Yesterday morning we got up bright & early, with the help of that extra hour, & went out to Ogden Park for the 2nd annual Ditch The Weight & Guns Englewood 5K. Once again it was a great turnout & an incredible morning in the heart of Englewood.
The mission is to help raise awareness & promote fitness, nutrition, & violence prevention in the Greater Englewood community. Studies show a correlation between obesity & poverty & violence. The Ditch the Weight & Guns Englewood Walk & Run is a community health initiative to address these issues.
After last year’s successful event, the excitement was high for 2015. The event was organized by Andrea NaTay of Forever Fitness Chicago LLC. There were many volunteers & booths open giving away bags, sunglasses, & other goodies. Water, apples, & 1000 sandwiches were handed out courtesy of We Are M.U.R.A.L., the Blackhawks association, & Shake Shack. The Chicago PD were on hand to help block off the streets & direct traffic.
Returning for a second year, Alderman of the 16th Ward Toni Foulkes got the crowd motivated as she introduced Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who too participated in last year’s race, gave a few words of encouragement before. Supa Dupe got on the mic early to emcee the pre-race activities. DJ Dap spun some records & T-Y Green performed live right before BlackDoctor.org, one of the sponsors, led everyone in pre-race warmups & stretches. The marines also had a great showing. There was a large pumped crowd waiting at the starting line.
Salute to all who participated, volunteered, & donated. The proceeds will be going to William R. Harper High School, located not far from where the race was ran. The goal is to purchase a juicer, blender, & 6 month supply of fresh fruits & vegetables in the school cafeteria. The post race party was held at Sponsor Dream Cafe & Grille.
Special shout outs to R.A.G.E. or Resident Association of Greater Englewood, We Are M.U.R.A.L. formerly known as The Lupe Fiasco Foundation, whose Executive Director Ayesha Jaco ran in the 5K, Chicago Urban League, David Peterson Jr., President & Executive Director of National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum in Pullman National Monument, who also ran in the 5K, Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, Teamwork Englewood, & all residents who came together to make this event great. Also thanks to sponsors Pepsi, Chicago Bears, Whole Foods, PLS, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Metropolitan Family Services & everyone else who contributed. We must continue to invest in the communities in Chicago to make them a better, safer place to live. It always great to see communities like Englewood defy the stereotype & show that great things can happen there. We look forward to next year’s event.
For more information go to www.englewood5k.com. Check out photos from the Englewood 5K below: