The 13th annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate brought together about 4,000 people from the Chicagoland area Sunday to Floyd Long Field, on the corner of Sheridan Road and Lincoln Street. Participants chose from four different events – a 10K race, a 5K run/walk, a youth mile for 9-13-year-olds and a youth mile for children ages eight and under.
The event was created to commemorate the life of former Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong, who was killed by a white supremacist in 1999, and to combat hatred and violence.
The race was originally organized by the Ricky Byrdsong Foundation, formed after Byrdsong’s death to raise awareness and reverse the trend of violence among the youth. But after the foundation dissolved in 2006, the Young Women’s Christian Association of Evanston/North Shore took over as the host of the race.
Karen Singer, CEO of the YWCA Evanston/North Shore, said Byrdsong’s wife Sherialyn “gifted us the race to carry on the legacy of Ricky