The 3rd annual Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer 5K run or walk 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. This year, we are bringing back the one mile walk, by popular demand.

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.



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 who lost their lives 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. The risk for smokers is higher than non-smokers. However, about 10-15% 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, and early detection of lung cancer for those at high risk. NCH is also a leader in the treatment and care of those living with lung cancer. They offer:

Life after Lung Cancer: A Survivor’s Story
Despite the 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. Many of the stories of these survivors are inspiring! Though Colleen’s lung cancer was diagnosed in a later stage, it was successfully treated and she got her life back. NCH would like to share Colleen’s story.

Racing and Walking to Bring Hope & Awareness
By registering for and participating in the “Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer” 5k race  you are showing your support for people living with lung cancer and remembering those we lost to lung cancer. You may have a family member or a friend who has traveled this road. If so, you know that the decisions are never easy.

One hundred percent of the profit from the race after expenses goes to the NCH Foundation Lung Cancer Fund, which provides compassionate financial assistance for those fighting lung cancer who need help with basic expenses while undergoing treatment at NCH. If you are not able to attend the event, you may still help by donating directly to the NCH Foundation Lung Cancer Fund. Please choose “Lung Cancer Fund” under the drop-down designation menu. In comments, write “Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer”. Thank you!!!

Panel 2

The Race & Walk

Please register online at
The cost of the 5K run/walk is $30 for adults and $20 for kids 15 years old or younger or adults 65 years old or older. The cost increases to $35 and $25 if registering after 10/31/19 at noon. Online registration closes at noon on 10/31/19. There will be paper registration at packet pickup during the daytime hours and on race day morning for $35 cash or check, shirts only if any are left.

The cost of the 1 mile fun run is $20.00, $25.00 if registering after 10/31/19 at noon. Online registration closes at noon on 10/31/19.

A long-sleeved T shirt is not guaranteed if registering after 10/25/19.  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 and a race bib. Race packets will be available for pick up during the following days and hours:

  • 11/1/19 – 6AM to 8PM
  • RACE DAY – Saturday, November 2 from 7:00am – 8:00am – Come as early as possible to avoid the rush! Please try to pick up before race day!
  • Race Bibs will be provided with your packet along with safety pins (timing shoe tag to be picked up on race morning) You must wear a shoe tag that matches your bib if you want a time.
  • We went back to the shoe tag this year because we are a “green” race, no timing chips to throw in a landfill. The paper bibs can be recycled.

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. For large groups registering together, please send one person to pick up all the packets for that group! For NCH employees, packets can be picked up in Cancer Services in the lower level, X6572.

Parking – Important!!!
Please avoid parking in the Midtown Athletic Club parking lot since the club will be open for business. If you are a Midtown member, you may use the Midtown lot on race day. Parking will be available at the UPS lot located a short walk to the east of Midtown at 2050 N. Hicks Road in Palatine. We ask that school buses drop off at Midtown and park in the nearby forest preserve lot. You can get there by heading south on Hicks Road from Midtown, turning right at Dundee and entering the forest preserve on the right side. There may not be room at UPS for buses.

Starting Line
Midtown Athletic Club which is located at 1760 N. Hicks Road, Palatine, IL 60074. The event will start in the small parking lot just off of Hicks Road. Race day packet pickup  and shoe tag pickup will also be located here, along with race day registration.

Schedule on Race Day (approximate times) – Race will start on time!
7:00 to 7:45am – Race day registration if not pre-registered (please try to avoid this by registering in advance!)
7:00 to 8:00am – packet pick-up if you didn’t get your packet prior to race day, shoe tag pick-up for all runners
7:30am or before – Music starts
8:05am – Race Directors Juli & Valdis Aistars – the cause, race instructions
8:10am – a few words from Rebecca Grant, NCH Foundation
8:20am – 5 minute warmup led by Midtown and NCH group exercise leaders
8:25am – singing of the National Anthem by Ella Palffy – this is Ella’s 3rd year!
8:30am – 5K start – walkers and slower runner please start in back
This year, half of Hicks road will be blocked for the start for safety, a Palatine police officer will monitor traffic
8:35am – 1 mile start – runners in front, walkers behind – you will go half a mile out and half mile back, turning left as you enter the forest preserve path
10:00am – Event ends – Overall awards, female and male, will be announced for the 5K, weather permitting. All other awards can be picked up at the race if at the Awards table.

Post-race party/lung cancer survivor celebration immediately following event at Emmett’s Brewing Company, 110 N. Brockway Street, Palatine. This will be a get together to celebrate lung cancer survivors and honor those we have been lost to lung cancer, no speeches, just enjoying each other’s company! We will have raffle prizes and a silent auction.

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 few bins to leave jackets or packets at the start/finish so you won’t get too cold walking back to your car! If this happens, please have your name on any items you leave.

Chip Timing & Results — Going Green!
Bill Thom at RunRace will once again provide the timing for the event. RunRace is also one of our sponsors this year! Reusable shoe tags will be provided for an accurate finish time. This prevents disposable timing chips from being dumped in landfills! Race results will be posted at  within minutes of the race finish. If you look up your result on your iPhone and see that you have an award coming, please go to the awards table and ask for it. They will verify and provide you with your age group medal. Awards only for the 5K open and the Twosome categories. No awards for the 1 mile event.

Water Stations & Amenities
On the 5K course an additional water station will be located at approximately the 1.5 mile mark with bottled water. A garbage can will be provided, or hang onto the bottle until you finish. Please do not litter! 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! If you are a member of Midtown, you may use the indoor restrooms and park in their lot.

Food and Raffle Prizes
Starbuck’s coffee will be served before the 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, raffle tickets to be purchased at the post-race event or prior to race day if you wish to be in the raffle, $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00. You do not have to be present to win.

  • Jelly’s Cafe $25 gift certificate
  • Lynfred Winery Wine Tasting Certificate for up to 6 adults
  • Basket from Vitamin Shoppe in Arlington Heights
  • Santa’s Village passes for 6 people
  • Carlson’s basket – fish oil supplements
  • There will also be some larger raffle prizes to make it more interesting this year!

Race Shirts
All participants registering before October 25th will receive a long-sleeve T shirt. All volunteers will receive a  long-sleeve T shirt until we run out! If you are volunteering and running, you will get one shirt, since the volunteer shirt is the same as the race shirt.

Safety First
Baby strollers will be allowed on the course but we ask that you 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. There will be an electric wheelchair on the course as well as a wheelchair being pushed; they will start at the back of the 5K for safety.

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 our goal 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 to the left for approximately 2.8 miles, then turn again to the left onto the sidewalk and return to Midtown Athletic Club.  Although the run is off the roads except for the short section at the start, please be aware of your surroundings and your footing. This year, one lane of Hicks Road will be blocked off for the start, in the interest of safety for all participants. A Palatine police officer will be overseeing the lane blockade to ensure safety.

1 Mile Race Course
The one mile course will turn left as you get on the Deer Grove red loop path, the same as the 5K course. There will be a cone when you have reached the halfway mark where you turn back to Midtown, the same way you went out. The 1 mile is a fun run or walk, no awards, no water station. You may carry a bottle of water from the race start with you.

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 (ages of  partners added together)
29 and under
30 to 49
50 to 69
70 to 89
90 to 109
110 to 129
130 to 149

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
Only the overall male and female 5K winners will be announced, weather permitting. There will be no awards ceremony, rather, you can pick up your award at the Awards Table if you have looked it up online and know that you have one. Volunteers will be able to check for you if you don’t have your phone. The awards volunteers will verify and provide your award. Awards are as follows:

  • Open 5K Division
    Top overall male and female (mug pictured below)
    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. Please come and get one before we run out!


  • Twosome 5K Division
    1st place in each of the age groups (each runner in the pair receives a medal)
    2nd place in each of the age groups (each runner in the pair receives a medal)
    Awards in the Twosome category are not based on gender, it can be any combination male/male, female/female, male/female or other.

Below are the overall male and female 5K 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:


1 Mile Run or Walk – Fun Run, no awards

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 28 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. Check the forecast the few days before the event.

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!