Washington group adds St. Jude run

Donelle Pardee Whiting
The Washington to Peoria St. Jude satellite run will cover about 20 to 25 miles through Washington and into Peoria via Route 8 through East Peoria and the Bob Michel Bridge.

A group of seven residents created a new satellite run for the Memphis to Peoria St. Jude Run.

A satellite run is a local run from an area community to the Peoria Civic Center Aug. 2.

Created in 1982, the Memphis to Peoria run started as way to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Runners drive to the St. Jude facility in Memphis, Tenn., then run relay style back to the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate in Peoria. Support vehicles follow.

Runners pay for the honor to participate in the 465-mile event that has raised more than $13.6 million for St. Jude kids.

Because not everyone can participate in the more rigorous Memphis to Peoria run, auxiliary runs were started from communities throughout Illinois, Washington run member Sara Faber said.

All the members of the newly created Washington to Peoria satellite run were members of the Bloomington to Peoria run that comes through Washington.

Runners come from Chicago, Macomb, Bloomington/Normal, Decatur, LaSalle/Peru, Springfield, Lincoln, champaign/Urbana, Galesburg, Canton, Dunlap, Chillicothe, Elmwood, Pekin, Quincy, Richwoods High School in Peoria, St. Louis and the Tri-County.

The runners meet the Memphis runners and help kick off the St. Jude Telethon in Peoria.

Faber said the Washington run is the newest and will be run in one- to two-mile legs. Each leg is run at a 10-mile pace so no one is left behind and they will run as a group.

Runners can run as many runs as they are comfortable with, she added.

The idea to start a Washington satellite run started with Jack Stone. He first approached the Washington City Council for permission to use the city name.

“We will have a police escort all the way to the civic center, she added.

Because the group wanted to involve as much of Washington as possible, the route will start at Washington Community High School and snake through parts of the city before continuing on to Peoria via Route 8 (Washington Road) for a total of 20 to 25 miles.

Faber said they have been working hard to offset some of the actual run-day costs so that every dollar the runners raise goes to St. Jude research hospitals.

Uftring Chevy Saab has offered to provide the runners with cars and drivers to help shuttle the runners between legs, Faber said.

She added that those who would like to contribute, but not run, can volunteer to help with signing in runners, handing out T-shirts and handing out drinks along the route.

Volunteers to shake cans at various stops, tabulate money and help spread the word are also needed, Faber said.

In addition to Uftring’s, WRC Realtors, Michael’s Family Feast, Washington Construction and Remodeling, Russell’s Cycling and Fitness, Random, South Side Bank and PIP Printing & Document Services have also stepped forward to help, Faber said.

Faber said, that although she has not had a personal need for St. Jude services, several of the runners in the group have.

“It is terrible to see kids go through cancer,” Faber said. “I am paying it forward. It is for the smallest, who are often the bravest, that we do this."