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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

Sycamore Pumpkin Run Goes Virtual

Some participants of the 2020 Sycamore Pumpkin Run.

Put on your costumes and run in the streets -- or not. COVID-19 has caused a northern Illinois uniformed race to take another direction this year.  

Rose Treml is the executive director of the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce. She said the 10K Sycamore Pumpkin Run normally draws more than 1,600 people to the city’s streets. This year, participants have the option to run however they wish.

“You can run on a treadmill, you can run on an indoor track,” Treml said, “You can run on the Great Western Trail, wherever you want, in whatever state you want.” 

Treml explained that the Chamber thought about doing an in-person race with small groups, but said it just wasn’t feasible for such a large event.

“Even if we had a thousand this year, it just would have been a disaster,” she said. “Because we actually block off State Street in Sycamore, and Somonauk, which are two of the bigger streets, very high traffic streets.”        

So far, about 400 people have signed up for the virtual event. And around 100 signed up for a new one-mile family run. 

The 42nd annual Pumpkin Run continues through the end of the month. Participants can register, upload pictures, and track their progress against other runners by going to pumpkinrunsycamore.com.

This year the Chamber is giving participants the option to donate funds to Northwestern Medicine Breast Health Center, which can be done at the time of registration. 

  • Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.
Yvonne covers artistic, cultural, and spiritual expressions in the COVID-19 era. This could include how members of community cultural groups are finding creative and innovative ways to enrich their personal lives through these expressions individually and within the context of their larger communities. Boose is a recent graduate of the Illinois Media School and returns to journalism after a career in the corporate world.