Midwinter Cruise Braves Subzero Chill

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Midwinter Cruise participants Kimberly Houlihan and her daughter Veronica celebrate completing Sunday’s race. (PHOTO: Christina Chapan)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– The Park Forest Running and Pancake Club staged the 26th running of its Midwinter Cruise Sunday. Departing from Forest Trail Middle School at 10:30 A.M., close to 200 runners braved single digit temperatures and a minus 15 degree wind chill. The race attracted runners from around the Chicagoland area and Northwest Indiana . Winners were first-place male finisher Richard Gutierez at 16:32 and female finisher Karen Nagel at 19:15.

New to the race this year were chip timing and finisher trophies shaped like ducks. Each runner also received an earwarmer headband as a premium. The Park Forest Running and Pancake Club also provided each finisher a generous portion of pancakes, coffee, water, Gatorade and fruit after the race.

When asked why they run this race year after year, one runner commented, “ I like the race because I feel it is a brisk crisp challenge, it builds character, and I like the non-competiveness of the race.” Others like the fact that every finisher gets a trophy, and some are just looking for an excuse to run outside in the dead of winter. Many also consider the $20 entry fee hard to beat.

Club officers mentioned their appreciation of the Village of Park Forest for the use of the Recreation Center at Forest Trail as well as members of the Park Forest Police Department who helped. Police reported that two squad cars assisted with the race, one taking the lead.

The race is held each year on third Sunday in January. The club’s web site is at www.pfrpc.com.