Golden Eagle 5K Puts Spring in Students’ Step


Ready. Set. Click! Nowadays there seems to be another new reality TV show about competitive running and obstacle course races coming out one after another. Why run when you can watch someone else do it? Now is the time to actually get active and try it out for yourself. NEIU’s Golden Eagle 5K is coming up on May 1.

This will be the  ninth annual Golden Eagle 5k race at NEIU. The race will begin at 9 a.m. and racers will have to run for 3.1 miles. The race will consist of three loops around the school using mostly Central Park, Bryn Mawr and St. Louis. The starting and finish line are at the PE building parking lot and the path will also cut through the school courtyard a few times.

“The scenic route,” said Martha Montes, associate director of campus recreations, as she explained how difficult it was to get the full five kilometers for the race without actually crossing streets for safety reasons.

There are two divisions per women’s and men’s groups. Racers under the age of 40 are in one division while the other is 40 and over. There will be a first, second and third place awarded for each division. There are no overall placements, however.

Early bird registration has already ended but there is still a chance to register prior to race day online.   Race day registration is also an option, but that is cash only.

The fees from the race go towards paying off the costs of the race itself as well as the shirts and medal prizes that the racers will receive. Montes said the whole race is set up by student and staff volunteers, most are from the NEIU running club which started the Golden Eagle 5k back in 2008.

An ambulance is set aside just in case of major injury. Montes immediately knocked on wood since they have never had to use the ambulance yet. There has generally been a 100-120 participant turn out yearly,comprised mostly of current students.

The races sponsors are: Chicken Works, who helped with t-shirt production, American Campus Communities, and Athletical, who offer post race stretches for racers.

Children can  run as well, so long as the parent is always alongside the child. Montes said she has even seen parents jog with a stroller in this 5K..

“It’s about promoting a healthy activity among our Northeastern community,” said Montes. “It’s a great first time race for those people who have never done a race.”

She said that doing this race in a familiar and safe environment, and being given the ability to do a race for a  more inexpensive price than usual may spark some people into actually doing some of those tougher races.. There are plenty of other runs to try such as Spartan races, Battle Frogs, Rugged Maniac and more.

Spring is in the air . And there is no better way to take a deep gulp of fresh air than with a light and fun run.

To register, visit