The Franklin Classic will take place Monday, Sept 2 (Labor Day) in downtown Franklin. Thousands of runners and walkers are expected to participate. Proceeds from this event benefit the services and programs of Mercy Community Healthcare, which provides comprehensive healthcare for approximately 10,000 patients in Middle Tennessee.

As runners prepare for the race, there’s one family who hopes this will be the beginning of a long family tradition.

Elorza Gonzalo started running the Franklin Classic back in 2015 after first hearing about the race. After that first year, he was hooked.

“I’ve run the race each year since then, and I am planning on continuing doing so. I truly enjoy this race because it is in Franklin, very family-oriented and it has become a family tradition,” said Gonzalo.

While Gonzalo told us he has participated in both the 5K and 10K, this year will be different as he will take part in the 1k with his daughters, Emma (7) and Lexi (5).

“They have never participated in any races before, so this will be their very first one. I would love for this to be the beginning of many more Franklin Classics for years to come.”

And since it’s their first race, we asked Gonzalo if he was training his daughters.

“We haven’t done any training, so there might be some walking and bribery involved. They are active girls, always running around, dancing and doing gymnastics so hopefully, that helps. We are planning on starting easy, walk when needed, and finish strong…for the pictures!!” said Gonzalo.

He did share tips for runners who will be racing on Labor Day.

“If they are doing the 10K, start slow, it is a hilly course. For both the 5k and 10K I would tell them to just have fun and enjoy it.”

As a board member for Mercy Community Health, Gonzalo has a couple of things he wants runners to know about the event.

“I started running the Classic before becoming a board member and, honestly, not knowing much about Mercy. I liked the race then, and now knowing about Mercy and what they do, I absolutely LOVE it,” said Gonzalo.

He continued, “First, I would tell those who support this run THANK YOU. I would want them to know that the money raised is in the hands of some of the smartest and selfless operators I know and it is to be used for a great cause. The more I learn about Mercy and its people, the more I admire them.”

Make your plans now to walk or run the Franklin Classic on Monday, September 2, in downtown Franklin and support Mercy Community Healthcare. Find the details here.