Thursday, March 5, 2009

Open-Season Running

The weather's warming--at least for now--and spring is starting to show its long-awaited face. The days are getting longer after this weekend when daylight savings time kicks in. And most of us are excited to hit the path and trail and shed some of those winter layers or pounds. Whether you need some motivation to hit the Lakefront path this weekend or want to check out a cool event, you'll want to head to North Avenue Beach on Saturday.

Nike will be in full force at Castaways at North Avenue Beach on Saturday, March 7 at 11 a.m. to ring in a new holiday in Chicago: Opening Day of Running. Opening Day of Running celebrates the thousands of Chicago runners who leave the treadmill and take their run outdoors to train for events, especially the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle on March 29 (yeah, I better start training for that one, I haven't been running since a December marathon).

In celebration of the event, Nike is teaming up with the Chicago Park District to donate $100,000 toward the resurfacing and improvement of Chicago's beloved Lakefront path. And they're bringing some world-class athletes too. If you're at the 11 a.m. event, you can catch site of two elite track and field athletes. Sanya Richards, an Olympic gold medal winner, and Alan Webb, the American record holder for the mile, will kick off a short run on the Lakefront to commemorate this event with runners, city officials and Nike peeps. You might even see some kids--Chicago Public School students from the Columbia Explorers and L.E.A.R.N. Charter who are training for their first-ever race, the Shamrock Shuffle. The Lakefront will be a busy place this weekend--a welcome site indeed after our winter hibernation. Photo grabbed from rjseg1. Posted by Kate

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