One race. 55 charities. How Giving DuPage's Human Race touches thousands of lives

  • Roughly 1,900 runners and walkers are expected to participate Saturday in Giving DuPage's Human Race in Downers Grove. The 5K run and 2-mile fitness walk helps raise money for 55 charities.

    Roughly 1,900 runners and walkers are expected to participate Saturday in Giving DuPage's Human Race in Downers Grove. The 5K run and 2-mile fitness walk helps raise money for 55 charities. Daily Herald file photo

 
By Ann Piccininni
Daily Herald correspondent

The human race could use some help.

That's why close to 2,000 people will get up early Saturday, April 27, put on their running shoes and head over to a Downers Grove office park to cover some ground to help out.

The eighth annual DuPage Human Race, a fundraising event presented by Giving DuPage, gives runners and walkers the chance to raise money simultaneously for dozens of area charities.

It's a standard 5K run, says Shefali Trivedi, executive director of Giving DuPage, but it supports 55 charities. Each runner or walker picks a group to support when they register.

Giving DuPage is a nonprofit organization focused on promoting giving and volunteering in the county.

Trivedi says this year's event is expected to attract about 1,900 runners and walkers who will participate either in the chip-timed USATF sanctioned 5K race or the 2-mile fitness walk on the streets surrounding the Esplanade at Locust Point near the corner of Butterfield and Finley roads. There's also a Kids Walk for those 13 and younger.

Last year, the event raised $154,000 for charity, Trivedi says. Since it began in 2012, the Human Race has raised a total of $631,000.

She says the event gives smaller charities that might not have the scale to launch their own race fundraisers an opportunity to generate revenue and raise awareness of their causes. It also gives participants a look at the variety of charity efforts available in their own community.

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"It's a great way for you to learn about all the great work. It makes you feel hopeful and happy. There are so many great people doing great things," she says.

Each of the charities has been allotted space in the parking lot, closed to traffic during the race, to gather with members and supporters and offer information about their organizations.

Trivedi says a disc jockey will provide music and volunteer fitness coaches will lead warm-up stretching exercises before the races begin at 9 a.m.

Medals will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place finishers in each of several age categories. The fastest overall male and female runner will be presented with a $100 gift card.

"We rely on 100 to 150 volunteers to make the race happen each year," Trivedi says.

Folks with dogs, strollers and wheelchairs are welcome to participate in the family friendly event that takes place rain or shine.

After the race, there's a check presentation breakfast.

"We try to inspire the community to give back to the community," Trivedi says.

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