Now in its 11th year, the annual Race to Wrigley will feature a new course this year, giving participants their first chance to experiencing running through the new bleacher concourse that opened last year.
The race, which starts at Addison and Racine, takes runners through the Wrigleyville and Lakeview areas, heading west to Ravenswood and east on Irving Park. This year, runners will continue on Irving Park all the way to Sheridan, which will eventually lead them to the center outfield of Wrigley Field for a final stretch through the field’s concourse before ending at Clark and Addison.
“It’s always been a race that reflects the fact that we are in a neighborhood and yet a major league ballpark,” Mike Lufrano, executive vice president of community affairs and chief legal officer for the Chicago Cubs, says. “It’s the third largest tourist attraction in Illinois. We started a race that would combine the two, [allowing runners] to see a bit of the neighborhood and community and reflect the fact that we are part of the community as well.”
The 5K race, which will start at 8 a.m. on April 23, also serves as a crucial fundraiser for Cubs Charities. Runners can also choose to individually raise money for Advocate Children’s Hospital, with the first 100 who raise $500 receiving an autographed baseball from a current Cubs player.
“[The money raised] all goes back into the community here,” Lufrano says. “It supports youth sports, building baseball fields, health and fitness programs for kids, provides scholarships for kids to go to college. Last year, we donated about $3.4 million total and the race is part of that.”