By Kristin Boza
After taking a hiatus for a few years, the Tombstone 5K run/walk is back and bringing some spooky fun to serious runners, casual walkers and kids on Sat., Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. The course winds through Mount Greenwood Cemetery, 2900 W. 111th St.
The event is co-sponsored by the 95th Street Business Association, Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association and Running Excels. Race fees are $35 per participant for the timed 5K run and $30 per participant for the untimed walk. Adult runners and walkers will receive a hoodie, while child participants will receive a t-shirt. Female and male overall winners will receive a $50 gift certificate to Running Excels.
Proceeds from the race will benefit beautification projects on 95th and 111th streets, particularly planters decorated for the holidays and planted with flowers in the spring and fall. Funds raised will also support events sponsored by both organizations, such as the Wine Walk, Thunderbolts baseball tailgate, Holiday Stroll on 111th St., 95th Street Farmers Market and Small Business Saturday Scavenger Hunt, according to Mary Gill, executive director of the Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association.
Additionally, proceeds will support the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and I Am Who I Am. “We selected the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation as a recipient because so many of the city’s police officers live in the 19th Ward; they are our friends, neighbors, and family members,” said Erin Ross, executive director of the 95th Street Business Association. “We also selected I Am Who I Am because their organization strives to secure opportunities for all children and young adults. They are working hard to spread the message that all children are special.”
Tombstone 5K participants are encouraged to dress up in Halloween costumes for the race, and the top three costumes will earn a prize.
“We will have a costume contest, as we have in the past. Some of the best costumes we’ve seen are group costumes; one year a family dressed up like the band KISS, and another group dressed as the Village People,” said Beverly Lynch, owner of Running Excels and coordinator of the Tombstone 5K. “Some people run in really extravagant costumes, which is really funny to see.”
The route through the cemetery is USATF-certified and includes a few hills. “The race is exciting because it’s in such a unique location,” Lynch said. “We encourage spectators to gather in the parking lot so they can see the racers, and we will hold a ‘candy drop’ after-party for the younger kids.”
Due to the space constraints on the path, pets, rollerblades, bikes, and scooters are prohibited from the run/walk to ensure a safe race course.
Register for the event at RaceRoster.com, keyword Tombstone 5K.