Runners are all members of a community. Even as they compete against each other and train to beat the pack, there is a sense of comradery. The running community was hit hard this week with the sad news that one of its own lost a son and was critically injured after a shooting on the city’s northwest side. Out of respect for both the Universal Sole runner still in the hospital and his fallen 16-year-old son, we have made the editorial decision not to include their names. However, further information can be found at theUniversal Sole Facebook page.
An active runner and member of Team Universal Sole, the father and son were out to lunch on Monday in the Belmont Gardens neighborhood. According to a Chicago Tribune article, after the two finished lunch they became involved in an argument with two others. Despite making it to their car, a gunman approached and opened fire. As of Monday afternoon the father was still listed in critical condition at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. His son was pronounced dead at the same hospital.
In an email, Universal Sole owner Joel Feinberg said the father’s absence was noticed Monday evening when they expected to see him at the Burgers & Beer 5K. Feinberg and Universal Sole then began working on ways to honor their team member.
On its Facebook page, Universal Sole said it would be running on Monday, July 21 in honor of the slain teenager. Universal Sole will charge an entry fee to the run for the first time ever to help the family pay for funeral costs and hospital bills. The run will start at the store’s Lakeview location, 3052 N. Lincoln, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday. The fee of $20 will go directly to the family in addition to any other donations received.
Following the run, participants are invited to return to the store for a raffle and beer. Each participant will be given one raffle ticket with entry and can purchase additional tickets for $5, all of which will go to the family. Furthermore, 15 percent of all purchases made on Monday will be given to the family.
Donations can also be made outside of the run by visiting this website set up by friends of the family to help defer costs.
More information on both the run and the effect the runner has had on the Universal Sole family can be found on both Universal Sole’s Facebook page and the event page set up for Monday’s run. Feinberg says there that the man’s incredible “kindness, sincerity and generosity” represented the best part of the Chicago running community. He had become a regular at all Universal Sole events over the last decade.
Feinberg urges anyone who can attend or even help donate to do so, whether a part of the Universal Sole team or a runner in general. At the bottom of Feinberg’s post on the Universal Sole Facebook page there is a message written in Spanish.
“Somos corredores a veces. Somos siempre amigos,” which translates to “We are runners sometimes. We are always friends.”