Skip to main content

Gearing Up For the ABC7 Gibbons 5K: An Interview with Arleen Boudart

http://gibbons5k.com/
I've been eying the long-running ABC7 Gibbons 5K for the last several years but still haven't run it. But this year - and even more specifically, this month - I'm finally going to go out on a Thursday afternoon (June 18th!) and run it. And since it's a race I've been interested in for a while I thought I'd get a little background information before I cross the starting line two weeks from now.

Luckily, Arleen Boudart, Special Events Director for the Leukemia Research Foundation (the group who organizes the race fulfilling their mission of being "dedicated to conquering all blood cancers by funding research into their causes and cures, and enriching the quality of life of those touched by these diseases") was able to give me some of her time to break it down a bit.

Most importantly, the race was started 21 years ago in memory of Jim Gibbons from ABC7 after his death from leukemia in 1994. Boudart explained that an evening slot for the race was chosen for good reason. "The original - and every race start since - have been broadcast live on ABC 7 news at 6:25pm."

But more than the media coverage it's the reason for the race that really gets Boudart excited. "We are not just a 5K that donates what proceeds they get to a charity - we are a charity that has a 5K and tries to keep as many dollars as we can for the cause," she says. "We won’t throw paint on you, run you thru the mud, or serenade you mile by mile - but we will do our best to raise as much money as we can for our mission and have fun doing it!!"

Based on that alone it's clear why the hashtags the race is using for promotion are important to them. The first is #itsmorethanjustarace. "Because we are an opportunity for those whose lives have been touched by blood cancer to join together," says Boudart. "Our second hashtag is #togetheritispossible, because it REALLY is!"

As part of this discussion, Boudart asked me to take a look at their "Heroes of Hope" page which describes why people are running (using the hashtag #WhyIamRunning). "This is the reason I do what I do," she says. "To touch the lives of those who are running and walking to honor a loved one, to celebrate being a survivor and to mourn those lost to blood cancer." 

The race has moved around a bit over the years but this year they're looking at some improvements, moving the race back to Grant Park and, even more importantly to Boudart, "We're trying to more significantly honor those who are patients, survivors or touched by blood cancer."

I run a lot of races and it's always good to be reminded that more often than not there is a reason for getting out and crossing that starting line that is much bigger than fitness and PRs and a classic runner's high. The ABC7 Gibbons 5K definitely makes those reasons clear. I hope to see you out there!

(FYI: The event includes a chip timed 5K, a 5K fun run and a 3K walk).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chicagoland's First Annual February Fool's Goal Half Marathon/Debacle Completed!

If you were outside running yesterday, or even if you were just sitting inside looking out the window, you are probably aware that yesterday was a terrible weather day. All day. The temperature stayed between 34 and 40 with freezing rain falling on and off throughout the day.

But that didn't stop a trio of foolish runners from Chicago from completing the inaugural running of Chicago's newest half marathon:

Chicagoland's First Annual February Fool's Goal Half Marathon/Debacle 

Doyle's Emerald Necklace Road Race

Since I'm in Boston this week visiting Brynn I figured we should be hitting up some of the Boston-area races (especially since neither of us is fast enough to run the Boston Marathon). So, in searching for the most convenient race for us to take on this weekend I stumbled upon the Doyle's Emerald Necklace Road Race - a race now in its 18th year and deemed "legendary" by race organizers. It didn't hurt that this race started at 11am and that the weather was predicted to be sunny and in the mid-60s.

Unfortunately, Boston chose not to cooperate and the weather was in the mid-50s and raining yesterday morning as Brynn and I made our way to the starting line (via bike - her on her own bike and me on a Hubway - the Boston equivalent of Divvy).

We got to what we thought was the starting line at Doyle's Cafe - a small pub/cafe in Jamaica Plain - and checked in to get our race bibs. Here we found out a few things: 1. This race is much bigger than we anticipated (aroun…

The Jingle Bell Run/Walk aka The Trail Run You Didn't Know Chicago Had

It snowed all night. And it snowed all morning. And, as I write this, it is still snowing. In short, it's pretty snowy out there in Chicago right now. This morning - along with a number of other people who didn't know whether to be excited or concerned about all the snow - I ran the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis.

And as the title of this blog implies, it was way more than just a typical Chicago road/sidewalk/Lakefront Trail race: