Proud to Run 10K Run and 5K Run/Walk


Saturday morning brought gorgeous, sunny skies and cooler temperatures for this year’s annual Proud To Run race, the 10K run & 5K run/walk along the lakefront that has been part of Chicago’s LGBTQ Pride Week activities since 1982.

The race is focused on celebrating pride and raising funds to support the greater Chicago area LGBTQ community and is presented in association with Frontrunners/ Frontwalkers Chicago.  Since its inception, the race has raised nearly half a million dollars for LGBT focused charities in Chicago.

For the first time in its history, the 10K was selected as a Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) Runners’ Choice Circuit Race.  With this distinction came record attendance, with over 2,000 people participating.  It was the second largest Pride Run in the United States.

Packet pick-up was offered on the three days leading up to the race at the Universal Sole running store in Lakeview.  Participants also had the option of picking up their bib and shirt before the race began.

The morning began at 7:30 a.m. with a warm-up led by a trainer from Fitness Formula Club Halsted.  Following that, the 10K race began at 8:10 a.m., with the 5K starting after at 8:24 a.m.

Both the 5K and 10K courses started on Simonds Drive just north of Montrose Avenue.  It was a loop course that started out running north toward Foster before turning around and heading south.  The course combined running on the cinder path, asphalt path and Lakefront path.  The 10K went all the way south to Roscoe before again turning north back toward the finish line.

Since it was an open course, there were many other runners, walkers and bikers out on the path along the course, which is certainly typical for a Saturday morning in the summer.  However, the presence of others didn’t seem to impede the race; although there were several twists and turns to the course, there were plenty of volunteers all along the route cheering and guiding runners.

There was little confusion about which way the course went, and it was enjoyable to run along all the interconnected paths rather than simply following the same path out and back.  Time clocks were accurately placed at every mile marker and a timing mat was at mile four of the 10K just before the southern turnaround.  There were three aide stations along the 10K route offering both water and Gatorade.  Bottles of water and a nicely designed finisher medal were presented to all 5K and 10K finishers at the finish line.

Before and after the race, participants could walk around and explore the Athlete’s Village.  There were many sponsor booths, booths for the beneficiaries and non-profit partners.  Entertainment, door prizes and awards were presented at a ceremony after the race.

Overall, it was a beautiful day for a well-organized, enjoyable race.  I’m looking forward to running it again in 2018!

5K Run Top 3 Men

  1. Nicholas Vucovich (16:48)
  2. Ian LaBelle (17:20)
  3. Matt Katz (17:34)


5K Run Top 3 Women

  1. Chris Wolf (17:38)
  2. Lara Uriel (18:19)
  3. Vanessa Righeimer (19:16)


5K Run Top 3 Non-Binary

  1. Dio Owens (23:23)
  2. Dennis Carl (23:28)
  3. Traina Dalton (26:04)


10K Run Top 3 Men

  1. James Akita (33:44)
  2. Alexander Itkin (34:16)
  3. Nathan Pavlik (34:27)


10K Run Top 3 Women

  1. Kylen Cieslak (39:12)
  2. Columbia Montes (40:28)
  3. Lauren Zumbach (40:55)


10K Run Top 3 Non-Binary

  1. Damein Walls (49:37)
  2. Kaitlyn Smith (58:38)
  3. Susannah Ball (1:09:04)



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