Take your feet to the streets

Rotary Run Charity Classic invites all to enjoy a morning at the races

The 29th annual Rotary Run Charity Classic is Sunday, Oct. 1, and anticipation is picking up at a strong pace, said longtime Hinsdale Rotarian and race coordinator Tom Norton.

"Registration is quite a bit ahead of last year at this time. And sponsorship has come back to pre-pandemic levels," he said.

The popular autumn Hinsdale event, which begins and ends at The Community House, 415 W. Eighth St., features races for every member and ability level in the family while raising money for local and international charitable work.

The activities begin with a Hinsdale Bank & Trust 10K Run at 8:30 a.m., followed by The Rooney Family 5K run at 8:45 a.m., the 3K run at 8:50 a.m., and the 5K and 3K walks and the Mutt Strut at 8:55 a.m. Pets and strollers are allowed only in the Mutt Strut.

Last year's 10K female winner Maureen Wilkey of Elmhurst said she signed up after receiving a Rotary Run flyer at Hinsdale's Independence Day parade, drawn in by the variety of offerings.

"I was looking for a fall race for a good price that was longer than a 5K. My kids, who are now 6 and 8, were also interested in trying a race," Wilkey said. "When we saw that there was a family package where I could do the 10K and the kids could do 3K, we thought that was a great deal."

She also recruited a neighbor family to join, and she said they appreciated the neighborhood feel.

"It was also fun to run back when I was finished and find the rest of the group while they finished up the 3K. I was able to run in with my daughter, and all the kids were very excited about snacks, the mascot race and all the medals and trophies," Wilkey said. "I was happy to be part of a race that seemed to be all about the community and raising money for good causes."

Norton said planning begins in January and that a new attraction has been added to this year's slate of races: the inaugural D181 Tricycle Race.

"It will be run right before the world famous D181 Mascot Race," he said, crediting Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 officials with the idea. "Staff from all nine district schools will be manning tricycles. It'll be half the distance of the mascot race. I'm not quite sure what will happen - but it ought to be good."

District 181 Board member Meg Cooper will serve as grand marshal.

Western Springs' Matt Gagen, last year's 10K male winner and also a first-timer, said he enjoyed the atmosphere.

"I found it very enjoyable, with a good crowd and it was a well-run event," he said.

The course's topography is challenging at times, said the avid runner, but the residential surroundings are pleasant.

"That's the only race that I've kept (on my fall schedule) from last year," Gagen noted.

Norton said people seem to appreciate the range of activities offered.

"It's designed to be a morning of competition for those that want it to be and on down the line to the Mutt Strut and walks," he said. "For all the work, it's wonderful to see the people cross that finish line."

Trophies are aware to first, second and third male and female for the 10k and 5k runs. Medals are awarded by age group.

In addition to benefiting the Rotary Club of Hinsdale Foundation, proceeds from the run also go to The Community House, the D181 Foundation, the Ray Graham Association and the Hinsdale Hospital Foundation.

The cost to enter is $25 per person and $95 for a family by Sept. 26, then $30 and $100. To register, visit http://www.runsignup.com/Race/Info/IL/Hinsdale/RotaryRunCharityClassic.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean