First Midwest Bank Half Marathon hits stride

 

The 2015 First Midwest Bank Half Marathon is hitting its stride and is on pace for another successful year, organizers said last Friday.

          Three months before the event, to be run on Sunday, May 3, more than 900 runners have already pre-registered, with an additional 200 signing up for the 10K race held at the same time.

          The number of Half Marathon pre-registrants is poised to eclipse the 1,023 runners who competed in and finished the big race last year—and moved towards the 2013 total of 1,470 runners who hit the tape.

          “This is great news,” said Half Marathon co-founder and co-director Jeff Prestinario. “Things are definitely looking good at this point, and we just need to keep moving forward.”

          The news was released at the event organizing committee’s monthly meeting at the Palos Heights Recreation Center, 6601 W. 127th St. About a dozen members attended.

          No one has yet registered for the day’s third race, the Walk, Run or Roll for athletes with disabilities, although Prestinario noted that those sign-ups typically come in a burst in the weeks before the big day. Last year, nearly 60 men, women and children participated in that race, nearly double the 2013 tally. He said he expects similarly strong numbers in 2015.

          Prestinario and others on the committee allayed concerns expressed last month, about a new half marathon set for Saturday, April 25 in Frankfort. He and several others stated that they had heard that the new event has only attracted 75 runners thus far and does not appear to be competing for athletes with the First Midwest Bank Half Marathon.

Nonetheless, race organizers said they are not taking anything for granted, especially as running becomes more popular and new races proliferate.

“When we first started this race eight years ago, we were the only game in town,” observed co-founder and co-director Mel Diab, owner of the popular Running For Kicks athletic shoe store in Palos Heights. “Now, there’s so much competition out there that we have to ‘up’ our game, and that’s exactly what we will do, with the help of everyone on this committee.”

Organizers can sometimes be their own worst critics, and communications executive Tom Barcelona, who serves as sponsorship co-coordinator for the event, added a note of perspective.

“You know, it’s kind of interesting, and I’m sure many of you have experienced this also, but you can get a little complacent and perhaps take it for granted that you’re going to get a lot of runners,” he said. “So you get a little disappointed when numbers are down, as they were last year.

“But I talk to people who are involved in runs in other communities in other parts of the country, and they’re amazed when I tell them that we’ve had 2,000 runners and that 1,500 is our minimum,” he continued. “That’s a great number of runners, and sometimes you don’t realize what a great turnout that is.”

“And to do it for eight years is fabulous,” Prestinario added.

Diab, as he and Prestinario often do, added a note of thanks for First Midwest Bank’s sponsorship of the annual event.

“This race has raised about $165,000 for local charities in the past eight years,” he said. “It’s a good event for a good community, and I just can’t say enough about the importance of First Midwest Bank’s sponsorship. Without them, I don’t even want to know what we’d be doing.”

Also at Friday’s meeting, it was announced that McDonald’s, Meijer and Whole Foods have come aboard as in-kind sponsors, offering water, bananas and other items for runners.

The First Midwest Bank Half Marathon is laid out on a course that starts and ends at Palos Heights City Hall, 7607 W. College Drive, running west along and through the scenic forest preserves of the Palos area.

For more details on the race, visit firstmidwesthalfmarathon.com online.

DRColor-page-onehalf-marathon-story pageX 2cols LipinskiRuns 021215-copy

Regional file photo

Serving as race marshal for the 2015 First Midwest Bank Half Marathon will be U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (left), an avid runner who last year ran the 10K race.

 

Local News

Worth Mayor Mary Werner and Worth Police Chief Tim Denton expressed concerns over the impending no-cash bail provision of the SAFE-T Act. (File photo)

Some Worth officials are concerned about SAFE-T Act

By Joe Boyle A controversial criminal justice law that goes into effect on Jan. 1 has some Worth public officials apprehensive and believe it will actually cause an increase in crime. Worth resident Jack McGrath said that varying opinions about the Illinois Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, or the SAFE-T Act, have arrived in mailings at…

up in smoke license

Worth revokes second business license for selling illegal cigarettes

By Joe Boyle For the second time in less than a month, the Worth Village Board has voted to revoke the license of a business in which illegal cigarettes were being sold. The board accepted the recommendation of the Worth Police Department, which called for the license of Blowing Smoke II Inc., which did business as Up in Smoke, 11015 S. Harlem Ave., to be revoked.…

Pizza Castle will be moving from its longtime home in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood to new digs in Hickory Hills.

Pizza Castle moving from Gage Park to Hickory Hills

By Bob Bong Pizza Castle has had a long run at its Gage Park neighborhood home on the Southwest Side. But after almost 50 years, the Jensen family is pulling up the roots on the family business and moving to the suburbs. The pizzeria, which was founded in 1973, will be moving to 7737 W.…

market by macy's logo

Macy’s grand opening Friday in Evergreen Park

By Bob Bong The new Market by Macy’s and Macy’s Backstage stores will hold their grand openings this weekend at Evergreen Plaza in Evergreen Park. The new stores will open in the former Carson’s at 9700 S. Western Ave. Market by Macy’s will occupy the first floor and Macy’s Backstage outlet store will take over…

Palos Heights Alderman Michael McGrogan said Tuesday that the council should come up with a solution to the proposed parking lot controversy that would satisfy businesses and residents. (Photo by Jeff Vorva )

Parking lot nixed in Palos Heights but issue not dead yet

By Jeff Vorva The controversial parking lot proposal in Palos Heights was not approved Tuesday night but the issue is not dead. The city council needed a super-majority 6-2 vote for a zoning change from residential to business and granting a special-use permit for a municipal parking lot at 12303 S. 71st Court in the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound October 5, 2022

Peggy Zabicki

Senior Center has re-opened

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather we’ve been blessed with. I visited the Southwest Regional Senior Center, 6117 S. Kedzie, recently. They are open once again, and everything looks very nice. New floors were installed and there are freshly painted…

Mary Stanek

Tabares’ shred day was a fun event

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Happy National Pizza Month! Don’t we live in a great neighborhood for pizza? There are so many pizza parlors to choose from. There are the big chains and the mom-and-pop establishments. I volunteered on last week at…

Kathy Headley

Kids visit gas station with a purpose

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Last Thursday, third graders from McKay School visited the new Roux Gas Station at 7051 S. Western. The station was recently built on the vacant lot where Napleton Buick and its predecessor, Van Male Buick, once stood. Now…

Richards High School Bands Director Jordan Fransler will be running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 9, raising money for Miracle Network Dance Marathon. (Supplied photos)

Richards teacher to tackle the Chicago Marathon

By Kelly White As bands director at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Jordan Fransler’s days are filled with education and music, but that’s not all. In his free time, the talented teacher likes to put on his running shoes. “Running became one of my favorite hobbies several years ago. It started out as a…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Worth Mayor Mary Werner and Worth Police Chief Tim Denton expressed concerns over the impending no-cash bail provision of the SAFE-T Act. (File photo)

Some Worth officials are concerned about SAFE-T Act

By Joe Boyle A controversial criminal justice law that goes into effect on Jan. 1 has some Worth public officials apprehensive and believe it will actually cause an increase in crime. Worth resident Jack McGrath said that varying opinions about the Illinois Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, or the SAFE-T Act, have arrived in mailings at…

up in smoke license

Worth revokes second business license for selling illegal cigarettes

By Joe Boyle For the second time in less than a month, the Worth Village Board has voted to revoke the license of a business in which illegal cigarettes were being sold. The board accepted the recommendation of the Worth Police Department, which called for the license of Blowing Smoke II Inc., which did business as Up in Smoke, 11015 S. Harlem Ave., to be revoked.…

Pizza Castle will be moving from its longtime home in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood to new digs in Hickory Hills.

Pizza Castle moving from Gage Park to Hickory Hills

By Bob Bong Pizza Castle has had a long run at its Gage Park neighborhood home on the Southwest Side. But after almost 50 years, the Jensen family is pulling up the roots on the family business and moving to the suburbs. The pizzeria, which was founded in 1973, will be moving to 7737 W.…

market by macy's logo

Macy’s grand opening Friday in Evergreen Park

By Bob Bong The new Market by Macy’s and Macy’s Backstage stores will hold their grand openings this weekend at Evergreen Plaza in Evergreen Park. The new stores will open in the former Carson’s at 9700 S. Western Ave. Market by Macy’s will occupy the first floor and Macy’s Backstage outlet store will take over…

Palos Heights Alderman Michael McGrogan said Tuesday that the council should come up with a solution to the proposed parking lot controversy that would satisfy businesses and residents. (Photo by Jeff Vorva )

Parking lot nixed in Palos Heights but issue not dead yet

By Jeff Vorva The controversial parking lot proposal in Palos Heights was not approved Tuesday night but the issue is not dead. The city council needed a super-majority 6-2 vote for a zoning change from residential to business and granting a special-use permit for a municipal parking lot at 12303 S. 71st Court in the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound October 5, 2022

Peggy Zabicki

Senior Center has re-opened

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather we’ve been blessed with. I visited the Southwest Regional Senior Center, 6117 S. Kedzie, recently. They are open once again, and everything looks very nice. New floors were installed and there are freshly painted…

Mary Stanek

Tabares’ shred day was a fun event

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Happy National Pizza Month! Don’t we live in a great neighborhood for pizza? There are so many pizza parlors to choose from. There are the big chains and the mom-and-pop establishments. I volunteered on last week at…

Kathy Headley

Kids visit gas station with a purpose

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Last Thursday, third graders from McKay School visited the new Roux Gas Station at 7051 S. Western. The station was recently built on the vacant lot where Napleton Buick and its predecessor, Van Male Buick, once stood. Now…

Richards High School Bands Director Jordan Fransler will be running the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 9, raising money for Miracle Network Dance Marathon. (Supplied photos)

Richards teacher to tackle the Chicago Marathon

By Kelly White As bands director at Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Jordan Fransler’s days are filled with education and music, but that’s not all. In his free time, the talented teacher likes to put on his running shoes. “Running became one of my favorite hobbies several years ago. It started out as a…

DVN Complete Auto Service House Ad
Regional Bennett Auto Rebuilders House Ad