Kailey Green’s family was nowhere to be found on Sunday.
The 26-year old from Chicago won the overall women’s division of the First Midwest Bank’s second running of the 10K race, which ran in conjunction with the 8th annual half marathon in Palos Heights.
A pretty big deal? Some might think so.
Her family, however, was moving into their new house this weekend and just didn’t have time to come and watch Kailey run.
But that can be excused.
See, the last time the Greens were in a house that they called their own was Nov. 17, 2013.
At about noon that day, members of the Green family left their home in Washington, Illinois and a tornado ripped through the town, destroying more than 1,000 houses, including the one Kailey Green grew up in. She’s not sure how old it was but said it “was pretty old.’’
Most of us in this area that day were bracing for that storm to move north and possibly hit Orland Park and Worth and create havoc with the Bears-Ravens game that was going on in the afternoon in Chicago. That game was stopped and delayed for two hours.
My family took to the basement for a little while that day. Luckily, the storm passed with minimal damage and no deaths in our area.
Washington was not so lucky.
Green was in Chicago trying to find out just what in the heck happened in her hometown and the news she heard was not good.
“I got a voice mail from my mom and they were at the hospital because they took in one of our neighbors,” she said. “I couldn’t get her cell phone because her phone and her purse were gone. I called back to the hospital and they had to try to find her. I finally got to talk to her. It was terrible.’’
That seems like such a long time ago and yet all this time, people have been without homes. The Greens were able to get by but this weekend it would be appropriate if they blasted the John Denver song “It’s Good to be Back Home Again” throughout the new house to christen it.
“They rented a house while they rebuilt it,” Green said. “I was home for Easter and got to see the new house, and it looks awesome. They are really excited to move in.’’
Green was also excited to be running on Sunday. She said she raised $1,300 in pledges for the South West Special Recreation Association, which provides activities and sports for children and adults with disabilities.
She said she works as a nurse educator for the Advocate hospital network and spends some time at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. She said she has been running since she was 8 or 9.
The family has gone through a lot since that tragedy hit Washington, but Sunday, Green was full of smiles. A race title for her and a new home doe the rest of her family was pretty special.
“It was a great weekend for the family,” she said.