runs were at Wadeview Park, but this year the city was in-charge of the event and moved it to City Hall. This came along with the city taking-over efforts to build a permanent Pulse memorial. "We never anticipated that the city would be the ones putting together the memorial, but it's our task now. So this is the first time the city has actually put on the Rainbow Run and remembrance ceremony, so it is a little different this year," said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Among the runners were about 70 who registered as family members of Pulse victims or survivors of the attack. Plenty of Orlando’s finest and bravest were also there, with about 70 other first responders registered to run. City staff says this year they don't have any set fundraising goal. Last year's run raised about $300,000.

UCF students and staff helped start and organize the run. UCF partnerships director Ashley Turner said it was important that everyone feel the love. "We think it's most important that we wrap our arms around this community, continue to let them know that, not only are they welcome here, but this is their community."