By TONIA HILL
The annual RBC Race for Kids at Comer Children’s Hospital will return next month.
The 5K Run/Walk began in 2003 by the family of a patient who wanted to give back to University of Chicago (U. of C.) Medicine.
The race, since its start in 2003, has evolved into one of the largest fundraising drives that support Comer Children’s Hospital, 5721 S. Maryland Ave., said Lexi Fiedler, assistant director of Individual Giving & Pediatrics at U. of C. Medicine and Biological Sciences Development.
Fiedler said funds that are raised through the event go “back to research programs at the U. of C. Medicine, Comer Children’s Hospital. Every year it supports different research opportunities that are presented to us by faculty and staff at Comer Children’s.”
Last year’s participants raised over $315, 000 and Fiedler said they would like to exceed last year’s numbers. The funds helped clinician researchers focus on concussion prevention in childhood sports, expanded asthma care and education for South Side children and long-term care of children who survive serious illnesses.
“It supports groundbreaking research at Comer Children’s,” Fiedler said. “Physicians that end up with grants funded through this race can take some of their research and findings to the next level and use the grant money for seed money so that they can embark [upon a] larger grant further down the road.”
The annual 5K Run/Walk draws 2,000 participants per year due in part to the reputation of the hospital and participants who are passionate about its work, research and programming “that affects patients at Comer Children’s as well as the surrounding communities,” Fiedler said.
Also included in the festivities are a Kids’ Mile, awards ceremony, and Kids’ Dash.
“What makes the race unique is having all the different distances that people can run,” Fiedler said. “It is a great family friendly event because there are often 5K [races] or longer distances throughout the city but not every family member can participate.”
The race will be held on Sunday, Oct. 15, on U. of C.’s Campus, at 58th Street and University Avenue, and will begin at 9 a.m.
The course begins and ends at the Quad.
All streets that will be used for the race will be closed at 8:15 a.m. and reopen no later than 10:15 a.m.
Road closures include: 58th Street between University and Woodlawn avenues (reopens at 9:10 a.m.), Woodlawn Avenue between 58th and the Midway (opens at 9:15 a.m.) and the Midway between Woodlawn and Cottage Grove Avenues (reopens at 9:30 a.m.)
The Kids Mile will begin at 9:45 a.m.
57th Street between University and Cottage Grove avenues will remain closed for the longest period but will reopen no later than 10:15 a.m.
To register for the race visit, race.uchicagokidshospital.org.