Hyde Park 5k, 2021

We weren’t sure if the annual Hyde Park 5k would be a success.

Hyde Park is technically the “south side” of Chicago. People were curious if the route would be safe. (It is.) Illinois pulled back COVID restrictions on June 11, the event was on June 17 – some expressed concern about congregating without masks.

And we couldn’t gloss over the fact that it was the first time many of the participants had run… people were (slightly) out of shape after a year of Netflix and Zoom meetings.

All told, skepticism about attendance was understandable, but the Good Athlete Project team was excited to see what their first in-person event after the quarantine would look like.

It looked beautiful. A collection of high quality, kind hearted people running (and walking, and rollerblading) along Chicago’s lakeshore.

This annual event raises funds and awareness for wellness initiative in under-supported areas of Chicago. Chicago is a notorious “food desert,” which means that access to healthy food is limited. Often, it is far easier to eat from a gas station shop than it is to find a fresh apple. This alarming dilemma worsens as low-quality, affordable food becomes increasingly available. When healthy food is unavailable and snack food (Cheetos, Doritos, and Mountain Dew) is omnipresent, areas have become known as food “swamps.”

Healthy and nutritious is not as compelling as affordable, available, and delicious.

The Good Athlete Project aims at this problem in 3 ways: increase Understanding, Motivation, and Access. Do people understand the negative impacts of poor nutrition, and why convenience now can cerate problems later? Are people motivated to be healthy and well, in a way that aligns with their site-specific goals? And when one understands and is motivated, do they have access to what they need to succeed?

All three areas must be addressed. The Hyde Park 5k raises funds and awareness to do just that.

Interested in learning more, setting up an informational workshop at your school, or joining us for next year’s 5k? Follow us on social media and on goodathleteproject.com