Reindeer Run racers raise funds for Greater La Grange YMCA
Dona Trejo of Naperville wa sthe top woman finisher with a time of 20 minutes, 32 seconds at the Greater La Grange YMCA's Reindeer Run Dec. 1 at Brookfield Zoo. | Photo courtesy of Greater La Grange YMCA
Updated: February 18, 2013 1:17AM
LAGRANGE PARK — More than 700 runners laced up Dec. 1 for the Greater La Grange YMCA’s third annual Reindeer Run 5K and Kids Dash at Brookfield Zoo, which benefits the YMCA.
“It was a beautiful day, and because it was unseasonably warm, the animals were very active,” said Karen Dziagwa, health and wellness director for the YMCA. “You could hear the lions roaring and the baboons barking at the runners.”
Runners’ fees and sponsorships raised about $19,000 for YMCA programs, including Special Olympics and Impact for Life serving students and adults with special needs, Dziagwa said.
“We also had tons of community support, getting close to 100 volunteers, making sure everything was ready and safe for the runners” she said.
Executive Director Bridgette Litizia said organizers were thrilled with the turnout and increase in entrants as word has spread about the event.
“We are so excited at how this race has grown,” Litizia said.
Crossing the finish line first was Zak Hutchinson, 13, of New Lenox, who finished in 18 minutes and 9 seconds. Just one second behind him was Christopher Schiel of Schaumburg. Christopher Stockman of New Lenox was third with a time of 18 minutes, 28 seconds; Chris Dziagwa of Brookfield crossed fourth with a time of 18 minutes, 30 seconds; and Johnny Bareis of LaGrange Park came in fifth with a time of 18 minutes, 31 seconds.
Dona Trejo of Naperville was the first woman to cross the finish line and did so in 20 minutes, 32 seconds.
Organizers have set Dec. 7 as the date for the 2013 race.