The 39th annual race will stay north 111th Street in an effort to reduce the costs associated with street closures, said Holland, whose neighborhood group organizes the Memorial Day event.
"By staying in the more residential areas, we are hoping we can train volunteers instead of having to rely on" Chicago's Traffic Management Authority, Holland said.
The Ridge Run will continue to consist of a 10K, 5K and 1-mile run for children. The starting line will remain at 96th Street and Longwood Drive. But the finish line has been moved to the southwest corner of Ridge Park.
Holland hopes the new finish line will help create a festival atmosphere, as runners will complete the race and be immediately be directed into an area with post-race refreshments — including a congratulatory beer for finishers 21 and older.
Besides the new beer tent, Holland has also been working to create more family-friendly activities on race day within the park. She working to arrange live music, more inflatable bounce houses and sports clinics for older children.
"We are really hoping that will help keep people in the park for the Memorial Day parade," said Holland, who was named the group's executive director on March 31.
Indeed, Chicago's oldest continually running Memorial Day parade immediately follows the Ridge Run. The parade steps off at 10:30 a.m. from 110th Street and Longwood Drive and travels north before finishing at the park at 1817 W. 96th St.
The Beverly Hills/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony has historically struggled to draw a crowd as many of the runners go home to shower after the race, missing the march down Longwood Drive.
Still, the Ridge Run remains one of the biggest events held annually in the neighborhood. Some 2,300 runners participated in the three races, which includes the oldest 10K race in Chicago, Holland said.
"This is our biggest fundraiser. [The association's] bread and butter is the Ridge Run," said Holland, adding that the race brought in about $50,000 last year despite rainy weather.
She hopes to increase that to $60,000 in 2016 through increased participation, added sponsorships and modest cost cutting.
"It's just kind of freshening up the model," Holland said. "This is the day to run in your neighborhood."
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