River Grove FOP 5k


A great race for a great reason.

River Grove Police FOP Lodge #59 hosted its annual 5k this weekend around the streets of Rive Grove. The race itself was not unlike a lot of Chicago area 5ks at this time of year. The course was very flat and ran through the residential neighborhoods. There were roughly 200 runners and there were kids dashes after the finish. They handed out tech shirts and gave age group awards.

The thing that makes this race different, however, is the comradery and spirit of giving.

Since the race is hosted by the Police FOP lodge, many of the runners and volunteers have ties to the River Grove Police Department and from the moment you arrive you can sense that this is a close knit group of people that are out there to enjoy the day and do some good. The race HQ is held inside the Moose Lodge- and A/C is a great perk when it is in the 80s at the time of the race- and inside the lodge, there were tables and chairs set up which allowed runners to sit and mingle before and after the race. There were conversations aplenty between old friends and newly made friends. After the race, those conversations were held over plates filled with pizza, hotdogs from Gene and Judes, and whatever else would fit.

This year, the race benefitted the Shriners Hospital’s Special Bikes for Special Kids program and the money raised went to the purchase of two specially made bicycles which typically have a price tag of over $1500 each. We were able to meet the two bike recipients and their families who gave very emotional speeches, in between rounds of applause.

The River Grove FOP 5k is a race for good people that want to do good things, and get in a race while they do it. If you are looking for an event that is truly supportive of their community, give this one a look next year and see why runners continue to come back.

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Jonathan couldn’t run a mile before his sophomore year in high school but went on to run at Hope College. Now, he runs with the Fast Track Racing Team and races in almost 30 races a year, still managing to run some PRs. He couldn’t win a 100 meter sprint if his life depended on it, but still has a pretty good kick at the end of a 10k. He is the Local Advertiser/Sales employee on Chicago Athlete's staff, and also volunteers as an Assistant XC Coach at Elk Grove High School and has done that for the past 11 years.


  1. For J. Cain…….Thank you for the article about the River Grove 5 K. Not only have I run the race every year, I have helped with it for the same amount of time. As you know, it was a hot day to race and i ran poorly by my standards. But seeing those 2 people gets their bikes and to listen to the young lady who was so happy she could ride bikes with her brother, really does make it worth it having a bad race. Congrats on your performance and Thank You again for your kind words from all of us associated with the race. MIKE VLASAK


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