'Divas' half marathon, 5K coming to Lake Zurich this weekend
Champagne, tutus and boas will be part of a foot race making its Chicago-area debut Sunday at Lake Zurich's Paulus Park.
Roughly 6,000 spectators and participants are expected by organizers for the women-only Divas half marathon and 5K, which will start and finish at Paulus Park off Rand Road. Race representatives said women from across the country will descend on Lake Zurich for the race and an associated health and fitness boutique Saturday.
Part of the fun of the Divas series is that runners don pink tutus, boas, tiaras and high-tech tops for the event. Finishers receive a champagne toast and special jewelry.
"We're looking forward to hosting them," Lake Zurich Village Manager Ray Keller said. "It'll be quite the extravaganza on Saturday and Sunday."
Half-marathon runners will start at 8 a.m., with 5K participants racing at 8:20 a.m. Half-marathon runners will use a course that goes through Lake Zurich and Hawthorn Woods, while those in the shorter race will go around the village's namesake lake at Paulus Park.
To accommodate the half marathon, portions of Route 22, Midlothian Road, Old McHenry Road and Rand Road will be closed from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, officials said.
Divas organizers said the health and fitness boutique will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, at May Whitney Elementary School on Church Street in Lake Zurich.
Executive race director Robert Pozo said he looks forward to bringing the Divas series to the Chicago area and Lake Zurich, which he called "a gem."
"It is so beautiful running around the lake and the neighboring estate homes," Pozo said. "The Midwest has always drawn our attention, and now that the race has a home here, we are delighted to start what will be one of many events to come."
Lake Zurich's Paulus Park has attracted other races that have a national circuit. For example, about 4,500 participants and spectators turned out for the ColorVibe race in 2014 -- the biggest turnout ever for a race in town, said Assistant to the Village Manager Kyle Kordell.
Kordell said the Divas and Lake Zurich connected through the Visit Lake County tourism bureau.
"The village is thrilled that Lake Zurich has gained the reputation of being a great location for regional races," Kordell said Tuesday. "We think Lake Zurich offers a lot of great amenities for these events and participants seem to agree."
After Sunday's race in Lake Zurich, the Divas series will travel to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 7. Other Divas stops this year include San Francisco, Toronto, Galveston, Texas, Long Island, New York, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.