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Uptown’s 5K Art Run Will Take Runners Past Murals While Raising Money For Women’s Shelter

Half the proceeds from tickets will go to Uptown-based Sarah's Circle, which provides housing and social services for women facing homelessness.

Marnie Kunz, the founder of Runstreets, leads a group of runners in Logan Square in October 2018.
Marques Jackon/Provided
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UPTOWN — A running event focused on public art is coming to Uptown to raise money for a local nonprofit.

Runstreet’s Chicago Holiday 5K for Sarah’s Circle is Dec. 5, taking runners past some of Uptown’s most popular murals and street art.

The event kicks off 9 a.m. from Drink Happy Thoughts, 942 W. Montrose Ave. The leisurely run will snake through Uptown, hitting places like the Clifton Street Art Gallery and other mural sites.

Tickets cost $35 and can be bought here. Half the proceeds from tickets will go to Uptown-based Sarah’s Circle, which provides housing and social services for women facing homelessness.

There will be five stops along the route. Tom Leddy, a runner and local art expert, will lead talks and discussions about each work of art at the stops, said Marnie Kunz, founder of the running group Runstreet, with produces the event.

The group averages a 10-mile-per-hour pace and includes multiple stops, making it accessible to novice and expert runners alike, she said.

“It’s very beginner-friendly,” Kunz said. “It’s a great way to learn about the neighborhood.”

Credit: Marques Jackson Photography
Runstreet’s art runs take runners past street art in Chicago neighborhoods.

This event is Runstreet’s holiday-themed Art Run, and attendees are encouraged to dress in ugly sweaters or other seasonally themed outfits.

Kunz founded Runstreet in 2013, offering organized running groups and events in New York City.

While on runs through the city, Kunz would snap and post photos of street art she came across. People would comment and ask where a particular piece could be found, leading Kunz to organize runs centered around discovering art in neighborhoods.

Arts runs are held in New York, Chicago, Boston and Los Angeles. Previous runs in Chicago have taken place in West Town, Logan Square and Pilsen.

“People kept asking me, ‘Where is that art?'” Kunz said. “I thought, ‘I should help connect people more with street art.’ From the start, there was a lot of people interested.”

Uptown has increasingly become a public art destination. The second-ever art Uptown Art Week held in August brought 40 public works of art to Uptown.

One of the new murals is on the facade of Drink Happy Thoughts, the Uptown cafe that is the start and end point for the run.

For more information on the Uptown art run, click here.

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