Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown in downtown Tucson

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- He died pursuing his passion for politics.  Hundreds gathered downtown to honor a January 8 shooting victim's other passion, fitness.  Saturday was the first race of the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown event.

Nearly 2,000 gathered downtown for Tucson Medical Center's annual Meet Me Downtown Night Run.

This year the event took on extra meaning, it's the first race of the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown.

"It was a perfect fit to come together with the Triple Crown and come together as a community to really make a difference in terms of the health of the community, celebrate Gabe and celebrate what's really the best of Tucson," said Julia Strange from TMC.

The 3.1 mile race runs through the heart of downtown Tucson, a place gabe spent a lot of his time.

"The thing about Gabe is he has this amazing ability to be good friends with many many people," said Ross Zimmerman.

"He was all about community, he was all about life and he was always upbeat and friendly," said Strange.

Gabe's father Ross says he'd like to see more of that upbeat attitude around Tucson.

"What I would like to see is people think about the events of January 8 and think about personal positive changes to make this town a better place," said Ross Zimmerman.

It's something Gabe Zimmerman was trying to do one step at a time.

The other two races in honor of Gabe will be in September and October.