Nearly 2,000 runners, walkers, children and parents with strollers came out June 9 to raise more than $150,000 for pediatric medicine at Loyola during the Health, Hope & Heroes 5K Run/Walk.
Proceeds from the race will benefit the Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital at Loyola University Medical Center. “This event was a fun opportunity for patients and their families, our staff and the community to come together to celebrate the great work done at Loyola each day,” said Jackie Lowe, director of individual giving for Loyola University Health System and race director for the 5K. “We were thrilled to see nearly 2,000 people turn out to support us."
Groups of participants formed teams to run together and help raise funds. One of the largest, Lexi’s Wish, included 48 people who participated in the memory of Lexi O’Brien, a girl who was born with heart defects and stayed at the Loyola neonatal ICU for the first two months of her life. Lexi, who was remembered as a charismatic and vibrant young girl, passed away in 2007 at age 13. Her sister, Kaylee O'Brien, was one of the official starters for the race.
After the 5K, dozens of children were able to compete in foot races with some of the area's favorite mascots, including Staley of the Chicago Bears, Southpaw of the Chicago White Sox, Sky Guy of the Chicago Sky and Ronald McDonald. A boisterous group of fruit-and-vegetable mascots reminded children of the importance of eating healthy. An after-race party included music by Chef Dan & the Appetizers, face painting and food.
Last year’s winner, 36-year-old Lars Juhl of Chicago, won the race again this year, pushing a jogging stroller the entire way to a time of 16 minutes and 35 seconds.
The top male finishers were:
- Lars Juhl of Chicago, 16:35
- Brian Robertson of Barrington: 16:55
- Krzysztof Ozog of Melrose Park: 17:10
The top female finishers were:
- Nicole Mitchelle of Forest Park: 21:11
- Kate Goldhaber of Chicago: 21:48
- Kelly Heniff of Lombard: 22:21
A full list of runners and their finishing times is available online.
Like Loyola Health on Facebook to find more photos of the event.