“They’re not so concerned about it being cold although I’ll be honest I’ve had a lot of people say hey it’s too cold for me but it is what it is. There’s a lot of people who just wanna be a part of something where there’s people interacting with one another again so it’s very special to the community to be back doing events like this.” said Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise President Ryan Siebert.
The 5K is Back
Temperatures may have only been as high as twenty-three degrees, but that didn’t stop these runners from getting their Irish on for the Naperville St. Paddy’s Day 5K walk/run. The event returned to its in person tradition after back-to-back years of cancellations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the race on a lengthy hiatus, the Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise which hosts the event was excited about the occasion coming back together for the annual routine.
“It’s been two years where we hadn’t been able to interact like this at all. And to be able to put this run together – obviously last year we tried doing a virtual race and we didn’t get as many people to participate, we didn’t get as many sponsorships to do the event and to give back to the community, that’s what Rotary is all about,” said Siebert.
“It’s such a big thing here in the Chicago area. I moved here about twelve years ago from New Jersey and St, Paddy’s day here is fantastic and running is part of celebrating.” said runner Fede Barreto.
Who is in Attendance?
Many organizations were in attendance to help out with the race, including Metropolitan Services of DuPage which received some of the proceeds from the race. “In the past few years during the pandemic we have experienced a great rise in our behavioral health program. This includes mental health for children, all the way through our senior program, and the proceeds will help fundraise these programs and take care of these people.” said Associate Director of Development Mary Beth Glenn.
How Many Ran?
Over nine hundred runners lined up at the starting block and off they went for a Saturday morning run. Finishing the race at the top was Joe Cowlin with a time of fourteen minutes and forty-nine seconds. Whether folks ran for top times or just for fun, many look at the 5K run as a great social gathering as well.
“The race has a different energy for sure. You feed off the people watching you, you feed off the people running with you, the people behind you. It just, I guess the competition juice is going so it’s very exciting.” said Barreto.
The 5K raised over thirty thousand dollars for Project HELP DuPage, NAMI DuPage, and Metropolitan Family Services. So despite the chilly temperatures, the warm feelings of racing for some great causes were on full display in a sea of green.
Naperville News 17 Patrick Codo reports.
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