Sheridan Road was awash in a ribbon of blue on Sunday, as over 3,500 runners and walkers participated in the tenth annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate. Participants in the Race on June 28 included Ricky Byrdsong’s widow, Sherialyn, their three children, and numerous Byrdsong family members and friends from all over the country, who crowded the stage after the Race in a moving tribute to Ricky Byrdsong and his legacy.
“This race has grown from an idea to a landmark event that would not be possible without all of you, all the wonderful people from the YWCA and the board members and volunteers of the Ricky Byrdsong Foundation,” said Ms. Byrdsong. “One of life’s most perplexing questions is ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ I believe that one reason why is that the tragedy of the one creates an opportunity for countless many others to become better people. We as a family, community and city, have united and become better, stronger, more loving, compassionate, sensitive and human as a result of the murder of Ricky Byrdsong. This Race Against Hate teaches a powerful lesson about turning tragedy to victory which will be reiterated for generations to come.”
Ms. Byrdsong presented awards to all of the top finishers, as well as to winners of the Race Against Hate K-8 Banner Contest, Abby Stein and Dharti Patel.
The top overall male finishers in the 5K were Jeffrey Pentek, Tony Teunissen and Michel Jacques. The top three female finishers in the 5K were Columba Montes, Shannon Fitzgerald and Liz Ave Maria.
The top male and masters’ finishers (over 40) were Mike Egle and Kara Pellaton. The top three boys (14 and under) were Paolo Tiongson, Alastair Scully and Takoda Jeffery. The top three girls, all from Evanston, were Amanda Weidner, Jane Sereika and Maddy Savage.
The top overall male finishers in the 10K were Emisael Favela, Peter Mone and Matthew Marol. The top three female finishers in the 10K were Suetfei Li, Olivia Aranda and Elise Tropaino.
The top male masters’ finisher (over 40) was David Williams, and the top female masters’ finisher was Nancy Rollins.
The top three boys (14 and under) finishing the 10K were Drew Hollende, Micah Takagishi and Eric Weine of Evanston. There were no 14 and under girls finishing the 10K.
Complete results can be found at www.ywca.org/evanston.