BBQ Bolt Run/Walk

Mon May 20, 2019


Spice things up this summer with the inaugural BBQ Bolt Run/Walk event hosted by the Downers Grove Park District at 8 am on Saturday, July 20! Starting and finishing at McCollum Park, the BBQ Bolt will bring the community together to celebrate summer with fitness followed by a post-race Picnic in the Park featuring BBQ, beer and a kid area.

After seeing declining participation in the annual DG 5&8 Miler race over the last several years, the Downers Grove Park District decided to develop an all-new race to expand outdoor fitness opportunities to a wider audience in 2019. The BBQ Bolt offers participants the choice of three course distances—5 miles, 5K or 1 mile. Kids ages 12 and under can also enter the 50-meter Dash.

Heather Zoellick, the District’s Corporate and Community Relations Specialist, is the BBQ Bolt Run/Walk Coordinator.

“Downers Grove Park District is excited to offer this new event that the whole family can enjoy whether someone is a serious runner, just starting to run or prefers a walk in the park. Not only that, the 1-mile option is open to strollers and dog walkers. We hope this race will encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy a summer day in our parks,” said Zoellick.

The post-race Picnic in the Park at McCollum Park will feature complimentary BBQ sliders sponsored by City Barbeque for all registered participants. Participants ages 21 and up also receive a cold Shiner Bock beer. Lemonade will also be available to participants. For race spectators, Shiner Bock beer will be available for purchase as well as Miner Mike’s Adventure Golf Concessions, which will offer hot dogs, chips and other refreshments.

“We are excited to host a Picnic in the Park with BBQ, beer and lemonade for participants to enjoy following the race. The race combined with the picnic, post-race awards, fun activities and sponsor booths, will be a great way for people to jumpstart their Saturday morning in July!” said Zoellick.

Awards will be given to the overall first-place male and female in the 5-Mile and 5K races in addition to age category awards for top male and female finishers in each distance. Participants in the 5-mile, 5K and 1-mile distances will receive a medal and short-sleeve technical T-shirt. Kids ages 12 and under entered in the 50-meter Dash will receive a participation medal.

Race registration is ongoing, however, early bird registration rates are offered through June 15. Groups of four or more can create a team and receive a $5 discount per person! For more info and to register, visit

The BBQ Bolt supports Downers Grove Park District’s inclusion services, through SEASPAR (South East Association for Special Parks and Recreation), for people with disabilities who want to participate in a park district program or activity. This event is sponsored by City Barbeque of Downers Grove, Athletico Physical Therapy, BMO Harris Bank, CD One Price Cleaners, Chamber630, Community Bank of Downers Grove, Grove Dental Associates, Lacey Creek Supportive Living, Maple & Main and Two Men and a Truck.

The BBQ Bolt is a great opportunity for local businesses and organizations to connect with residents of the Downers Grove community. To learn about BBQ Bolt sponsorship packages or volunteer opportunities, contact Heather Zoellick at 630.960.7256 or