EVERGREEN PARK — A 5K race of nothing but burpees comes in at about 2,000 to 2,500 repetitions of the exercise, organizer Tim Dunne said.
But he advises that if you want to finish, you can't count them.
"Don’t even think about it. Just keep moving," Dunne said. "You can’t count your burpees. You can't go for a time. You can't even think about it. Just tell yourself to jump again, keep jumping 2,000 times, even though you don’t want to."
Kyla Gardner says it was a bit painful to watch the participants struggle on the track, so she went to Portillo's right after:
This is the second year for Dunne's charity Burpee 5K race, in which participants perform only broad-jump burpees for 3.1 miles — or more than 12 laps — around the suburban Evergreen Park High School Track. To complete one burpee, you begin in a standing position, drop both hands to the ground and kick your feet back into a pushup position, then bring your feet toward your hands into a froglike position before broad-jumping forward.
This year's first-place finisher, Lemont resident Amanda Fobert, came in at 3½ hours. That's 45 minutes better than Dunne's first-place finish last year.
"It was harder than I thought. It was insane, but I pushed [myself]. I didn't want to quit, and I had to make it for my son’s football game," she said before hurrying from the field with her husband and son.
Fobert plans to run the Chicago Marathon in October and completed a marathon in January.
Dunne, a CrossFit Trainer in Evergreen Park, completed the challenge in five hours.
The race doubled its participants this year, with 26 people showing up to the high school track as an an individual competitor or member of a relay team. There were 50 "virtual participants," who complete the 5K off-site on an honor system within a week.
Burpee-ers zipped around the track during the first lap after the race kicked off at 8 a.m., but as the hours passed, people began to stand, sit or lay on the hot, rubber track with more frequency.
For third-place finisher and Chicago police officer Darren Ohle, jumping back into the challenge after a break was the most difficult part.
"You could cross that off the list of things I won't do again," the Beverly resident said after the race. "But it was for a good cause."
Eight individuals were able to complete the challenge this year, and they had until 2 p.m. to do it.
Nursing student Matt Zizas, however, said he planned to stay at the track until 3 p.m. to finish the challenge he created for himself by adding a pushup to each burpee.
"I've got a runner's high right now," he said after 2½ hours of the burpees. "I made it halfway already, so I might as well finish it out now."
Zizas said he focused on pacing himself, staying hydrated — and not fainting.
"You're just always looking up, down, up, down, so when you turn around, it confuses you a little," he said.
But no one needed the ambulance that was on standby for the event.
The Burpee 5K raises money for the Green Beret Foundation, which provides support to disabled Green Berets and their families. This year, Dunne's race raised $2,700, up from the $950 raised last year.
Dunne said the charity challenge will be back next year, and he hopes with even more participants.
"It's growing, so we have to keep it going," he said.
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