Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trade 13.1 for 3.1 at Chicago Half Marathon Weekend

How far are these feet running? Credit
Sometimes shorter is better. When that applies to racing, it's less pounding on the joints, less pain the next day, less chafing, less worry about wearing the right socks (the ones that won't give you blisters 8 miles into a long run), and obviously less mileage. And all of those apply two weekends from now when the Chicago Half Marathon takes place.

Sure, you can run the 13.1 miles of the half--it's a great course, by the way, that takes runners past some scenery we don't often run by--but if you're not ready, willing and able, it could be more of a death march than a happy-go-lucky race. But a 5K? That's manageable, less stress on the joints, less time taken out of the day (or a not-so-early wake-up call depending on how you look at it)--and any other reason that'll justify 3.1 miles over 13.1. So sign up for the Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5K instead.

You won't have to crawl your way to the half marathon's finish line--or never make it there in the first place. But you will get to help Hyundai Hope On Wheels, the non-profit arm of Hyundai Motor America, raise awareness and research funds for childhood cancer. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month (who knew?) and net proceeds from the 5K will directly benefit the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital that opened earlier this year in downtown Chicago. That's a good reason to elevate your heart rate to the walk, jog or run level for 3.1 miles.

At this 5K, participants get to run through Jackson Park, a rarity for many of us who live on the north side of town, and cross the same start and finish line as the half marathoners. With a 7:45 a.m. start, you can avoid the half marathon start, but still reap its perks like finish-line snacks, cheering crowds and a scenic route. And even if you can't make the Sept. 9 race in Chicago, the Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5K race series will also be held in Irvine, Calif., on Sept. 1 and Miami, Fla., on Sept. 29.

Don't be surprised if you see some Hyundai employees toeing those lines. The Hope On Wheels nonprofit arm of Hyundai has united more than 800 dealers around the country to raise awareness on childhood cancer and celebrate the lives of children who are battling the disease; together they've raised more than $57 million for childhood cancer research since the program began in 1998. And Hyundai Motor America's President and CEO, John Krafcik, is a runner.

For more details, check out the Hyundai Hope On Wheels website.

Photo grabbed from Danielle Walquist Lynch at flickr.

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