Volunteers make annual Hub Run roll
By Anthony D. Alonzo Post-Tribune correspondent April 23, 2013 12:18PM
Tom Cierniak crosses the finish line 1st overall with a time of 16:11.3 (unofficial) at The 32nd annual Southlake YMCA Hub Run in Crown Point, IN on Sunday April 29, 2012. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 24, 2013 2:12AM
Since the Hub Run’s debut in 1980 as a 10K race to benefit Crown Point’s YMCA, increasing volunteer support and runner interest have helped to create one of Northwest Indiana’s premier annual competitive and recreational runs.
As race directors gear up for the May 5 run, an infusion of support has been noticed from area residents just as Americans grapple with the tragedy and public safety response that unfolded last week at the Boston Marathon.
A safe, orderly experience for Hub Run participants is the primary goal for those coordinating the legwork for the 33rd annual race.
“The organization’s been running it for so many years, as a team we work so well together,” said Chris Mallers, Southlake Y program director. “Everybody has a certain (section) they’re in charge of. We’re getting it to where everything runs smooth.”
As intelligence and law enforcement agencies seek answers through the interrogation of the surviving marathon bombing suspect, who was apprehended Friday in Watertown, Mass., some people have committed to offering extra support at public athletic events. That civic response has come in the form of many region residents asking, “how can I help?”
“It’s just amazing how the community comes out to help us with this race,” said Cheryl Louttit, race co-director. ”We have native Indians, area churches and others are helping us out… and we can’t do it without the city’s help.”
Co-director Amy Lucka said she believes turnout will increase this year as the running community shows their solidarity.
The event doesn’t run itself: dozens of individuals work on gaining event sponsors, coordinating promotions and volunteering on race day. Lucka said the help they’ve gotten has made for many successful 5K competitive and 2K recreational runs.
More than 2,000 runners are expected to participate in this year’s Hub Run. The shorter course is composed of a rectangular route west of the Old Courthouse square. The 5K heads southwest to the Ellendale subdivision and returns to the square via S. Court St.
“We thought the (current course) was the neatest route,” Mallers said. “It’s one of the more challenging courses with a few large hills.”
In last year’s 5K, then-17-year-old Tom Cierniak earned the overall first place finish with his 16:11.3 time. Then-28-year-old Lindsay Hattendorf placed first among all female runners with a time of 17:44.5.
Pre-race packet pickups are set for Friday, May 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Southlake YMCA (1450 S. Court St.). Race day registrations will be from noon to 1:30 p.m., on Sunday, May 5 on the west lawn of the Old Courthouse, with the run starting at 2 p.m.
For more details or to register, call 663-5810, or visit www.slymca.org/y-programs/healthy-living/hub-run or www.thtiming.com.