LungsLogoPage1Certified course IL18026NM

The 2nd annual Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer 5K run or walk (Inaugural was in 2017) will be held at Midtown Athletic Club, 1760 N. Hicks Road in Palatine, Illinois, on Saturday, November 2, 2019. There are two options. You can run or walk solo, or enter as part of a “twosome” where your ages and times are combined but you don’t have to run together.

100% of the profit from this event goes to Northwest Community Hospital’s Foundation Lung Cancer Fund to provide assistance for people diagnosed with lung cancer.

Pairing up to Beat Lung Cancer is USATF certified (IL18026NM) and sanctioned. If you are after a record, it will count!!!


Panel 1

Our Cause


The “Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer” 5K race was created to:

  • help raise awareness about lung cancer;
  • honor both survivors and those lost to lung cancer;
  • raise donations to help patients struggling with the financial burdens associated with fighting the disease.

Lung Cancer Quick Facts
Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women – about 1 out of 4 cancer deaths are from lung cancer. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Overall, the chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 14; for a woman, the risk is about 1 in 17. These numbers include both smokers and non-smokers. For smokers the risk is higher, while for non-smokers the risk is lower. However, about 15% of people  diagnosed with lung cancer never smoked! Smoking and second-hand smoke are the top cause of lung cancer, but there are many factors, including radon as the #2 cause.

Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) in Arlington Heights is a leader in the prevention, detection, treatment and care of those with lung cancer or those at high risk for lung cancer. They offer:

A Survivor’s Story
Despite the very serious prognosis of lung cancer, some people with earlier stage cancers are cured. More than 430,000 people alive today have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point. Many of the stories of these survivors are inspiring! NCH would like to share one of the success stories with you.

Racing and Walking to Bring Hope
By registering for and participating in the “Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer” 5k race  you are helping to fund the NCH Foundation which provides compassionate care for those fighting lung cancer. If you are not able to attend the event you may still help by donating directly to the NCH Foundation. Please choose “Lung Cancer Fund” under designation.

Panel 2

The Race & Walk

Please register online at
The cost is $35 with no additional registration fees if registered on or before Monday, October 15. The cost increases to $38 on October 16 through registration closing at noon on 11/2/18. The cost is $40 to register on the morning of the race, November 3 before 7:45am. Registrants 12 years old or younger on or before November 3 will get an automatic $5.00 discount upon registration. If an immediate family of four is registering 4 people or more, contact me at or 847-343-9522 for a discount code for $30.00 off registration. A T shirt not guaranteed if registering after Wednesday, October 31st. Please register as early as possible!

Packet Pickup
Packet pickup will be located at Midtown Athletic Club at 1760 North Hicks Road, Palatine, IL 60074.  Race packets include information and goodies, along with a shirt. Race packets will be available for pick up during the following days and hours:

  • During Midtown’s regular hours the week of the race starting Monday, October 29, 2018 – please check website for hours
  • RACE DAY – Saturday, November 3 from 7:00am – 8:00am – Come as early as possible to avoid the rush!
  • Race Bibs are chipped and will be picked up on race morning (so that no one forgets their chip at home!) You must wear your race bib if you want a time.

If you can’t make it to the Packet Pickup, you’re welcome to send a friend or family member to get it for you. Just be sure they come with a copy of your registration confirmation or a copy of your license.

Parking – Important!!!
Please avoid parking in the Midtown Athletic Club parking lot since the club will be open for business. Parking will be available at the UPS lot located a short walk to the east of Midtown at 2050 N. Hicks Road in Palatine.

Starting Line
Midtown Athletic Club which is located at 1760 N. Hicks Road, Palatine, IL 60074

Schedule on Race Day (approximate times) – Race will start on time!
7:00 to 7:45am – Race day registration if not pre-registered
7:00 to 8:00am – packet pick-up if you didn’t get your  packet prior to race day, bib pick-up for all runnersRace
7:30am or before – Music starts with our Legal Beagle DJ, Scott Kummer, hailing from Chicago and donating his services!
8:05am – Race Directors Juli & Valdis Aistars – the cause, race instructions
8:10am – a few words from Senator Tom Rooney and an NCH Representative
8:20am – 5 minute warmup led by Midtown and NCH athletic trainers
8:25am – singing of the National Anthem (Ella Palffy)
8:30am – 5K start – walkers and slower runner please start in back
10:00am – Event ends – Awards can be picked up at the race if you will not be attending the post-race party

Post-race party immediately following event at Tap House Grill, 47 W. Wilson Street, Palatine, awards announced, raffle prizes, a get-together to celebrate lung cancer survivorship and honor those we have lost to lung cancer, no speeches, just enjoying each other’s company!

Gear Check
There will be no gear check station at the race site. Any items of value should be left in your car. Depending on the weather, we may have a place to leave jackets or packets at the start/finish so you won’t get too cold walking back to your car!

Chip Timing & Results
Bill Thom at RunRace will once again provide the timing for the event. RunRace is also one of our sponsors this year! Disposable timing chips will be attached to the race bibs to ensure an accurate finish time.  Race results will be posted at  within 2 days of the race finish.

Water Stations & Amenities
On the 5K course an additional water station will be located at approximately the 1.5 mile mark. Porta potties will be available near the start/finish area. The club will be open but please try to avoid using the indoor restrooms if possible!

Food and Raffle Prizes
Starbuck’s coffee will be served pre-race. Pre- and post-race, water and food will be available at the finish line for registered participants and volunteers. Raffle prizes are as listed below and will be drawn according to your race bib number. You must be present to win and you will be asked to show your bib number. Don’t leave it in the car!!!

  • Breakfast for two at Egg Harbor Cafe
  • Lynfred Winery Wine Tasting Certificate for up to 6 adults
  • Basket from Vitamin Shoppe in Arlington Heights
  • California Pizza Kitchen certificate or basket
  • Will post more as we get them!

Race Shirts
All participants registering before October 31st will receive an ash gray long-sleeve T shirt. All volunteers will receive a  long-sleeve T shirt while they last.

Safety First
Baby strollers will be allowed on the course but will start at the back of the pack for safety. Dogs are not permitted on the course. Participants may use headphones (a low volume is suggested!). Always be aware of  your surroundings and watch your footing.

Refunds/Rain Checks
No refunds, no person-to-person transfers, rain checks or deferrals to a future year will be given. We understand that plans change, injuries happen, and situations arise, but it’s most fair to apply a uniform policy to everyone. All registrations are final. Refunds will not be issued based on weather conditions.

5K Race Information

5K Race Course
The 5K race course is USATF certified and sanctioned. It features a flat, fast route perfect for novice as well as experienced runners.  The looped course will take participants from Midtown Athletic Club onto the red loop bike path of Deer Grove East, follow the loop for approximately 2.8 miles and return to Midtown Athletic Club.  Although the run is off the roads, please be aware of your surroundings and your footing.

5K Race – Choose from Two Options
You may compete as an individual in the open division OR as part of a two person team (lungs come in pairs after all!) in the “twosome” division. For this option, the two partners each register separately online and list the other person on their registration form. Twosomes can be male/male, male/female, female/female. Race results for twosomes will be scored by combining the finish time for both participants, awards will not be based on male or female but any combination. The twosome division will be divided into 20-year age groups and your age group is arrived at by adding both participants’ ages together. So grab your neighbor, BFF, child or spouse and have fun pairing up to beat lung cancer!

5K Race Age Groups

Open Age Groups
14 and under
15 to 19
20 to 24
25 to 29
30 to 34
35 to 39
40 to 44
45 to 49
50 to 54
55 to 59
60 to 64
65 to 69
70 to 74
75 to 79
80 and over

Twosome Age Groups (combined ages of  partners)
29 and under
30 to 49
50 to 69
70 to 89
90 to 109
110 to 129
130 to 149
150 and over

Race results for twosomes will be scored by combining the finish time and ages for both participants. You do not have to run together, only be signed up as a Twosome. It is possible to win in both the open category and the Twosome category.

5K Race Awards
The award ceremony will take place immediately following the 5K race at approximately 9:30am at the start/finish area if the weather is good. Otherwise, awards will be announced at the post-race party at Tap House Grill. Awards are as follows:

  • Open 5K Division
    Top overall male and female (mug pictured below and $25 gift card to Runner’s Hi ‘n Tri in Arlington Heights)
    1st place male and female in each of the age groups (photo below)
    2nd place male and female in each of the age groups (photo below)
  • 5K Finishers, 12 years of age or younger
    A “Finisher’s Frisbee” with race logo – something you can use to have fun instead of storing it on a shelf or in a drawer! The frisbee is 9.5 inches in diameter.


  • Twosome 5K Division
    1st place in each of the age groups (both runners in the pair receive an award)
    2nd place in each of the age groups (both runners in the pair receive an award)
    Awards in the Twosome category are not based on gender, it can be any combination male/male, female/female, male/female

Below are the overall male and female 5K awards:

Race Awards

Below are the open 5K age group awards, 1st and 2nd place in 5 year age groups and the Twosome awards, first and second in each Twosome age category:



Panel 3

Prepare for Race Day

Preparing to run a race is more fun when you have a group to keep you motivated! Local running clubs offer scheduled fun runs, speed workouts and advice from members that will keep you on pace. Following are some running clubs in the northwest suburbs:

AMP’D Athletic Association
Alpine Runner of Lake Zurich
Busse Woods Running Club
Dick Pond Fast Track Racing Team (Schaumburg)
HIP Athletic Association in Palatine
Libertyville Running Club
Dr. Nick Nowicki / Arlington Trotter Speed Workouts
Running in the USA is a good resource to help you locate a running club in your area.

Public Transit
The Metra train station that is nearest the race site is located at 137 W. Wood Street in
Palatine. The train line is the Metra Union Pacific Northwest. It is located about 3 miles from Midtown. You would need to take a cab or Uber – unless you want to walk or run a 5K before a 5K! The post-race party at Tap House Grill is conveniently located a stone’s throw from the train station at 56 W. Wilson Street.

Dressing for the Weather
If you’re looking for a new pair of athletic shoes or the perfect gear to keep you comfortable during the race or walk, the professionals at Runners High n’ Tri have over 25 years of experience and are happy to help. The race/walk will be held rain or shine! Please be sure to dress for the weather. Forecast 6 days out is 33 to 41 degrees and a chance of rain.

Refunds/Rain Checks
No refunds, no person-to-person transfers, rain checks or deferrals to a future year will be given. We understand that plans change, injuries happen, and situations arise, but we will apply a uniform policy to everyone. If you feel you have an exceptional situation that is keeping you from participating, please contact the RDs and we will consider a deferral. Refunds will not be issued based on weather conditions.


Panel 4

Support Us

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported this fundraising effort in 2017 and in 2018! Thank you to all sponsors, especially:

  • Northwest Community Hospital
    • Cancer Services, Administration & Marketing
  • Sodexo at Northwest Community Hospital
  • Jewel Osco
  • Midtown Athletic Club, Palatine
  • Farmer’s Insurance, Palatine
  • 3 individuals who I will not name without their permission, a dear man who has passed away, not from his lung cancer,  a generous man who has been a dear friend for many years, and an amazing lady who I have gotten to know over the past several months and who has worked tirelessly to support this fundraiser along with many in her family with time, donations, great ideas, and the list goes on!!!

It takes a lot of volunteers, donors, hours, dedication, and commitment to make an event like this successful — Val and I could not have pulled it off without all of you!!!

Thank You!!!

There are many ways you can help us in the fight to beat lung cancer:

Volunteers are needed on race day for packet pick up, number pick up, and race day registration, for early morning setup, on the race course to direct and cheer on runners, and at the finish line. Many hands are need to make the event successful! Volunteers will receive a long-sleeved T-shirt while they last. Please contact Juli Aistars for more information or to volunteer. Thank you to NCH employees, friends, family and a church group who I will name once I know the name of the church, for signing up to volunteer!!!

Donate to the Northwest Community Hospital Foundation. It is easy to donate and your tax-deductible contribution will help support those fighting lung cancer who are struggling to meet the financial burdens of care and treatment. Please choose “Lung Cancer Fund” under designation on the NCH Foundation “Give Now” page.

Become a sponsorContact us for more information. Or print and complete our Sponsor Form.

Sponsorship Levels
Gold – $500

Includes company logo on event shirts, company name & link on website, and 2 free run/walk entries
Silver – $250
Company name & link on event website; advertising in packet
Bronze – $100
Included in sponsorship listing on website

Spread the word about the race and about the fight against lung cancer. Reach out to family and friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms so they will be inspired to participate, too!