CHICAGO — Shortly after Alfredo Perro Pedro ran his last 100-mile race, he was diagnosed with ALS.
That was three years ago, when Pedro, who died Nov. 8, 2015, ran with his friend, Scott Kummer, 100 miles from Milwaukee to Chicago in what they informally called "the world's longest Turkey Trot."
Kummer, in Pedro's honor, has started a fundraiser race to benefit the Les Turner ALS Foundation. The 100-mile race will begin on Black Friday, Nov. 25, starting in Milwaukee and finishing at Cloud Gate in Millennium Park.
"The Les Turner ALS Foundation and the entire ALS community are inspired by Scott's physical and emotional strength as he prepares for a remarkable 100-mile run in memory of his dear friend, Alfredo Perro Pedro," said Andrea Pauls Backman, executive director of the Les Turner ALS Foundation. "Completing this run at Thanksgiving time is quite appropriate, as it reminds us to be grateful for our health, friends, family and find meaningful ways to give back in thanks."
Kummer, of Bronzeville, said the event already has raised more than $1,000.
"It’s a very difficult run with very little reward, questionable weather and both mental and physical struggles," Kummer said. "This year we decided that if we are going to continue to do it, we may as well raise some money for the Les Turner ALS foundation in his honor."
Pedro moved to Chicago from Mexico 25 years ago with his parents and four siblings. He started his own business — Bumper City, an auto body parts store in Austin — from scratch. Two of his brothers were killed in gang shootings when he first arrived. His other brother and his sister work for him at Bumper City, 821 N. Cicero Ave.
Pedro only started running in 2010, when he was a heavy drinker and weighed 230 pounds. He began on a treadmill, then outside to nearby Welles Park, then to the Lakefront Trail and eventually into races — first 10-milers and half-marathons, then marathons, then 50K's, and eventually 50- and 100-milers.
Running, Pedro said in 2015, was his salvation.
"I knew running was going to change my life," he said.
Before he died at age 47, friends and family pushed Pedro on an adult-sized stroller during the Chinatown 5K.
"It's really emotional. ... There's so much happiness that comes just from being around runners again, feeling the road beneath me and the wind in my face," Pedro said after the July 2015 race.
To register for the race or donate, click here.
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