North Shore Cupid’s Love Dash 5K

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Sunday, over 300 athletes participated in the North Shore Cupid’s Love Dash 5K in Highland Park hosted by Carpe Diem Racing.

Racers welcomed the warmer temps in the mid 30’s compared to last years race day when the wind chill made it feel like -2.  With same-day packet pickup and hundreds of parking spots within a one to three minute walk, it is a perfect event for anyone looking for an easy logistical race.

Swag included a dry tech shirt, finishers medals and lot of goodies from sponsors along with giveaways in the refresh area.  The course covers parts of downtown Highland Park and quiet suburban streets with almost no traffic in sight.  Depending on your race goals, you were able to hydrate with fluid and/or chocolate along the course with a water station and chocolate station.  Police and volunteers were at every major corner providing a safe experience for all.

The men’s overall winner was Josh Ruston finishing in 17:47 with David Erf and Zach Herrmann taking 2nd and 3rd with times of 18:39 and 18:53 respectively.  Brittany Heninger won the Women’s race with a time of 19:47.  Theresa Brown finished in 2nd (20:47) and Michelle Martin rounded out the podium in 3rd (22:41).  Along with Overall and Age Group Winners, there was a costume contest for the most festive runners. Some really got into the Valentine’s Day spirit.


Athletes were able to refresh post race with water, hot chocolate, bagels, bananas, granola bars and more chocolate.  The race also has a charity element with teddy bears being collected for the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center to comfort children/families that are seeking refuge from sexual assault and abuse.  It was great to see so many bring a teddy bear and provide a service while enjoying their race.   Racers are able to run the course for a PR or walk with friends making it a perfect race for a family affair.

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Nicole once thought that the timed mile in high school was a form of torture. In an ironic turn of events, racing is now part of half her weekends in a given year and would take an early Saturday race over a Friday night out everytime. A self-proclaimed "back of the packer", Nicole loves triathlons and run races with her favorite distances being the half marathon and olympic distance triathlon. She works full time as a health care administrator and lives in Skokie with her husband, son and spoiled dog. You can find her race reports, musing and other random thoughts on her blog.

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