Resurrection College Prep High School, an all-girl Catholic school at the corner of Talcott and Oriole Avenues in northwest Chicago, is just about as close to the suburbs as a school can be while still claiming Chicago proper as its home. And for a school hosting a 5K on the cheap, that’s not a bad thing.
For their second annual Run for Res 5K Fun Run/Walk, Resurrection College Prep made good use of the sleepy surrounding neighborhoods, blocking off quiet streets with police barricades and winding runners through the wide streets of various nearby residential areas. The result was an oddly shaped course with much more than the average number of turns, but the sheer number of cheering volunteers manning roadblocks and directing running traffic at every turn made it easily navigable.
The field of runners was relatively small (around 150 participants) with most of them having some connection to the high school. Despite the low temperature (around 30 degrees) the bright sunshine and lack of wind made for great running conditions, though a number of runners gathered in the high school gym rather than waiting for the starting announcements in the school parking lot.
A jovial DJ kept upbeat music playing before, during and after the race, making announcements regarding packet pick-up (small and well organized), gear check (simple and straightforward) and how to enter the post-race raffle (which included tickets to an upcoming Brad Paisley concert).
Starting and finishing on time at 9am on Oriole Avenue in front of the school’s gates, the wide streets and small pack of runners led to plenty of space for all participants right from the start (though a malfunction with the starting horn led to a slightly awkward kickoff).
A small race like this is meant more for community-building and fund-raising than competition (meaning this writer was able to earn fifth place with a time of 22 minutes). Trophies were given out to the top three male and female finishers at the post-race presentation an hour after the race kicked off, with the raffle drawing taking place at 10:30.
Though this is a small race only in its second year, it’s easy to see the Run for Res 5K growing to accommodate more runners over the coming years, especially if it maintains it’s relatively inexpensive cost ($30 online and $35 on race day). For that price runners got a red running shirt (the design is nothing to get too excited about) and a nice quality gear check bag, not to mention a well-organized and heavily staffed Chicago 5K on quiet neighborhood streets.