Five-0 5K


This was the second annual Five-0 5K in Libertyville, a Chicago suburb located about 40 miles north of the city.

This race is sponsored by the Lake County Municipal League, and all proceeds benefit The 100 Club of Cook and Lake Counties, and provides financial assistance, access to resources and moral support for the families of first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This year they had 200 people signed up, many of them first responders and their families and friends.

It was a cloudy morning with temperatures in the 40’s and a little rain. Fortunately, the sun came out and it turned out to be a gorgeous Sunday morning, perfect for running. The race is located in a forest persevered with plenty of parking and the option for race day packet pick up.

One of my favorite things about suburban races is their friendly and inviting running community. Everyone was welcoming and I ran into a fellow Chicago Athlete ambassador, Jim Gubbins, and an old time friend who I used to train with, Jen Abanero, who placed second overall female.

This was a small race, nicely organized, and for a great cause. Joe Ahern, the CEO of the 100 Club, shared a few words to remember four first respondents who have lost their lives in the line of duty in 2018. It is always tragic to hear these stories of brave men and women who dedicate their lives to provide safety for all of us, but it was a very touching speech and a good reminder to appreciate how lucky we are.

We got started a little bit after 9 a.m. and I quickly found myself at the front of the pack where I stayed until mile two when I took a wrong turn. The course was well marked with red arrows with the exception of the last arrow which myself and the first overall male missed, and the little detour added a quarter of a mile to our run. Regardless, I finished as the first overall female and I could not have been happier with my performance. My legs were still recovering from my marathon last weekend, so the day’s run was a nice surprise.

Overall, this was a fun family event and I would highly recommend it. The course was beautiful and the scenery was even better. I will be adding this to my favorite places to run list. Congrats to first overall male winner Steffens Uhrich who ran a speedy 17:43 and all the finishers who participated in this event.

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Erika has been an endurance athlete for over 20 years. She fell in love with running in her 20’s in graduate school, working full time and being a single mother. Running became time for reflection. She has run over 30 marathons and countless triathlons; qualified for 70.3 World championships. To qualify for Kona is her next goal! She loves being a mom to a wonderful young lady and a fur puppy (cocker spaniel). Travel and exploring new places to train around the world is a passion. She is a licensed clinical counselor who specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression and trauma. She spent 15 years in academia and has recently taken a role as a clinical director to focus on her clinical work. Erika believes in the therapeutic benefits of endurance training for people who struggle with mental health illness and stress. She is patiently waiting until we can all travel and race safely again, until then she recommends staying active, healthy. and consistent.


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