The Community Shirt Order Is Here!

A new LRC is here! Show your love of the running community with a selection of LRC swag, available for order through Friday, Sept. 3rd, 2021. Your order will be shipped directly to you by end of Sept. We will not re-order these shirts, so get it or miss it!

Womens & mens tech t-shirt options (in brown/orange/red ink colors):

HERE Note: if you are having problems with the link, try to copy and paste the URL –

Womens & mens tech tank tops (in purple/yellow/sand ink colors):

HERE Note: if you are having problems with the link, try to copy and paste the URL –

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Libertyville. Running. Community.

Passing the LRC baton to you, now run with it!

Welcome to the Libertyville Running Community – a place to meet new and inspiring running friends, find/share new running routes, and discover local races to motivate you.

LRC post-COVID will no longer operate as a club like we knew it. This is now your community, your running resource in Lake County.

Over the past 8 years, we’ve built a vibrant community of runners in Libertyville and beyond under one person’s vision… imagine what we can do as a collective of thousands of visions? You are encouraged to make that happen here for yourself and others.

This Libertyville Running Community Facebook group page is where you can post about all those running questions you have and to help build your running community:

  • Find and establish a group that runs at your pace, your time
  • Share local running resources
  • Find a local race that others are running
  • Build interest in a weekly happy hour run
  • Questions about an injury
  • Share a favorite running route
  • Seek interest in a field trip to run one of our many forest preserves

It has been my pleasure to have established LRC and to meet and run and be inspired by so many of you! I look forward to being part of your community.


Mike Brunette

Please, no posts promoting or selling your race, business, etc… You can email me at: if you have questions.

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The Great Beyond for LRC

Worst. Anniversary. Ever. Who knew that Saturday run together, one year ago today, would be our last after halting all our group activities to curb the spread of COVID-19? What does the future hold for LRC in 2021?

In response to the CDC’s recently published guidance on life with the vaccine, LRC will continue to exercise caution throughout the spring and summer, particularly since the CDC currently recommends that even once fully vaccinated, we should avoid medium to large crowds and continue masking and keeping a safe physical distance.

The bad news: There will be no organized Saturday group marathon and half marathon training runs this summer. However, Diane & Marek will host a Saturday & Sunday morning aid station like they did last fall. Plan your long runs accordingly and you may bump into some familiar faces. This will begin in June.

The good news: I hope to bring back weekday fun runs soon in a limited capacity. The plan is to host a Tuesday night group fun run, also beginning in June, to align with the opening of the Independence Grove Beer Garden. Details will soon be posted to this website.

I know that many of you have fall races to think about and this probably isn’t the news you were hoping to hear. I am happy to assist with your training plans, workouts, etc… feel free to email me at:

I miss y’all and the good ol’ days of LRC: the high-five runs, sweaty hugs, and post-run beers. But, I also miss my parents, family, etc… as I’m sure many of you do. Run safe and remember that you represent LRC in the eyes of many Libertyville residents so please do the right thing and let’s get this pandemic behind us.

We’re almost there; let’s get over this hill together!


Mike Brunette

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‘Tis the Season, LRC, Let’s Put A Little Love In It!

No group run, no fun, amirite? While 2020 has been hot garbage, we’ve found ways to adapt, gathering virtually or from a safe distance, to keep in touch and stay active.

With LRC on hiatus since 3/15 and most of your races cancelled, it was encouraging to know you stayed motivated this summer with the BINGO speed workouts.

Diane and Marek’s weekend aid station was a throwback to normal, offering an opportunity to see and chat with our LRC friends for a brief stop.

And finally, it was a pleasure to cross paths with several of you throughout October as you participated in the Run of the Dead kind-of-virtual event.

To close out Year 7 of Libertyville Running Club, in lieu of our anniversary party, I would like to do something fun to show our appreciation for the friendships, lovers, spawn, and well, better runners we’ve fostered, met, created, and become.


  1. Sign up will be open from 12/1 – 12/8. I will then randomly assign a person that you will show appreciation for: a card (to share a memory you have of them/words of gratitude for that time you tried to keep up with them on the track, etc…), bottle of wine, drawing, holiday gift basket, whatever. You don’t have to spend money, but you do have to be thoughtful. My house will be the exchange.
  2. You will drop your thing off at my house (labelled with their name, maybe wrapped?) between 12/9 – 12/15.
  3. Finally, you will return to my house to pick up your secret appreciator’s item between 12/16 – 12/23.

So yeah, 7 years of us. I’m lucky to have met you all and grateful for what we’ve accomplished together. You’ve inspired me to run better, be better, and build a better run club for every type of runner to enjoy. Running’s not dead; there’s hope for 2021.


Mike Brunette

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The Beginning of the End of LRC

With all this lonely social distancing running, I’ve been thinking a lot about LRC’s end game. What, did you think something this much fun could go on forever?! That’s cute. No. It was always my intention to disband after 6.66 years of existence – Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Unfortunately, that may be the next time we get to meet as a group again.

The next chapter will be in your hands. The framework for success is here. I’ve decided to sell the LRC and my services to The Runner’s Edge. While I spend the summer restructuring LRC to fit their needs, I encourage you to create your very own club in your own town!

Trust me, it’s easy. There’s literally no time commitment to this thing. You can form a network of Lake County clubs (they ALL want to work together) to compliment one another, offering group runs and activities on varying days of the week.

Where to start? You’ve got a few more months of quarantine to talk amongst yourselves; someone can revive M.A.R.S. – Mundelein Area Run Syndicate, that we launched in 2018.

MARS artThen, there are plenty of other options:

Don’t want to be confined to one town or one sport? Think big:

You get the idea.

I know this is a hard pill to swallow under quarantine but think of the silver lining: your new run club will always have a band, Cats Are Assholes, that will play for free, even if it is over Zoom conferencing for the foreseeable future.

Thank you all for your participation over the years. Take care, friends!

– Mike Brunette


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LRC Forms Emb”racing” Team


On your mark. Get set. Cuddle!

LRC is about to unleash the most adorable running team on the race circuit. After years of operating a free club catering to runners of all paces and distances, we realized our competitive advantage is the quality of our hugs – like, WAY better than your mom or significant other can provide.

Think you have what it takes to hug unabashedly on the start line, through cheering zones, at the after party… in split shorts? For a one-time $100 fee, your lifetime Emb”racing” Team membership will include:

  • Rad Emb”racing” Team singlet that fits just a little too tight
  • Emb”racing” Team Snuggie for snug hugs on cold days
  • Automatic entry into the Hug Corral at all LRC races/events
  • Year-end male/female age group hug awards
  • Fast times and impressive hugs!

The euphoria from a good embrace is powerful. We will harness this warm fuzzy feeling – widely overlooked by other coaches and racing teams – to help you train, race, and feel your best.

Why compete when we can complete each other, join today! Simply donate $100 (link HERE) with the message, “I like to hug!” and you’re on the team. Applications accepted today only.

Matt and Andy

*disclaimer – while LRC fully supports canoodling, nuzzling, and caressing, the Emb”racing” Team’s mission is strictly to hug ‘n’ run. If interested in progressing past hugs, please attend LRC’s Hookup Wednesday runs.


Past press releases:





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LRC Fifth Year In Review


Speech! Speech! Speech!

Happy Wood Anniversary, LRC! Let’s be honest, LRC wouldn’t be here to celebrate if I had a job, which is to say, LRC wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for my wife, Melissa. Without her support and encouragement (and legal prowess and copy editing!), I wouldn’t have the time, energy, or guidance to create and foster LRC (along with the help of Jacki Whitney, Michael Stehling, and Jeremy Bartusch) these past 5 years. Hell, we wouldn’t even be in Libertyville if it weren’t for her taking a job here. Thank you, Melissa!

If you read through the last 4 Year In Reviews (linked below) you’ll see how far we’ve come as a Club, Church, Cult, and Crüe. Year 5, the year of the Circus, built upon many of our traditions yet defied convention as a year of trying new things. So while we kicked 2018 off with our New Year’s Day run to the lake – 18 miles for 2018 – we also started a mysterious club, the first born son of LRC, that same day.


M.A.R.S. was revealed via Instagram with 9 pics in the 9 days leading up to 1/1/18

M.A.R.S. – Mundelein Area Run Syndicate – was a mob-themed, participation only club that met for a 3-mile run and gathering in Mundelein on the 1st of the month. At the final supper, active participants received a bottle of MARS custom-labeled wine and run hosts (Dons, as we called them) received Patagonia flannels with an embroidered MARS logo. Anyone that attended all 12 runs got the flannel with their mob name embroidered on the front. It’s now defunct but maybe it’s time for a sister? 

The 1st mars run

Details of the 1st MARS meeting on a very cold night

We continued our support of local charities with this year’s Poker Run 10K benefitting the United Way’s Center for Excellence in Early Education Program, provided race assistance and fundraising for Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center’s Race to Zero 5K and Lambs Farms’ 5K & 2-Mile Walk, and encouraged donations to the #fudgecancer charity and LRC participants’ marathon charitable fundraising campaigns.

Poker run use

Poker, running, and drinking for a cause

I don’t think there’s a club that travels as much and in such great numbers as we do: 40 of us participated in the Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon to revel in the history of Steve Prefontaine, Nike, and Hayward Field at the University of Oregon campus. A few dozen of us made the pilgrimage to the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll for the Memphis Marathon and Half Marathon. There were several other trips of about a dozen or more LRC folks, while small to us, would be admirable participation by any club’s definition. 


LRC on the Prefontaine Trail near the University of Oregon Campus

Stumbling Santas

The Memphis Trip on a Stumbling Santas Bar Crawl

Speaking of Prefontaine and trying new things, our Prefontaine Fun Run this year finished with a showing of the movie Prefontaine (the better one with Jared Leto!) on the big screen at Liberty Theater. From here, we kicked off our 5th year of track workouts at Libertyville High School. For this year’s registration “fee,” you sent their facilities coordinator John into retirement with hundreds of meaningful handwritten letters about how important the track access they grant LRC is to you. He was touched.

Through our connections, we obtained one of 6 coveted running chair entries into the Chicago Marathon so that Dan Riefenberg could push Patti Greer in the Hoyt Running Purple Pickle chair that we purchased for her.

Special Olympics at the 2018 Chicago Marathon

Patti and Dan on the Chicago Marathon course

I have been in bands my whole life and a lot of what we do with the art and swag in LRC is derived from my experience in the music industry. After talking about starting a LRC band for years, we assembled Cats Are Assholes! – The LRC Band to perform at Patti Greer’s 50th birthday party. All songs were picked by Patti with Ludacris’s rap in Champion by Carrie Underwood being re-written and sung to honor her:


Mike’s re-written rap to honor Patti

Cats Are Assholes! continued to perform at our Anywhere But Here Brewery Tour and Run of the Dead Elimination Run. We welcomed other musically inclined runners on stage to take part in a song or two, going so far as to form a kids’ band, Kittens Are the Worst! (comprised of our “litter”) to perform at our anniversary party with the Cats.


One of the Cats Are Assholes! first practices


The Kittens Are the Worst! first performance

Run of the Dead’s 4th year was its most successful to date: 370 runners, 11 states represented, largest and most enthusiastic volunteer base, and the most ambitions swag offerings we’ve done. The race has garnered a lot of attention and is now in the process of being duplicated by our friends at Shoes n’ Brews in Longmont, CO.

RotD Hill Volunteers.jpg

Run of the Dead’s spirited top of the hill volunteers braving the wind and cold

In 5 years, I’ve seen many accomplishments from PRs to Age Group wins that we’ve achieved not by marketing ourselves as a racing team, but by putting the relationship-building at the forefront which in turn provided the means and inspiration to become better runners, lifelong friends, and community advocates.

Cheers LRC, let’s do it again!

– Mike Brunette


LRC Fourth Year In Review

LRC Third Year In Review

LRC Second Year In Review

LRC First Year In Review



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LRC to Open a Microbrewery Tap Room!


The Brunettes in front of Bruskis’ Beer Bazaar location to open in Libertyville, Summer 2018!

The LRC is finally getting a clubhouse! With nearly 5 years of building this running community and the unfortunate (but timely) closure of Mischief’s Brewing Coffee & Tea Shoppe located at 725 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Libertyville, it’s time to take our next step. After bringing the LRC back there for our Saturday morning runs and speaking with the proprietors of Mischief’s Brewing about the space, we finalized our business plan and put a bid in for the lease.

Situated next to the Libertyville Metra station, this location is prime for a tap room that will feature food trucks on the weekend and, of course, play host to our group runs. The LRC community we fostered, combined with Libertyville’s lively dining scene and the foot traffic from the train station, will be vital to our success.

The unconventional way I’ve been operating the LRC as more of a social gathering and exploratory venture rather than a traditional training-focused club has been leading up to this. While profiting from the Club itself was never my intention, my endgame was to create a retail space where we could gather and which would feature talents from within the LRC and the people and places we’ve been highlighting.


The Prairie Krafts Brewing Co. stop of the 2017 LRC brewery fun runs tour

We moved to Libertyville almost 5 years ago with a plan to open a running retail store with in-house brewery. In addition to possessing business acumen as a lawyer and accountant/financial advisor, we also have a strong background in running retail experience and assisting friends and partners open their local businesses (Taco in a BagOne Trick Pony Brewery, and Alarmist Brewing), so I figured I would combine my passion for running with my love and interest for craft beer.

Things got a bit more serious after we took the LRC on our first Colorado running trip a few years back mostly to visit a running store with in-house brewery I learned had just opened in 2015, Shoes & Brews – the first of its kind in the country.


The 1st of 2 LRC trips to Shoes & Brews (July 2015)

Facing non-compete agreements and a sea change in the running retail industry, we backed off the running retail store idea. We began looking for a LRC clubhouse to lease then, seeing as how the size of our fun runs was getting too big to handle for some establishments, our focus shifted to opening a brewery tap room.

Like the beers we’ll make, this concept has been meticulously orchestrated and brewing for a long time. For the past 9 years, we have been traveling the U.S. while I not only run a marathon in every state but visit and take careful notes of every local brewery we visited (258 to date!), many of which are featured in my A Bear On the Run blog.

Through many conversations with brewery owners, brewers, and staff around the country, as well as entrepreneurs, home-brew friends, and the experience and relationships made through the community-building that is the cornerstone of Libertyville Running Club, the ability to strike when an opportunity arose was possible.

Bruskis’ Beer Bazaar is derived from “Brunette” and Melissa’s maiden name, “Gadowski.” Our “bazaar” will offer goods from local artists and purveyors of foodstuffs, and the name also reflects the spirit of the charitable work we’ve done with the LRC, which we will continue by donating a portion of all beer sales to featured local charities.

We purchased tanks from our friends at Flossmoor Station Brewery and construction has begun on what we anticipate to be a 2-3 month buildout. We are please to have my high school buddy, Ryan Buchmeier, on board as head brewer. Ryan is a building contractor, owner of 2 Bones BBQ (the guys we use every year for our Run of the Dead event), and my homebrewing partner since 2001. We’ve been testing our recipes on the equipment and intend to be ready with 6 beers on tap when we open this summer.


Me and Ryan and the beards, soon to bring you some tasty brews

chalkboard tap list

What will be available on opening day

To follow along with our progress, like our Facebook page HERE.


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LRC Fourth Year In Review

I usually get bored with things after 3 years so it’s telling when I’m more excited about something than when it first began. For things that keep getting better, LRC is in rare company with Melissa (how’s that for kissing up to the HBIC?), leaving the workforce 5 years ago, and maybe Mars – my oldest son. Yes, I, too, have my days as a stay-at-home dad where I just want to lock myself in a closet.

4 years ago, I didn’t know how the LRC would evolve but I had an idea of what it should be and in the beginning, I felt alone in explaining those seemingly foreign concepts to runners: you can have fun and still become better runners, you can associate with runners that aren’t your speed, or running your distance, and together we can achieve our running and fitness goals in tandem with making a positive impact in our community. I no longer feel alone in believing and sharing those mantras.

Poker run fun runners WITH INSET no text

For our Poker Run’s 2nd year, we made it Patti’s Poker Run 10K – all proceeds went to her family

It’s that unified belief that really came together this year and made for some incredible and inspiring times without which, we would be just another run club that I would have grown tired of after 3 years. And what good is a leader if that leader isn’t passionate about what they’re doing? Most importantly, your collective belief in LRC, your passion and excitement for what we do, and the initiatives many of you took to help us do what we do, have made this year truly special. I would especially like to thank Jacki, Michael, and Jeremy for taking on some of my responsibilities. Just look at some of these Year 4 highlights:

  • Trail running field trips
  • LRC race trips to New Orleans, Fargo, Erie, Sioux Falls, San Antonio, and others
  • Patti’s Poker Run 10K & Greer Mile raising ALS awareness and netting over $10,000 toward her medical expenses and custom running chair
  • Free cross training and other events at various businesses
  • Pushing and celebrating Patti Greer in her 1st marathon at the Kenosha, WI marathon
  • Annual Prefontaine Fun Run
  • Libertyville Days parade participants
  • Several volunteer aid stations at local races and the critically acclaimed and impossible-to-duplicate Mile 23 Chicago Marathon cheer station
  • Track workouts for over 200 runners that directed all $9,000 in “fees” to charities for LRC runners raising money for their Chicago Marathon bibs
  • Inaugural 2-hour Team Relay Competition at LHS track and an inaugural free 5K
  • A wildly successful South of Heaven breweries and running tour that saw 85-90 runners showing up to each of the 6 Wednesday night stops
  • Dan’s 126.2-mile Hennepin Hundred to Chicago Marathon weekend raising ALS awareness and $6,000 toward Patti Greer’s new accessible van purchase
  • Our Run of the Dead Elimination Run was more successful than ever
  • Our Annual Cross Country Challenge benefiting Libertyville Township Food Pantry
  • The LRC Made Me Do It #givingtuesday event netting $6,000 for charities
  • Themed runs and BBQ runs throughout the year hosted by many of you – opening your homes to all of the LRC
  • The largest Toys for Tots Fun Run we’ve had to date
  • Millions of smiles, tears, hugs, high-fives and feel-good vibes

That’s over $40,000 that we have contributed to charitable causes! And that doesn’t include the money you’ve donated to LRC itself, without which we couldn’t operate at all. We’re a free club, and we’ll always be a free club, but what we do and what we offer isn’t free – rentals, insurance, corporate filings, tour & Prefontaine shirts, magnets, headbands, party expenses, and various other LRC giveaways. You make that happen. I’m in awe and speechless, really. Thank you for participating beyond the run.

We are bigger than a “run club.”

2017 TFT group pic with inset

4th Annual Toys for Tots Fun Run with an inset picture of the toys we delivered

I like to believe that not having a rigid plan and our creativity are our greatest advantages. Sure, we have all the tools for the serious runner: coached track workouts, custom training plans for half marathons and marathons, experience and motivation galore… but we can also decide to do something completely different and weird at the spur of the moment and watch as that idea ripples through the community.

LRC is no longer the new kid on the block; we’re setting precedent for new and established area run clubs, race directors, and local businesses. Just take a look around and see how many of them are starting to do some of the things and events we’ve been doing all along. That’s been part of my master plan from the beginning – to enhance our communities just by being who we are and setting the example for everyone else.

4 years in and I would give LRC 4 out of 5 stars. That’s pretty good! And I know we’ll do better. Cheers to all of you, and see you in 2018!

– Mike Brunette

Michael and Mike doing Stehlings

And may the Stehling hand gesture continue to show up in all your race photos!

LRC Third Year In Review

LRC Second Year In Review

LRC First Year In Review





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Meet the LRC – Patti Greer Spotlight 2017


Patti with sons Matthew (7 years old) & Jackson (10 years old)

Patti Greer (from Gurnee) stumbled on LRC’s Facebook page two years ago. She was pleased to find a club that encouraged everyone to run regardless of ability or goals, pace or distance. Along the trails and roads we run, Patti discovered a wealth of new friendships. She volunteered at several events, including Run of the Dead, cheering for people doing something she loves and witnessing them fall in love with ultra running. She took pride in LRC’s support for one another and its community. Little did she know that she would someday be a recipient of our support.

Patti was recently diagnosed with amyotrophic laterals sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes the loss of voluntary muscle control and is ultimately fatal – there is no cure.

Until her diagnosis, Patti was living a very active life in her 40s: She took Shotokan Karate lessons to understand and help direct Jackson with his karate (she ranked more than halfway to black belt), was a Boy Scout leader and loved camping, continued to ice skate with all her spins and axels, took ballet and performed for a local dance theatre… All things she didn’t have the opportunity to do while growing up in a household with 10 children.

Running was Patti’s drug. It was something she could do with both her boys: her son Matthew prefers shorter distances, like the Gurnee Days’ 2-miler, and Jackson frequently accompanied mom on LRC runs. One of Patti’s favorite routes is our Touch the Lake run – a 14-mile round trip run from Libertyville to Lake Bluff beach and back. Her first attempt on August 22, 2015 was thwarted by a fall she assumed was just due to her being clumsy. That fall, however, bookmarks this new chapter of her life.

After taking some time off to heal, she joined us 6 months later to complete that run to the lake. Her speed wasn’t there but she finished. A few weeks later Jackson joined her for 13 miles during our 2016 Paczki Day run. Shortly after, she began having foot and hip pain on the right side that progressed to limping.

Through the summer of 2016, Patti’s equilibrium began to fail and she had to think about coordinating her right leg to run, then walk. A chiropractor urged her to get a MRI and EMG. A series of therapist and doctor visits led her to a neurologist that concluded she was experiencing symptoms of ALS. A second opinion confirmed she was in its early stages.

On October 20th, 2016, Patti began using a cane and in November, traded the cane for a wheeled walker. Routines she once took for granted had become difficult. She was falling down often. Fatigue set in quickly. In an effort to help her expend less muscle energy, adjustments are being made to her home. The seemingly quick progression of these limitations leave her and her husband, Steve, breathless at how fast this disease can strip someone of their body.


Patti and the Crüe at our 2016 Toys for Tots Fun Run

Patti is seeing a therapist 2 days a week and taking a supplement, not currently covered by insurance, that has shown signs of slowing the disease for 70% of its users, and she is hoping to qualify for a new clinical trial. She and Steve are planning for her inevitable future needs, which include a powered wheelchair, transport, and various other home modifications.

Patti continues to work as a nurse practitioner at the Navy base. They have been wonderful in accommodating her. Her family is struggling to figure out what the future holds. Steve desperately searches for a cure. It kills him to see Patti struggle to do the things she once did effortlessly. Jackson prays for his mom to get better, while Matthew is a bit young to understand the gravity of the situation. Everyone is hopeful for a new medication or therapy that will slow or cure this disease.

She’s gracious for all the amazing people helping her and her family adjust. However, these changes are not easy for Patti; ALS is slowly stripping her of her independence, her wifehood, and her ability to be a great mom. Her new “normal” is always changing, but her outlook and optimism are not. Patti knows there is a new medication or therapy around the corner that will slow or even stop ALS, and she can’t wait for it!

She misses running desperately, from the breeze on her face to the endorphins after finishing a run, to setting and surpassing new goals. She misses running with Jackson. Luckily, although she isn’t able to run with the LRC Crue, we can still bring the Crue to her in the following ways:

  1. We are dedicating our annual Charity Poker Run 10K to Patti this coming April 15th. Details and registration link HERE.
  2. We organized a relay team to push Patti for her first marathon in Kenosha on May 6th. A Facebook event page with more details will be posted soon.

Mark your calendars to come out, show Patti your love and support, and contribute to helping stop this disease from taking more of her life.


Chris Ankeny and Patti arrr full of zest





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