It was a scorching day for the ninth annual Race to the Flag 5K; the temperatures were in the mid 80’s early in the morning, and the humidity was not being shy.
The race took place at Ty Warner Park in Westmont, a short 4-minute drive from Chicago. The race is run by the Westmont Park District and People’s Resource Center (PRC), and proceeds from this race go to support PRC’s mission of providing resources to people in DuPage County who are in need of food, shelter, and/or provide education and training.
Did I mention it was hot? The weather in the Chicagoland area is unpredictable, and we all know that; last week was cold and rainy but the holiday weekend brought summer back and it was hot and humid. The race started at 8 a.m. The mayor of Westmont was there and so was local celebrity ABC-7’s Judy Hsu to get the race started.
The course took runners for a flat and fast run through the neighborhood with beautiful views of tree-lined streets. There were only two water stations, one at 1.5 miles and one at the finish line. Usually that would’ve been enough for a short distance event but with the heat, runners could have used another one or two.
The heat got to me at mile two, and all I could think was get to the finish ASAP. As I turned to the finish a runner in front of me collapsed, I called a volunteer over and they took care of him (heat exhaustion was most likely the issue and he was ok afterwards). Despite the heat, I managed to finish first in my age group and sixth overall female! I was pretty proud of that performance on a tough day.
At the finish line the town major cheered on the runners, many families and children enjoyed the race and all the after race celebration. The race featured a free pancake breakfast, cupcakes, fruit and juice. It looked delicious but I just couldn’t eat after the race; all I wanted was water and some orange juice. I stayed for the award ceremony and hang out with some of the runners. It’s always fun to meet new people.
Great job to race director Gregg Pill, all the volunteers and the Westmont community for supporting this event.
Congrats to the winners, Volker Rose with a time of 19:08 and Jessica Sokolowski with a time of 21:02.