Friday, December 10, 2010

End of the Line for Park Forest 5-Miler

This is one of the saddest stories of the year. Park Forest, for more than 30 years known as the home of one of the nation's top races on Labor Day Weekend, has decided that the 5-mile race, which ran for three years after the glorious days of the famed 10-miler, is finished. Long-time director of both the 10-miler and 5-miler, Bud James, knew it didn't look good. "I had told them that I would help them as long as they wanted it to continue and after the three-year stint they felt that the community was not really into it," James told me via e-mail. "There were only eight people from Park Forest who ran this past year. It has been harder to get the locals involved, so I think it was a wise decision. The folks at the Parks and Recreation department are super and they only wanted the best for the community all along. So I guess this ends another chapter in the running community. We are not making any major announcement so you can put the information out as you see fit." My personal take on this is the Chicago area has lost a great event. I'd like to thank Bud for all the great work he has done over the years.


Anonymous said...

That's a shame. It's too bad that the Parks & Rec Dept. doesn't recognize the value of bringing outsiders to the area ($$ spent at various local businesses, etc).

Anonymous said...

You would think even if they didn't ahve local participation that they would keep it if they were making money on it.

I can't believe they wouldn't be, considering the level of the event and the fact that there are so many races popping up everywhere that are able to get sponsored. Maybe the management was not efficient.

Anonymous said...

Related to the first comment, I wonder if the problem was that it was under Parks & Rec, whose mission is to serve the residents, rather than say the Chamber of Commerce (or equivalent), which would use it to promote local businesses. Perhaps if there is enough interest, Bud James could pursue that avenue.

It is sad to lose such a great race. I haven't been able to run in years, but I loved the 10-miler.