The action started Saturday at the Hickory Hills’ Lions Club’s Fourth Roar and Run for Fun 5K. There were 103 who finished the race, which was won by Chicago’s Mircea Bogdan in 17 minutes, 16.1 seconds.
“I do a lot of races in the Chicago area and I just found out about it online,” the 31-year-old Bogdan said. “I was looking for a good race and this was fun. I might come back next year.”
Palos Heights’ Jan Mydra finished in second place and Hickory Hills’ Jakub Zajac was third. Tinley Park’s Maureen Spinler-Kracik was sixth overall and the top female finisher.
Money and food donations for this run will go to are families who need help in the community.
The following day, the second Freedom Isn’t Free run kicked off at Brother Rice High School and ran through the streets of Evergreen Park.
There were 399 athletes who finished the race and Race Director Shawn Hughes said there were more than 100 more military personnel running in uniform who were not timed.
“To have 500 people participating in this event was just awesome,” Hughes said.
Dan Regalado, a 26-year-old runner from Oak Lawn, won the even with a time of 17:57. Oak Lawn’s Manny Cavez finished second and Orland Park’s Michael McNicholas was third. The top female finisher was Jackie Ott of Island Lake and she finished eighth overall.
The event honored Marine Corps Cpl. Conner Lowry, a Brother Rice graduate who died in action in March, 2012, in Afghanistan.
All proceeds from the Freedom Isn’t Free 5K event will go to the Cpl. Conner Lowry Memorial Scholarship Fund at Brother Rice.