40th Annual Ridge Run: Jog Back to the Seventies for Ridge Run Fun

 

Event includes Memorial Day Parade, Post-Race Festival, Kids Area and More

Dig out your tube socks, sweat bands and jogging shorts — Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) is reaching back to the seventies for the 40th Annual Ridge Run through the historic Beverly neighborhood on Memorial Day, Mon., May 29. Races start and finish at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr., Chicago.

In commemoration of the anniversary, registered runners who participate in the races will receive a finisher medal. The post-race festival includes food, beer and family activities in Ridge Park, and the event includes the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade.

One of Chicago’s favorite neighborhood races, the Ridge Run is well-known for the thousands of spectators that line the route, cheering on the runners, offering water and playing music. Neighbors are encouraged to be part of this amazing event, add your voices to the cheering, and make your way to Longwood Drive for one of Chicago’s oldest community Memorial Day parades.

Race options include 10K run, 5K run or untimed walk, Ridge Run Challenge 5K and 10K, and the untimed Youth Mile. Participants can register online at www.bapa.org through May 24, but you must be registered by May 4 to guarantee receiving a T-shirt. Race details and registration are available at www.bapa.org under events. This year’s race is a CARA certified Runners Choice race.

Little Company of Mary Hospital Returns as Presenting Sponsor

Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers is presenting sponsor of the Ridge Run, and generously supplies the Ridge Run doctor and first aid tent as well as on-site free blood pressure checks and general health information. Children are invited to learn about good health and receive a free gift (while they last) from the Little Company of Mary volunteers.

Little Company of Mary Hospital has been tending to area patients since the 1930s. State-of-the-art medical technologies and services are offered at their Evergreen Park hospital as well as satellite centers. For information on the wide variety of medical services and health education opportunities or to find a physician, visit www.lcmh,org.

Road Home Program is Parade Presenting Sponsor

The Ridge Run event is a great morning for athletes and spectators alike. The Memorial Day Ceremony honoring the men and women in the US Armed Forces who have given their lives for our freedom will be held in the park at 9 a.m. The Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade steps off from at 110th Place and Longwood Drive and follows the last of the Ridge Run 5K participants, and marches north to Ridge Park. U.S. Army veteran Rich Doyle is Grand Marshal of this year’s Memorial Day Parade. Doyle served in the Vietnam War and rose through the ranks, ultimately becoming a sergeant during this three years on active duty.

The Road Home Program: The Center for Veterans and Their Families at Rush University Medical Center is presenting sponsor of the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade. The Road Home Program provides individualized care to veterans and their families to help heal the “invisible wounds of war.” The program is committed to helping all veterans returning home to address service and combat-related health and mental health issues as well as family challenges. Services are provided regardless of ability to pay. Beverly/Morgan Park neighbor Modie Lavin is the Community Outreach Coordinator, and she can be reached at 312-942-8354.

Among the many groups participating in the Memorial Day Parade are the Morgan Park High School State Champ basketball team, Mount Greenwood Special Olympics gold medalist in the recent Austria games Tommy Shimoda, Jesse White Tumblers, Beverly Bombshells, area Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, Ridge Historical Society, military groups, schools and teams. Anyone interested in marching can by calling 773-233-3100 or at www.bapa.org on the Ridge Run registration page.

Stepping Up the Pace for Fun

The Ridge Run begins with the 10K at 8 a.m. followed by the youth mile at 8:10 and 5K at 9:30. Mike Haggerty Buick, GMC, Volkswagen is sponsor of the 10K and provides the Ridge Run pace car.

The Ridge Run finish line takes runners right into the post-race festival area in Ridge Park. Runners and spectators are invited to enjoy food and beer, the Tot Trot, face painting, a visit from Nature’s Creatures and other activities. Beverly Bank is sponsoring the children’s area.

Running Club Challenge

Running teams, families, school running clubs will be well represented in this year’s Ridge Run! More than a dozen local schools are participating in the youth 5K training program. Last year, Clissold Elementary School at 110th and Western had the biggest running club with 100+ members. This year, BAPA and Clissold School are challenging other school teams to be bigger and better. The team with the best turn out will win a plaque and have special Ridge Run team T-shirts for next year’s race.

The Youth Mile, sponsored by Southtown Health Foods, is open to children age 6 to 13. Members of the Chicago Special Olympics at Mount Greenwood Park will be leading the Youth Mile and also volunteering.

Train with an Elite Athlete

Kate DeProsperis of Clarendon Hills, an elite runner who chose the Ridge Run to help train for her second trip to the Olympic Marathon Trials later this year, will offer a free Ridge Run training session Wed., May 17, 4 p.m., Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. DeProsperis’ latest marathon time clocked in at a speedy 2:42:49, and she’s running the Ridge Run 10K with the goal of achieving a personal best. Local runner who join her for the training session will learn from one of the fastest marathoners in the Midwest. For info, contact Margot Holland at mholland@bapa.org.

 

Registration and Race Day

Online registration closes on May 24, but advance registration continues at Running Excels, 10328 S. Western, May 24 through 27, and at Ridge Park, Sun., May 28, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Race day registration opens at 6:30 a.m. at Ridge Park. Race start times are 10K run, 8 a.m., Youth Mile, 8:10 a.m., and 5K run and untimed walk, 9:30 a.m. Race details and the schedule for advance registration and packet pick-up is at www.bapa.org under Events.

Event Sponsors

Sponsors of the 40th Annual Ridge Run are Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers (presenting sponsor), Mike Haggerty Buick, GMC, Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, Road Home Program (Memorial Day Parade sponsor), Beverly Hills Animal Hospital, Southtown Health Foods, Marquette Bank, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, County Fair, The Private Bank, Commissioner Bridget Gainer, Pendo Advisors LLC, AT&T, PLS, Running Excels, 670The SCORE, AthleteX, Sports & Ortho Physical Therapy, WSHE 100.3, Marathon Sportswear, TreadFit, The Beverly Review, AlphaGraphics, Calabria Imports, Trace Ambulance, Beverly Records, Original Rainbow Cone, Cork & Kerry, Dino Jump, Chicago Park District, Mariano’s, Health Advocates and Special Olympics/Mount Greenwood Park.

The Ridge Run raises funds for the Beverly Area Planning Association, a not-for-profit organization serving Chicago’s Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood. Information: 773-233-3100 or http://bapa.org/events/ridge-run-parade/

 

 

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BAPA History: Events and Community Engagement

By Willie Winters

“When a community comes together, good things happen.”

After reading former BAPA executive director Chuck Shanabruch’s article in the April issue of The Villager, I was reminded of how difficult the challenge of maintaining a strong, vibrant community can be. Chuck laid out the key programs and areas of work that BAPA has so steadfastly maintained over the years.

During my tenure as executive director, BAPA continued to push the organization’s original mission and, I believe, accomplished good outcomes in many areas including maintaining quality schools and improving retail corridors, community safety and housing. This was due to a talented BAPA staff which at the time included Adeline Ray, Marcia Walsh, Alice Collins, Pam Holt and Grace Kuikman all working together with a strong and committed board.

BAPA board members worked tirelessly to keep our community moving in the right direction. I was especially grateful for the insightful and professional direction we received from the board presidents. Tom Hogan, Rosa Hudson, Greg Richmond, Mike Stanton and Melody Camp were terrific leaders who made tough decisions, all in the interest of keeping BAPA strong and on task.

Mike Sise, who headed up the Beverly Morgan Park CDC, deserves special recognition for his development work in our community and for gifting BAPA’s current location to the organization in 2005.

Programs are the outward mechanisms of an organization that push forward the mission, but in order to keep programs solid you have to have resources. BAPA is self-funded, largely through the generous donations of community residents and businesses. Community events are also a significant source of income and support for BAPA’s programs.

During the eight years I was with BAPA our events underwent significant changes. Many folks in our community don’t necessarily like change, but it’s necessary to breathe new life into events with both subtle and sometimes dramatic changes. In 2001, we changed the route of the Ridge Run (which celebrates its 40th run this Memorial Day!). The route was extended south of 111th Street for the first time with the idea of including more parts of the community in the race while giving the runners a change of scenery. (The route has since moved back north of 111th Street due to higher costs of street closures etc.) We also added chip timing, enhanced runner refreshments, dri-tech shirts and the youth mile. The Memorial Day celebration included the traveling Viet Nam Wall one year.

We introduced a fall festival on the grounds of Morgan Park Academy that was mildly successful the first year and even visited by the young Obama family. The next year it was, literally, snowed out.

The Snowflake Ball was one of BAPA’s signature events and great fundraiser for many years but as The Plaza deteriorated and lost business, we saw a drop in attendance.  We moved it to St. Xavier University for a few years, but it never gained back its old charm and we decided to cancel it.

Fortunately we were able to bring an exciting new event to the community in the summer of 2003, the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic. Thanks to assistance from David Kennedy, who was with the Mayor’s Office of Special events at that time, we were introduced to the operators of the oldest criterium series in the country and became the first Chicago location for the race. The BHCC still takes place every July, providing the excitement of bicycle racing along with the opportunity to spend time with friends and neighbors in a festival setting.

All of the BAPA events are designed to bring people to our community while bringing our community together.  We want others to see the beauty of our neighborhood and perhaps come back to purchase a home and become part of our community.

Hundreds of residents were introduced to the Beverly/Morgan park community through BAPA events. Many people have remarked of how they were impressed by all of the volunteers who welcomed them to our community.

More importantly, events build community. The Beverly/Morgan Park area is divided into little communities by geography, parishes, churches, schools and civic associations. Community wide events bring everybody together to celebrate, participate and share our stories. Because at the heart of any good community is a story that must be told, improved on and shared. It’s what makes our community and any community special.

See you in the neighborhood.

 

Olympic Marathon Trials Athlete to Hold Ridge Run Trainings

By Kristin Boza

The Ridge Run is a fun event that has brought the neighborhood together for 40 years. Since the Chicago Area Runner’s Association (CARA) named the Ridge Run as a Runner’s Choice race in 2017, it’s been drawing the attention of serious runners from all over the Chicago area.

One of those runners is 37-year-old Kate DeProsperis of Clarendon Hills. An elite runner, DeProsperis chose the Ridge Run to help train for her second trip to the Olympic Marathon Trials later this year. Her latest marathon time clocked in at a speedy 2:42:49, and she’s running the Ridge Run 10K with the goal of achieving a personal best. Additionally, she will be offering a training run for local runners to learn from one of the fastest marathoners in the Midwest.

DeProsperis ran her first marathon in 1999 and has since shaved off over an hour from her time. She competed in the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials, which is a competitive process in and of itself. “A set time standard will be announced and runners have approximately two to two-and-a-half years to attain that time in a certified race,” she said. “If you are able to hit that time, then you can compete in the Olympic Trials and have the chance to qualify for the Olympics. It is such an honor to be at the Trials because there are very few people who can hit the qualifying mark. When I qualified [for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials], I was the only female Illinois resident to compete.”

Only about 200 runners achieve the standards set by the Olympic committee to even attempt to qualify for the Olympics. “The professional runners will be the ones to go to the Olympics, but just making the trials is like the ‘Olympics’ for so many non-professional sub-elite marathoners like myself,” she said.

DeProsperis and her running team, Jenny Spangler Racing, chose to add the Ridge Run to their spring racing calendar because speed work is essential to marathon training. “Having good speed translates to faster marathon times, so we always work on speed in the spring and transition to longer runs as we approach the fall marathon,” she said. “It’s also a good way to get out of your comfort zone. I am not great at short distances, so it teaches me to just compete better and push myself in a way that’s different than the marathon.”

According to DeProsperis, the best way to prepare for a 5K or 10K is to slowly build up your distance and then gradually incorporate some fast running in your workouts. By adding fast running, it will help your legs respond better to faster speeds. It will also help with speed endurance, which you need for the 5 to 10K distances,” she said.

Vietnam War Vet Grand Marshal of Parade

U.S. Army veteran Rich Doyle is Grand Marshal of the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade. Doyle during the Vietnam War.

Drafted in August 1966, Doyle was 19 years old when he entered into military service. “I was very proud and I’ve always loved my country,” he said. “I’ll be honest that when I first went into the Army at 19 years old, I wasn’t used to being treated the way I was by the drill sergeants. I talked to my dad, who was at Omaha Beach during D-Day, and he told me to be the best solider I could be and good things will come of it.”

Working hard, Doyle quickly rose through the ranks, ultimately becoming a sergeant during this three years in active duty. “I won a Soldier of the Month contest at Fort Bragg, NC before I went to Vietnam. I got promoted pretty quickly, which is kind of unusual. I probably could have made another rank, but I was close to going home and I was satisfied. I know I made my parents proud,” he said.

Doyle left for Vietnam on Aug. 31, 1967 and returned home on Aug. 13, 1968. He was happy to return home safely, but was not prepared for the crowds at O’Hare protesting the Vietnam War and the returning veterans — protestors who even threw objects at the returning soldiers. “I had no indication that would happen; my family was there waiting for me and my dad just grabbed me and said we had to get out of there right away. So, it was a happy time that turned out to be not good,” he said.

As Grand Marshal, Doyle will lead and kick-off the parade; he will be accompanied by his siblings and friends, some coming from Champaign and California to support him. “I’ve always been involved in the parade; I’m honored to be asked and I’ll do my best to represent this community,” he said. “We should all be reminded of the veterans and our sacrifices.”

Ridge Run is CARA Circuit Race

BAPA’s Ridge Run has been selected as one of the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) 2017 Runners’ Choice Circuit races. The CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit is a series of running events intended to create a competitive structure for local runners.

“The Circuit brings the best of local running together, both races and runners alike,” said Greg Hipp, CARA’s Director of Road Race Services and Events. ”More than just a collection of races, the Circuit is a community of runners who love to challenge themselves through competition and personal improvement.”

Circuit races are chosen annually by CARA’s Race Committee through input of CARA’s membership, race participants, CARA staff and CARA’s Board of Directors. This circuit includes many of Chicagoland’s most well organized and well-appreciated races.

For the complete schedule and for more information on the CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit go to CircuitRaces.com

Founded in 1978, CARA is a non-profit organization dedicated to running advocacy in Chicagoland. It is the largest running organization in the Midwest and the third largest in the nation. Info: www.cararuns.org or 312-666-9836.

Anita Snow is 2017 Ridge Run Race Director

Neighborhood resident and event management specialist Anita Snow has signed as Race Director for BAPA’s 40th Annual Ridge Run.

“I am truly honored and excited to be the Race Director this year,” Snow said. “The Ridge Run is one of the many ways we can showcase all the amazing people and homes we have in this neighborhood.”

Snow has 20 years of experience in planning and presenting special events with a focus on races. She has worked in many different capacities with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for 20 years. Other race clients include Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle; Chicago Polar Dash Half Marathon, 10K and 5K; Chicago Monster Dash Half Marathon and 5K;
Get Lucky Chicago; Midway Fly Away 5K; Running for Hope; Nike, Teach for America 5K; and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Snow has been a member of the Ridge Run Committee, providing important expertise to making the race run smoothly.

Snow and her husband Dwight have lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years. They have two children who attend St. Barnabas School. Snow is actively involved in St Barnabas, working on the Finance Board and serving as FSA Treasurer and girls volleyball coach.

The Ridge Run and Beverly/Morgan Park/Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade take place on Memorial Day, Mon., May 29. Ridge Run registration for the 10K, 5K and Youth Mile races is open at www.bapa.org. Neighbors interested in learning more about the race or Memorial Day Parade, or becoming an event  volunteer can email bapa@bapa.org.

Clissold School Running Club Expects Big Team for Ridge Run

By Kristin Boza

Last year, BAPA came up with a way to get neighborhood kids and their families interested in the sport of running by offering free 5K training programs to every school. Volunteers at each school coordinated the running teams and, as a result, a great number of kids successfully completed the 5K on Memorial Day. This year marks a huge milestone for the Ridge Run as it celebrates its 40th year of competition and neighborhood camaraderie in commemoration of our nation’s military heroes.

Clissold School, 2350 W. 110th Pl., boasted an incredible turnout for the event last year, with over 100 students and parents – including the Clissold Cougar! — running as the Clissold Team, and the community cheering them on.

“Our goal last year was to put Clissold back on the map with a variety of events to make us relevant again in the community,” Clissold principal Sean McNichols said. “The Ridge Run was another way for us to celebrate coming together as a school.”

McNichols extended the invitation to train to everyone in the school community, and planners originally intended to make the training a part of Clissold’s track program, which practices at Morgan Park High School. Many of the parents organized their own training regimens and held a few practices at Clissold.

On the day of the Ridge Run, the large crowd, all in matching shirts, participated in a group stretch, along with Clissold’s cougar mascot in full regalia. “It was really fun, that was the first time the whole team was together,” McNichols said. Clissold’s PE teacher volunteered to wear the heavy mascot costume and even ran part of the race while wearing it, despite the intense temperatures.

Clissold’s PTA organized the team to promote health and well-being for the school, McNichols said. He praised the collaborative planning efforts of Clissold’s PTA, LSC and Friends of Clissold committee in providing great fundraising, after school sports and events for the Clissold community.

This year’s Ridge Run 5K training team will start organizing in March. “It coincides with our track program, so our kids are really excited to start the spring sports season. Everyone is in the mindset of running and joining both our track team and the Ridge Run training team,” McNichols said.

McNichols is proud of his school’s incredible participation and the strength the Clissold community drew from the event. “It was inspiring to watch the support of one another unfold. We look forward to bigger and better things as we continue,” he said. “The Ridge Run is a great way for all schools and the community to get together and celebrate our community. To be able to celebrate all of our neighborhood’s schools in a public setting is really great. I challenge other schools to get together and participate — it will be fun and exciting for everybody.”

 

Free Ridge Run 5K Training for Schools

By the time the 40th Annual BAPA Ridge Run arrives on Mon., May 29, your kids – whether they’re couch potatoes or budding athletes – can be ready to run the 5K.

BAPA’s free Ridge Run 10-week 5K Training Clubs created last year and 12 schools participated. Each school needs to recruit an adult to lead the program. The training program is geared to students in 4thgrade and above, and offers proven techniques including running, cross training, nutrition, skill-building and even how to choose running shoes.

Training starts in March and will kick off with a spaghetti dinner for training team participants and their families Wed., Mar. 8, 6 p.m. at Ridge Park. The kick-off will $5 per person or $10 per family and includes spaghetti dinner from Calabria, speakers and information, and team registration. Runners participating in the training program get discounted entry on the Ridge Run 5K.

Training teams should meet two times a week and members commit to an additional weekend run with a parent.

Training meetings are set up around a warm-up, workout, drills, a cool down game and a stretch. Besides finishing strong in the Ridge Run, the kids will get a lot out of the program. The practices are positive and encourage kids to cheer each other on; and the kids will gain confidence and learn about setting and achieving goals.

Ridge Run Running Club Training guides and more information are available from Margot Holland, mholland@bapa.org or 773-233-3100.

Free Ridge Run 5K Training Clubs Open to Local Schools

By the time the 40th Annual BAPA Ridge Run arrives on Mon., May 29, your kids – whether they’re couch potatoes or budding athletes – can be ready to run the 5K.

BAPA’s free Ridge Run 5K Training Clubs created last year and 12 schools in Beverly/Morgan Park and surrounding communities participated. Clissold School had 100 members in their running club!

The free comprehensive 10-week training program was developed by Jenny Harkins, owner of Treadfit owner and an experienced runner.  Each school needs to recruit an adult to lead the program. Training guides offer proven techniques including running, cross training, nutrition and how to choose running shoes.

Clubs are encouraged to start training in March. “The Ridge Run is a really great family run. The running clubs give families a goal for doing something active together on Memorial Day,” said Margot Holland, BAPA executive director. “After the Run, we’ll have a festival in the park, with food and music; it’s sure to be a fun time for everyone.”

Kids ages five and up can participate in the Youth Mile fun run, and Harkins recommends those in 4th grade and above can train to run or run/walk the 5K. The Ridge Run offers a family registration discount for the 5K.

Since running is such an all-inclusive sport, people don’t need special skills to volunteer to coach the school teams, according to Harkins. “You can even have a parent who’s never run before coach the program; it’s so detailed and easy to follow,” she said.

To get started, Harkins recommends the club meets two times a week, and that members commit to an additional weekend run with a parent. Harkins recommends recruiting as many parent volunteers as you can, since it’s always nice to have extra bodies running with the kids along the route.

Practice is set up around a warm-up, workout, drills, a cool down game and a stretch. Besides finishing strong in the Ridge Run, the kids will get a lot out of the program. The practices are positive and encourage kids to cheer each other on; and the kids will gain confidence and learn about setting and achieving goals.

Ridge Run Running Club Training guides and more information are available from Margot Holland, mholland@bapa.org or 773-233-3100.