After a hot and sweaty couple of days in Chicagoland, the temperatures toned down a little just in time for the River Grove FOP 5K. The race supports the River Grove Fraternal Order of Police and their programs that give back to the community. It seemed like every police officer in River Grove was there helping out at the event, making sure everyone had a great time.
The course is a good one to potentially run some fast times with lots of long straightaway sections and plenty of support from community members. (A lot of them serving as course marshals along the route.) After the race, I was able to talk to one River Grove resident that was volunteering and was amazed and how far some of the runners had come just to run the race. You could tell there was a sense of pride in her community.
After the race, a feast awaited the runners inside the Moose Lodge, complete with pizza, hot dogs, fruit and bagels. Runners were able to hang out inside the Lodge while the Awards Ceremony was going on, sitting at the tables, talking, eating and cheering on every age group award winner as they came up to get their medal. It made you feel like everyone there was a part of the River Grove community, no matter where you came from.
If you were lucky enough to earn an age group medal, you quickly because the envy of the room because the medals were shaped like police badges and definitely stand out from any other one in your collection.
When it was time to leave- and it never really felt like anyone really wanted to go home- there was a sense that we’d all see each other again at the same spot next year and be ready to do it all again.