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New Mt. Prospect running club organizes first race to benefit local schools, to be held Saturday, May 19, in Arlington Heights

A new running club based in Mt. Prospect is organizing a run/walk that will be held Saturday, May 19, in Arlington Heights, to support wellness programs at local schools. The inaugural event includes a 2.62-mile "micro-marathon" run/walk and an 8K (4.97-mile) run that begins and ends at the southeast corner of Sigwalt and Arlington Heights Road (in the open municipal parking lot across from the Arlington Heights Village Hall). The races will be run through the beautiful Scarsdale and Scarsdale Estates neighborhoods, starting at 8 a.m. The event also includes 2.62 and 8K wheelchair divisions.

The event, called “Got2Run…For Education,” is unique in its fundraising approach. Participants select which school or education foundation should receive their proceeds. At least $5 will be donated per participant, with the funds supporting activities that encourage student wellness. Those who register can choose from more than 100 private and public schools serving more than 60,000 children.

Jeff Chamberlin, a Mt. Prospect father of two District 57 students, is founder and race director of Got2Run. Last summer, he and some committed Mt. Prospect parents started a running club, Northwest Road Runners, for the purpose of organizing a community run/walk to benefit local schools. "We want to encourage kids and their parents to become interested in running as a healthy lifestyle choice," Chamberlin says. "But this is also an opportunity to bring the community together to support wellness activities at the schools. And everyone can make sure that the funds raised by their participation are benefiting the school in their own neighborhood."

The community has rallied around this first-time event, according to Chamberlin. "There has been so much excitement and enthusiasm among adults and kids. We think we'll have a great turnout and be able to help a lot of schools," he says. "We are also so thankful to all of the local businesses that have signed up to sponsor the event and to the many volunteers who have helped make it happen."

The fee for participating in Got2Run is $20 for students 19 and under and $30 for adults. Early registration provides a reduced fee through Saturday, May 12, at $15 and $25, respectively. Participants who choose the no-shirt option can deduct $5. Registration can be done online, through the mail or on race day (from 7 to 7:45 a.m.).

All the details of the event are available on the event web site, www.got2run.org. The site also includes course maps, age groupings, information about awards and giveaways, and a training page to help runners prepare. The event is not just for runners, walkers are welcome as well.

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