Our tradition began simply enough. A group of friends from throughout Chicagoland, interested in keeping fit and having fun, decided to sign up for Fleet Feet's Elvis is Alive 5K run. We had so much fun, we signed up the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. With each passing year, our group of runners grew a little larger and our "ensembles" a little more elaborate. One year, I donned a much too tight red jumpsuit and pair of fake sideburns to run the race and ended up as one of the "Best Dressed Elvis" finalists. Another year, some of the ladies paid homage to Elvis's "karate" phase complete with bedazzled karate outfits, capes, and fake Elvis hair. Our ringleader and outfit coordinator, Michelle, is a self-proclaimed Elvis fanatic whom we have affectionately renamed "Shelvis". This year, she has prepared Pepto-Bismol pink Elvis tank tops for everyone in our group. My sister currently holds the title for "Best Dressed Elvis" from last year, so the stakes are high for Thursday night's race.
No matter if you run, walk, or just watch the insanity unfold across from Columbia Yacht Club, Thursday night's Elvis is Alive 5K is definitely a unique and entertaining way to spend an evening. The race itself is an easy course heading south along the lakefront, starting and ending across from Columbia Yacht Club for the post-race beer garden and Elvis impersonator. It is a non-competitive event and benefits one of my favorite non-profit organizations, Girls on the Run. The race begins at 6:45pm and registration is $30.