Winners Celebrate Victory in Arboretum Fall Color 5K RunHilly Course Challenges Runners; Women’s Winner Coming Off Broken Collarbone
LISLE, IL (October 5, 2008) – Saying the course was “surprisingly tough,” a River Forest man was the overall winner of The Morton Arboretum Fall Color 5K Run and Walk today, on a beautiful morning under a canopy of majestic trees.
“There were a lot of hills on the course,” said men’s winner Jacek Kafel, 32, of River Forest, who won the event with a time of 15 minutes, 25.2 seconds. Kafel, whose one- mile pace was 4 minutes, 58 seconds, called conditions “perfect for running.” Under mostly sunny skies, temperatures hovered around 50 degrees at the 8 a.m. start time.
Finishing second was 27-year-old Chicagoan Brian Runyon, in 16 minutes, 1.4 seconds, while the third place finisher was Dan Scheffler, a 42-year-old from Oswego, in a time of 16 minutes, 14.4 seconds.
The top women’s finisher was Megan Baganz, 31, of Naperville, in 18 minutes, 49.8 seconds. Baganz, who says she usually runs one 5K per month in the summertime, had to curtail training when she fell in May and broke a collarbone. All of which made today’s victory that much sweeter.
“It was so good to get back into it,” Baganz said.
The popular Arboretum Fall Color 5K Run and Walk drew 2,185 participants, with some from neighboring states and even one from California. The total includes approximately 250 youngsters for the “Kids Dash.” Competition occurs on a closed course through the Arboretum’s stunning tree collections, with no vehicular traffic.
Only those who pre-registered were chip-timed, and only chip-timed competitors were eligible for official times. Full race results are available at www.mortonarb.org, search 5K Run.
Contestants received a “goodie bag” and a T-shirt upon arrival, and following the race, were invited to the Fitness Fair, which offered recovery foods and beverages, and experts taught stretching exercises. Additionally, contestants were entered into a raffle, with prizes of an Arboretum membership, clothing, and more.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time or sunset, whichever is earlier. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit www.mortonarb.org and click Press Room or call to learn more.