The 4th annual Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer 5K or 1 mile run or walk will be held virtually. There are two options. You can run or walk solo, or enter as part of a “twosome” to run or walk with a partner in the same location. You can run or walk anytime between August 4 and November 1, 2020. You will submit your own results online on the registration site at

100% of the profit from this event goes to Northwest Community Hospital Foundation’s Lung Cancer Fund to provide assistance for people diagnosed with lung cancer and treated at Northwest Community. They  must demonstrate financial need that was brought on by their diagnosis or treatment. With the economic impact of COVID, there are more people in our community impacted financially by a  new diagnosis of lung cancer.

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Our Cause

The “Pairing Up to Beat Lung Cancer” EVENT was created to:

  • help raise awareness about lung cancer;
  • celebrate 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!

Racing and Walking to Bring Hope & Awareness
By registering for and participating in the 2020 virtual  “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 living expenses while undergoing treatment at NCH. If you are not able run or walk a 5K in the place of your choice, 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!!!

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The Race & Walk

Please click here to register. 
The cost of the 5K or 1 Mile run/walk is $30. Online registration is open and closes by end of day, November 1, 2020. All registrants will receive a long-sleeve T-shirt with race logo and a finisher’s award. You do not have to submit results to receive your shirt and medal.

Packet Pickup – None for 2020!

Parking – Anywhere legal!

Starting Line – Your choice!

Schedule on Race Day – Up to you!

Gear Check – Somewhere safe and where you can remember!

Results — You submit your own results. Directions on how to submit result on the registration website at Follow this link for further instructions to submit virtual results. If it is still not clear, contact the Race Director at

Water Stations & Amenities – Bring your own water, preferably in a reusable bottle or cup!

Race Shirts
All registered participants will receive a race shirt with the event logo. They will be mailed unless you request pickup at Northwest Community Hospital. Please email to request in person pickup. It will save mailing cost so it can benefit patients applying for the NCH Lung Cancer Fund assistance instead of going postal :).

Safety First
Please be safe, for example, run or walk during daylight hours. If you are going alone, let someone know where you are, carry your phone, and take any other reasonable precautions to ensure your safety, whether indoors or outdoors.

Refunds/Rain Checks
No refunds, person-to-person transfers, rain checks or deferrals to a future year. 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. Weather should  not be an issue since you have until November 1 to plan your run or walk.

5K Race Information – Run or walk anywhere you choose. You can use last year’s courses if you wish.

5K Race Course
The 5K race course we have used in past years 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 course is off the roads except for the short section at the start, please be aware of your surroundings and your footing.

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. If you wish to have a cone marking the halfway point, feel free to place one. Or simply use your Garmin to measure 1/2 mile out and then return.

For either the 5K or 1 Mile event, you have two options:
You may run or walk alone 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. Since the race is virtual, you don’t have to let us know who your partner is. Twosomes can be male/male, male/female, female/female. So grab your neighbor, BFF, child or spouse and have fun pairing up to beat lung cancer!

Race Awards – A finisher’s award will be mailed to everyone who submits results, along with a long-sleeve T-shirt. We do have some frisbees left as pictured below. Let us know if you would like one. They will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Make your requests by email the Race Director at once you have registered.


  • Solo Division – There will be an award for all runners and walkers who complete their distance and submit results on
  • Twosome Division – Walk or run with a partner in the same location. You will get a special “twosome” award when the two people in the twosome submit identical results on the same day.

Event T-shirt vote!!! Inquiring minds want to know…
We have a vote going on from August 4 to September 15, 2020 to decide on the event T-shirt design. We are tallying names and votes and will report the final tally on the FB page, Pairing up to Beat Lung Cancer. Below are the 4 choices. Please vote once for only one, #1, #2, #3, or #4. Please email with your choice and your name.


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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. Though COVID has curtailed or limited some of these options for training, the following is a resource list. Please contact them to find out if they are having group runs and if so, what precautions are in place to prevent the spread of COVID.

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 not needed this year!
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 29 years of experience and are happy to help. You can run or walk in the weather of your choosing! Please be sure to dress for the weather, since November can be unpredictable.

Refunds/Rain Checks – Should not be an issue with a virtual run/walk
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 Race Directors and we will consider a deferral. Refunds will not be issued based on weather conditions.

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Support Us

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported this cause in the past 3 years! Thank you to all the past 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 few years and who has worked tirelessly to support this fundraiser along with many of her family members with their time, donation of the shirts, great ideas, and generosity!!!

It takes many volunteers, donors, and hours, and some serious 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:

No volunteers are needed this year, but you can help by signing up and/or donating to the NCH Lung Cancer Fund.

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. Because the race is virtual in 2020, we are asking only for donations that can be used as a raffle prize. If you are a company who would like to be involved in some way, please contact us to discuss. Thank you!

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!