The Bears’ Charles Tillman doesn’t do 5K runs. Luckily for him, his inaugural Charles “Peanut” Tillman 5K Race Saturday outside of Soldier Field — co-hosted by his Cornerstone Foundation and running specialty store Universal Sole — offers participants a walking option.
“I won’t run the race, but I’ll be there to cheer people on,” Tillman said over the phone. “I might walk it. I’m a sprinter and don’t go past 100 yards. I wish I could run longer distances — it’s just not my cup of tea. My wife is the runner.”
Tillman and his wife, Jackie, founded the Cornerstone Foundation in 2005. The foundation focuses on children with chronic illnesses and their families, and it has hosted celebrity flag football and bowling fundraisers as well as a brunch for mothers of chronically ill children. It was Jackie and Universal Sole who came up with the idea for a 5K race.
Tillman — whose charitable efforts earned him the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (awarded at the Super Bowl last month) — will become a free agent three days after the race. His future with the Bears seems uncertain, but he said he wants to keep the event and football separate. He did, however, name the teammates he believes would finish with the best 5K times: “(Kicker) Robbie Gould and maybe (punter) Adam Podlesh. Those guys run all the time.”
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Charles "Peanut" Tillman 5K Race
When: 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Soldier Field; 1410 Museum Campus Drive
Registration: $40; runningguru.com