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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Gym fights Alzheimer’s disease with endless fitness session

Gym-goers work on their exercise routines

From before sunrise until after sunset Saturday, 16 hours of continuous heart pumping exercise was hosted by Darlene Berg, owner of Endless Fitness, during her local Alzheimer’s Association Longest Day event.
Since the inaugural event in 2012, the Alzheimer’s Association has encouraged residents and businesses to host their own Longest Day fundraising events to support Alzheimer’s research. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “On June 20, thousands of participants from across the world come together to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice. Together, they use their creativity and passion to raise funds and awareness for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.”
“It’s an event you can design on your own,” Ms. Berg said. “I started it because one of my grandmothers had passed away that year [2012]. I was looking for something to do and the Alzheimer’s Association came out with this event called the Longest Day. The Alzheimer’s Association says you can design your event to be however you want and for me, I’m a personal trainer, I own a gym and so exercise is a big thing for me. That’s why I wanted to do the event [the way] I did.”
Ms. Berg said that since the solstice this year fell on Father’s Day, she pushed her event one day back so more people could participate. Also, because last year’s event was held via Zoom, spirits were high this time around with in-person classes and less worry about COVID-19.
Beginning at 4:30 in the morning, Ms. Berg, her brother Michael Berg and several other participants rode their bikes eight miles from Bailey’s Canyon in Sierra Madre to Evolve Fitness in Duarte. The group of early birds then participated in a tiring and trying mixed martial arts conditioning class hosted by professional fighter Daniel Hernandez.
Ms. Berg and her team next mounted their bikes again and rode 17 miles to her gym in Claremont where they kept up the fitness schedule for another 12 hours. With her gym door open from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., fitness enthusiasts young and old participated in various fun and vigorous classes hosted by Ms. Berg or one of her special guest instructors.
Classes included her family obstacle course, a spin cycling class by Body Rituals Studio, a full body circuit session by Ms. Berg’s friend Vicki Jarvis, and an appearance by Claremont Mayor Jennifer Stark to lead a yoga session.
Even during breaks, Ms. Berg tried to keep her body moving in some way, including jogging in place and participating in water balloon fights with the kids. It seemed the only time she stopped moving was when she spoke with the COURIER.
“This is my tenth year doing it [Longest Day] and I’ve designed it all those years to be 16 hours of continuous exercise for myself and [whoever] wants to join my team,” Ms. Berg said, adding that her team’s name is For the Love.
Donations from her Longest Day event and online drive will go to the Alzheimer’s Association. According to Ms. Berg on Wednesday, her team beat this year’s $10,000 goal and raised a total of $10,245 for the charity. The association will receive the donated funds by the middle of August according to Ms. Berg.
For more information on Endless Fitness or how to donate to Ms. Berg’s team, visit act.alz.org/goto/ForTheLove, email Ms. Berg at endlessfitnessclaremont@gmail.com or call the gym at (626) 627-8395.

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

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