Athletes around the suburbs will be running, biking or participating in other sports this weekend as part of a "virtual race" to raise money for Mark Rouse, owner of Runners High 'n Tri in Arlington Heights. Rouse suffered from an aortic dissection, or a tear in his aorta, last week and is facing a long recovery in the hospital.
Rouse had emergency surgery last Thursday, but he is awake and recovering well, according to updates being posted by his wife, Pom, on the Runners High and Tri Facebook page.
"Mark has given back to the community for many years; here is our chance to give back to help offset the medical costs," says a description on the www.signmeup.com fundraising page for the virtual race.
Organizers ask that people sign up, donate money that would be the equivalent of a typical race entry fee, and think of Rouse during their workout at 9 a.m. Sunday.
They also ask that participating athletes share a photo of themselves during or after the workout with the Rouse family on Facebook or by email.
As of Thursday afternoon, nearly 50 people signed up and had donated more than $3,000.