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Burpee 5K: An Entire Race Doing Nothing But Burpees

By Justin Breen | September 18, 2013 6:37am

DOWNTOWN — "It's gonna suck, but hopefully it will be good," is how Tim Dunne describes the Burpee 5K event he's organizing.

Dunne, an asset management specialist at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Downtown, also will be among the handful of competitors burpeeing their way around the Evergreen Park High School track on Sept. 28.

Dunne estimates it will take about 3,000 burpees to finish the 3.1-mile distance. He's hoping to complete the monumental feat in less than six hours.

"I think it's more of just trying to find the next limit that I can mentally push through," said Dunne, 25, also a trainer at Southside Knockout gym in Evergreen Park. "The biggest thing with any physical activity is people hit this wall where they think they can't go any farther.

"But once you find out you're mentally stronger than your body, you can do it."

Dunne said burpees received their name because "if you do enough of them, you'll burp or throw up. People get their asses kicked with burpees."

One burpee consists of starting in a standing position, dropping both hands to the ground and kicking your feet pack into a pushup position, then bringing your feet toward your hands into a froglike position before broad-jumping forward.

Dunne said the event is open to individuals or teams.

Matt Marciano, 19, a St. Rita High School graduate and former Mustangs tight end and defensive end, will participate in the race. The most burpees he's done at one time is about 230, so he knows a 5K of the exercise will be an extremely difficult challenge.

"It's the same thing over and over, and if you just keep using the same body parts, eventually you're going to break down," said Marciano, of Morgan Park.

Dunne said he expects a few dozen people to sign up. The minimum registration fee is $20, but Dunne said participants can pay more. All profits will be donated to the Green Beret Foundation, which provides benefits to disabled Green Berets and their families.

Dunne said everyone who registers will receive a T-shirt, and finishers will earn a Burpee 5K medal.

"I was surprised anyone took interest in this because it's kind of crazy," Dunne said.

The Burpee 5K will start at 8 a.m. Sept. 28 at Evergreen Park High School. Participants can register here.