The Evanston North Shore YWCA has more funds for its programs after more than 5,000 people turned out for Sunday’s “Race Against Hate” along the Evanston lakefront.
YWCA officials say this year’s turnout totalled 5,223 — up from the previous record of 4,375 set last year. It was the 14th annual edition of the event, started in 1999 as a memorial to former Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdson, who was killed in a hate crime in 1999 in Skokie.
Coach Byrdsong’s widow, Sherialyn, with YWCA Executive Director Karen Singer and some of the throng of people who turned out for the race. (Photos by Genie Lemieux Jordan.)
YWCA Executive Director Karen Singer says the gross proceeds from last year’s race topped $200,000. Fundraising totals for this year weren’t immediately available.
The event, which starts at Northwestern University’s Long Field on Sheridan Road, included chip-timed 5K and 10K runs, a 5K walk and a youth fun mile.
“As we look around and see people from all different kinds of races, ethnic backgrounds and religions, the message is that you can take an act of hate and transform that into love. And hopefully that’s what you experience here—the spirit of love. That’s what this Race is all about,” said the coach’s widow, Sherialyn Byrdsong before the start of the 5K race.
The top overall male finisher in the 5K was Micha Beller, who finished with a time of 15:35. The top female finisher was Kathryn Hague at 17:50.
The top overall male finisher in the 10K was Emisael Favela at 33:04. The top female finisher was April Likhite at 39:11.
Over 90 teams participated together in the race this year. Evanston Running Club won with the fastest 10K team and 5K teams
Complete results can be found on the YWCA’s website.
The 15th annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate is scheduled for June 15 next year.