Organizers behind the Shorewood Scoot 5K hope the race once again becomes an annual draw for area runners.
The Sept. 9 event marked the first run put on in two years by its new presenting sponsors, the Shorewood Area Chamber of Commerce and Athletico.
Matt Erwin, a physical therapist and facility manager for Athletico, said the main idea for holding the race is to bring it back to town.
“We’re hoping to get the word back out to let people know about it, so again it just can keep growing each year,” he said.
Staff members from Athletico were on hand to help runners in completing pre-race and post-race stretching. This year, 73 participants preregistered.
Carol Wagner, president of Shorewood Area Chamber of Commerce, said a handful of people dropped in the day of the race with interest in participating.
“I think we’ll probably get up to 100 [participants] today,” she said.
Shorewood’s Gina Lite said she did not know what to expect when she registered to compete in the race.
“I haven’t [ran a 5K] in quite a few years,” she said. “This is my first race in probably three or four years.”
Gina brought along her 14-year-old son, Dyllan, to cheer her on. He said he is happy and excited to see his mother running in the Shorewood Scoot 5K.
Gina said she runs regularly, so she was looking forward to participating.
“Me personally, [I hope] just to have fun,” she said. “I run for pleasure.”
Proceeds raised will go to the Shorewood Area Chamber of Commerce’s education fund to support business development among members, as well as the Make Your Mark Foundation to benefit pediatric cancer research and provide assistance to families with loved ones diagnosed with cancer.
Sue Staehely, founder of Make Your Mark Foundation, was on hand to see the race make its return to Shorewood.
“We love it when people come out that don’t necessarily know Mark’s story,” she said. “Most everybody that lives in Shorewood knows about Mark.”
Sue’s son, Mark Staehely, was diagnosed at age 12 with neuroblastoma, which is a form of childhood cancer that forms in the nerve tissue.
“During that course of his life, he did so many things for all the other kids up at the hospital,” she said. “[He] started a toy drive because he felt bad for the kids in the hospital. He would go out and speak for the hospital about what it was like to be a teenager with cancer.”
Sue and her husband started the foundation after their son died at age 18.
“[Mark] was very selfless,” Sue said. “When I say love, compassion and service to others, that was his motto.”
Over the years, the Make Your Mark Foundation has raised close to $1.5 million.
“It’s just basically carrying on what Mark wanted,” Sue said.
Josh Goodwin, of Oswego, was preparing to hit the racecourse this year.
“This is, I think, is my sixth or seventh [Shorewood Scoot 5K] race,” he said. “I’m glad to have it come back. I missed for a couple years there. It’s a great cause.
Goodwin said racing in the Shorewood Scoot 5K brings great meaning to him.
“The Staehely family has been great,” he said. “I’ve known them for—gosh, since I was a young kid. We miss Mark, and it’s always a great reminder to come out and do this.”
Goodwin added, “It’s good to see as many people out today.”
Volunteers from the local Boy Scouts troop, Shorewood Area Chamber of Commerce and the Minooka High School Honors Society provided support to help make the event possible.
Wagner said it is “great” to see the community’s support at this year’s race.
Other highlights included the 100-meter dash for children to enjoy. There, each participant took home a finisher ribbon.
By the end of the Shorewood Scoot 5K, the Top 3 finishers out of the male and female divisions received medals during the awards ceremony that followed the race.
“We want to make sure each year we get better and better,” Erwin said of the race. “We’re going to see how things go this year, and see where it takes us, but it would be great to keep it going.”