As dozens of women lined up Sunday for the start of the Run Like a Mother 5K in Hinsdale, 70-year-old Judy Casten blended in with everyone else who chose to celebrate Mother's Day by breaking a sweat. It was only the subtle spasm in her right arm that made her stand out from the pack.
While most moms ran Sunday for simple health, Casten ran for her life.
She runs most days since her doctor diagnosed her with Parkinson's disease. In the winter, that means knocking out a mile or two on her treadmill. In warmer months, she's stretching her legs outside.
The Run Like a Mother 5K is part of a national race that took place in various cities across the country on Mother's Day.
Casten was one of many moms cheered on by spectators, many of them 3-feet-tall or less, as they raced through the commercial and residential streets in Hinsdale. The race was created by women, for women, a no-boys-allowed hat tip to all the contributions women make to the world and their families.
Casten wasn't drawn by that female camaraderie. Her only audience was her husband, Tom, and their dog. She chose the race because the starting line was mere footsteps from her front door.
"My motivation is my Parkinson's," Casten said after the race. "All the doctors say the only thing that brings any relief is activity and exercise."
Last year, Casten ran the Chicago Marathon, and event she'll begin training for again at the end of this month.
"I'll start training; will I actually run the race? Who knows?," Casten said with a smile.
On Sunday, Jennifer Garrison was the first woman to cross the finish line. The Naperville mom ran the 5K in less than 19 minutes to win for the second time in three years.
Judy Casten crossed the finish line in just over 32 minutes. That was fast enough to beat the only other two 70-year-old runners who competed.
Casten received a hug from her husband, and notched one more victory against Parkinson's disease.