Charles "Peanut" Tillman 5K

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Fuzzy and Charles

I like football, but I’m not the hugest fan, and the team of record in the Gerdes household is the New Orleans Saints, per Erica’s Southern upbringing. But that said, I live in Chicago and it’s hard not to be a Bears fan just by osmosis. And I am a fan of running, worthy charities, and great nicknames. So just a few weeks ago I saw that there was going to be a Charles “Peanut” Tillman 5K, benefitting his Cornerstone Foundation, which promotes organ donation and helps in-need Chicago children and their families, and signed up right away.

I’ve had a cold most of the week, and the wind today was pretty brutal, so I was glad that this was the second race in a row that’s had its basecamp inside the United Club at Solider Field. I got a ride down to the race with Kristen and right when we walked in the door from the parking lot, there was Mr. Tillman, signing things and posing for photos. I got my race bib signed:


Shaun is working at a higher level of training than I, at the moment, even when I’m not recovering from a cold, so he had run down to the race and joined us as we headed to the starting line. Stepping out of Soldier Field, the wind hit us in the face from the north and we knew that the second half of the race was going to be hard going. I’ve been pretty good about keeping my training up all winter, but this last week or two with the combination of the continuing cold outside, my work schedule, and then this illness, I haven’t been outside at all—just a swim and couple turns on the bike trainer. So, despite the shock of the wind, it was actually nice to get out and stretch the legs a little with a few hundred other runners.

Peanut was there at the finish line, greeting all the returning runners and so I bugged him for another photo. You can tell that we are now the best of friends.

Fuzzy and Charles

Official results:

Time: 33:40.05
Pace: 10:51
Place: 244 / 448
Place in Age Group (M40-44): 12 / 16
Place in Sex: 132 / 207

Update: More Photos