PHOTOS: Race Against Hate Draws Record Crowd

The YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s 12th annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate drew its largest numbers ever last Sunday. Top finishers included two Evanstonians.

Some 4,375 runners and walkers turned out for the ’s Race Against Hate last Sunday, the largest crowd ever in the race’s 12-year history, according to a press release from the YWCA.

First run 12 years ago in memory of former men’s basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong, the race was founded to honor Byrdsong’s legacy and combat hatred in all forms. For the last seven years, proceeds have gone to support the YWCA’s anti-racism and violence prevention school programs. 

“You have no idea what this race means to me and my family,” Byrdsong’s wife, Sherialyn told participants on Sunday, according to the release. Joined by her three children, Sabrina, Kelly and Ricky Jr., Sherialyn welcomed racers along with YWCA Evanston/North Shore CEO Karen Singer and Vicky Dinges of Allstate Insurance Company, one of the race’s sponsors.

“As I was just thinking this morning about how special this is, I thought about three words: Legacy, Longevity, and Love,” Sherialyn said. “That’s what this race represents this morning. And I just want to thank you so much for making those three words come alive every year.”

athletes came out to cheer runners on and hand out water, while more than 90 teams participated from local churches, schools, hospitals, governments, universities and businesses.

Top finishers included two Evanstonians: the overall winner of the men’s 5K, Matthew Marol, and the winner of one of two cash prizes for racers over 62, Nancy Rollins.



Men’s 5K, Overall
Matthew Marol of Evanston, 15:38
Micah Beller, 15:54
Alec Dinerstein, 17:34

Women’s 5K, Overall
Columbia Montes, 18:11
Mariana Trego: 19:08
Erika Vazquez, 19:34

Men’s 5K, Over 40
Christopher Travis, 17:40 

Women’s 5K, Over 40
Kayoko Hamamuta, 20:40

Men’s 5K, Over 62
Carle Rollins, 23:26

Women’s 5K, Over 62
Nancy Rollins, 22:04 

Men’s 10K, Overall
Jesse Kleinjan, 33:18
Jeffrey Pentek, 34:15
Andrew Leonard, 34:21

Women’s 10k, Overall
Laura Papageorgiou, 40:52
Debbie Ackerman, 41:02
Jen Terry, 42:26 

Men’s 10K, Over 40
Mark Smith, 37:31 

Women’s 10k, Over 40
Carol Wada, 44:05

Fastest 10k Team
Evanston Running Club

Fastest 5k Team
Ricky’s Two Boys




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