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Endless Fitness enters round ten in fight with Alzheimer’s

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

Saturday, June 18, marked the tenth year Endless Fitness owner Darlene Berg has hosted a day of endless fitness in support of the Alzheimer’s Associations Longest Day event. Fitness enthusiasts and advocates from cities near and far participated in several courses for sixteen continuous hours, all in support of the cause.

In January 2012, Berg’s grandmother passed away, ending her long battle with Alzheimer’s. Months later when Berg wanted to honor her late ba-chan, her attention was caught by the Alzheimer’s Associations Longest Day event later that June.

For a decade, Berg has registered her business for the event, which helps raise awareness, funds and support for the nonprofit. Organizations and businesses that participate can do so in any way, shape or form. Meaning if you’re a gym owner like Berg, you can put your clients through the ringer.

“You can design it however you want it,” Berg said about her event. “I made it a 16-hour exercise event just because I wanted to try and push the body, push [its] physical limits as much as possible, just like people with Alzheimer’s have to do all the time.”

The campaign’s slogan is “the day with the most light, is the day we fight.” Although the official Longest Day event was held by the organization on June 21, the summer solstice, Berg usually hosts the event early so more families can participate.

Festivities were held in person this year and also via Zoom. While no one tuned in to the Zoom session according to Berg, she was glad to see both new and familiar faces show up.

Similar to last year, the day of endless fitness began early at 4:30 a.m. when participants rode their bikes eight miles from Sierra Madre to Evolve Fitness in Duarte. Early birds arrived at the gym at 5 a.m. and participated in a mixed martial arts conditioning class hosted by professional fighter Daniel Hernandez.

After the hour-long session, participants rode their bikes again, this time for 17 miles to Berg’s gym in Claremont. There, 12 more hours of nonstop fitness awaited them.

This year’s courses included a soul-strength and fusion session led by Sarah Quintero, a glutes circuit, known as the booty burn course, hosted by Tina Westerholm, and Carmen Polan’s pound fitness course where participants worked out using neon drumsticks, pounding the ground with the sticks to work up a sweat. Festivities also included a pickleball tournament, numerous raffles, snow cones, a water balloon fight and more.

New this year were dedications to those who currently suffer or have lost their lives due to Alzheimer’s. Every hour, those present at the studio gathered for a photo next to the featured loved one’s name and then participated in the hour’s featured circuit.

“We just want to honor these people,” Berg said. “That’s what [this event’s] all about. We try to stay focused on that and it pushed us harder.”

Following the final circuit, a 90-minute-long family Zumba course, Saturday ended with a half-hour candlelight ceremony.

Berg registered her business,  calling her team For the Love, which includes of many of her friends and family. Although the gym has concluded its day of endless fitness, monetary donations can still be made to her team, which will support the Alzheimer’s Association’s mission to find a cure for the degenerative disease.

Berg’s team is attempting to raise up to $20,000 by mid-August in support of the organization’s Longest Day event. As of press time Thursday, the team has reached $12,357.

For more information on Endless Fitness or how to donate to Berg’s team, visit endlessfitnessclaremont.com/the-longest-day, or call the gym at (626) 627-8395.

To learn about Berg’s 2021 Longest Day efforts, catch up at claremont-courier.com/profiles/gym-fights-alzheimers-disease-with-endless-fitness-session-23769.

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