Runners took to the trails of St. Charles’ Pottawatomie Park in the ninth annual Bob Leonard 5K Run/1K Family Run on Sunday.
The race is organized between the St. Charles Noon Kiwanis and the River Corridor Foundation in honor of Bob Leonard, one of the founders of the River Corridor Foundation in St. Charles, who died in 2006.
New to the event this year was a 1K family color run.
Rick Brems, co-chair for the event, said the run is popular among participants for a number of reasons.
“I think runs progressively get more and more people year after year because it becomes a familiar thing,” he said. “The name rings a bell and they re-sign up year after year.”
On average, the annual event typically sees 200-300 participants.
Brems said 250 people were expected to participate in the ninth annual race.
Mayor Ray Rogina was one of several runners who took part in the annual Bob Leonard 5K race. He said the event holds great meaning to him.
“It’s pretty fun for me as mayor to mingle with the masses here,” Rogina said.
Rogina added that he’s participated in a total of 15 marathons and a number of half marathons over the years.
He said the efforts made by the River Corridor Foundation and the Kiwanis are formidable in how they help support the city of St. Charles and its people.
“I’m here to support that,” Rogina said.
Sherrie Urdenberg, of St. Charles, said she felt compelled to come back and compete in the 5K.
“It’s a sense of satisfaction that I actually did it,” she said.
This year was Urdenberg’s second time participating in the race.
Urdenberg is a member of a local boot camp group, and said the sense of camaraderie she finds among the other ladies is amazing to see.
Jennifer Payne, of St. Charles, is a member of the same boot camp group as Urdenberg. She said being a part of this year’s 5K means a lot to them.
“Because Monday when she show up at boot camp, now we can all say, ‘We did it,’ rather than: ‘how come you weren’t there?’” she said.
The race is hoped to generate $20,000 through donations, Brems said.
Proceeds will benefit the River Corridor Foundation, a nonprofit whose aim is to enhance the riverwalk, and the St. Charles Noon Kiwanis, an organization that supports the needs of community youth through scholarships and other programs.