Habitat for Humanity hosts 5K


Anna Pellegrino

Habitat for Humanity board members and sponsors awarded medals to runners once they crossed the finish line outside the pool doors on Sept 22.

Habitat For Humanity’s seventh annual 5K started and finished on Grant Street right outside Hinsdale Central at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22. 

Although the weather was overcast with intermittent showers, this did not seem to affect turnout, according to the club’s executive board members.

“The number of sign-ups is pretty consistent each year,” said Lainey Clark, senior board member. “We thought there would be [fewer] people turning out because of the rain, but everyone’s here.”

Anna Pellegrino
The Habitat for Humanity 5K run began at 8:00 a.m. outside the pool doors on Sept. 22.

Club leaders said that there is a fairly even split between those who run the entire race and those who leisurely stroll. At the beginning of the race, runners are told to line up towards the front, whereas walkers take up the rear.

The leaders also considered setting up for the event to be a rigorous process, requiring hours of commitment.

“We got here at 5:30 a.m. this morning, and then we’ve been working throughout the week during study halls, before school, and after school to enter all the forms and get the bibs together. We then have to set up the start and finish line,” Clark said.

The leaders have to organize all the sign-ups in order to create a bib with an individual number for each participant. Some sign-ups arrive as late as the morning of the race.

Social studies teacher Dan Otahal, who has been a sponsor since the club began 19 years ago, reported months of preparation.

“It’s a lot to juggle, given we have to teach,” Otahal said. “We start working on it in the spring, and we have to coordinate with Burr Ridge and Hinsdale to get permission and permits to use the roads, and we need police officers. We also have to find sponsors to help pay for the race.”

Anna Pellegrino
Brian Morris crosses the finish line of the Habitat for Humanity 5K run on Sept. 22.

Sponsors have included family members of board members, as well as local businesses such as Sweet Ali’s, Tasty Treat, Clarity and Great American Bagel. Rarely has the club secured corporate support; however, McDonald’s was a notable sponsor of this year’s run.

The run has multiple different categories of participants, such as community members, middle school students, or high school students. The top three participants in each category receive a hammer-shaped trophy.

Student participants are often accompanied by friends, family members, or canine companions who would like to support a worthy cause.

Junior Abby Antinossi was present with her dad, Matthew Antinossi. They were both first-time participants.

“I really like the idea of helping people without proper housing, and I enjoy the camaraderie that comes with it,” Abby Antinossi said.

After the run, coffee and snacks were available in the field house for participants and awards were given to the top runners in each category. 

Every summer, the club takes a trip to West Virginia to build a house for a family in need, and the 5K raised a little more than $10,000 that will contribute to the $40,000 needed. The club will have smaller fundraisers throughout the year.