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Record Turnout for Bonfield Express 5K in Downers Grove

More than 6,000 people registered for the ninth annual Thanksgiving race in downtown Downers Grove.

The annual Bonfield Express 5K in Downers Grove saw a record turnout Thursday, as runners enjoyed unusually mild Thanksgiving weather.

The event, which has grown in each of its nine years, registered more than 6,000 people by Thursday morning, according to race officials. In 2011, nearly 5,100 people registered for the race.

"What better way to kick off Thanksgiving morning than running a 5K with 6,000 of your closest friends," Downers Grove Mayor Martin Tully said in a release. "It's the biggest morning block party you can find and it comes with health benefits." 

The top male finishers Thursday were Pat Austin of Plattville, Todd Quednau of Chicago and Michael Lifson of Downers Grove. The top female finishers were Veronica Garcia of Downers Grove, Blossom Marimpietri of Downers Grove and Jessica Hopkins of Lisle.

The top three male and female race finishers were acknowledged and received gift certificates in the amount of $100, $50 or $25 to use at downtown Downers Grove establishments. Top finishers also received gift certificates from Road ID and from the Sohmar School of Holistic Massage and Therapy, officials said.

Race results for all participants have been posted on the Bonfield Express website at www.bonfieldexpress.com

The Downers Grove-based Bonfield Foundation is a not-for-profit that aims to build character and community commitment in high school students. It was founded in memory of Downers Grove South teacher Jim Bonfield, who died in October 2003 after battling Hodgkin’s Disease, leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis.

Since 2004, the foundation has awarded more than $185,000 in scholarships to 90 west suburban seniors in Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Lisle and Westmont who reflect Bonfield's personal example of character, perseverance and love of community. Fourteen scholarships were awarded in 2012 alone.

Each year, the Bonfield Express 5K attracts thousands of runners and spectators to downtown Downers Grove, officials said.

Due to construction delays on key segments of the traditional course, this year's race route was modified to include a new segment through the scenic Randall Park and was reversed over a large part of the course.

Bonfield Express officials said runners and walkers offered "mostly favorable" feedback on the new course. Race director Will Kupisch said the foundation will "eagerly await input from participants about this year's course modification to help determine whether or not it will be maintained in future years."

Foundation officials said they are already looking forward to next year, which will mark the race's 10th anniversary in Downers Grove.

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Renata M. November 28, 2012 at 03:25 AM
What do any of these comments have to do with the Bonfield? If you have issue with something Mr Cesare has written then why don't you address it on that thread? My god, the immaturity! At least he writes under his own name instead of making personal insults anonymously. You obviously have a personal vendetta, be courageous and send him an email. Can we talk about Bonfield? And yes a simple check box on the registration form is a good idea.
Mark Thoman November 28, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Hold comments for moderation. How many"one hit wonders" popped up recently, mostly to just be trolls?
PAUL C. November 28, 2012 at 01:23 PM
And Renata having past retail menswear experience, you can check all the boxes you want but shirts have to be produced for an event at least 2 weeks in advance. They just don't appear instantly and if you register 4 days before the event you shouldn't expect that you'll get a shirt in your size! These volunteers had to guess to the best of their ability (they don't have crystal balls) what sizes to order. Utopia only could be a reality if they cut off size requests after the event is 2 weeks out. One cannot expect to pick up their number and a perfect size shirt if they plan on piking them up 2 days before the event! My son and wife picked their numbers and shirts up about 10 days out and had no problems. The tone of Mr. Cesare's remarks are what irked me and he could have emailed the Bonfield Express Foundation directly instead of slamming a great event on a blog! Ii am done with this and could care less what he posts or writes in the future!
John Z November 28, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Paul, I thought you were going to "let it go." But you are hanging on. Seriously, the Bonfield Express is a great event, and I'm very proud to have my family and guests participate. It really showcases DG...the part through Denburn Woods is spectacular and always surprises my guests, as it is very different from most of the subdivisions in DG. Going past Randall Park was new this year, and another beautiful showcase for our community. The start on Main Street packed with 6,000 people blew away my kids! We enjoy the post-race bananas and comraderie in the garage. Sometimes get a coffee at Caribou or Starbucks. I have shirts that are red, purple, yellow, black, green, etc. Great cause, Mr. Bonfield must have been a wonderful man. My guests actually said, "this town is like Mayberry." You clearly have some issue with Cesare, so take it up with him separately on a thread about the homeless. I'm sure Mrs. Bonfield isn't enjoying the comments posted that are unrelated to this outstanding DG tradition. I doubt this is his full time job, so I'm not sure why he merits so much venom. LET. IT. GO.
PAUL C. November 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM
Yes Sir!

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