For the better part of an hour Sunday, Forest Park was overrun with runners as the 11th annual Golden Apple 5K took off from Madison Street on a southbound route to raise money for education.
The Nov. 4 event marked the third year in which the race was held in Forest Park. Proceeds from registration fees, corporate sponsors and pledged donations go to the Golden Apple’s scholastic charities. Student scholarships, teaching sabbaticals and other classroom-focused initiatives are served by the Chicago charity.
Tim Kenny, a race participant and organizing board member, said the event saw roughly the same number of participants as in 2006. Forest Park has capped the number of registrants at 500 and for two years running, Kenny said some 400 people have turned out. An online listing of race results reported 328 individual participants.
A tally on the amount raised through the event wasn’t available as of press time, but in 2006 the 5K raked in some $15,000.
“It can be used for any of the initiatives that support the Golden Apple’s mission,” Kenny said of the money.
The Golden Apple is widely known for its annual achievement award given to 10 teachers in grades four through eight in a five-county area. Winners of the coveted Golden Apple Award receive a paid sabbatical at Northwestern University, a computer and $3,000.
Winning this year’s race with a time of 16 minutes and 2 seconds was Jeremy Pennington. The fastest woman in Sunday’s event was Colleen Newhart with a time of 17:33.
Several local businesses sponsored teams competing for the fastest combined time. Taking first in that category with a total time of 1:26:08 was the caffe De Luca squad of Marco Alfaro, Greg Harper, Art Sundry and Katie Mullen.