Flossmoor Hill students Imani Green, left, with her brother Camilo Green cheering oncoming runners. (Nuha Abdessalam/H-F Chronicle)
Feature, Local News

The Gem 2023: Flossmoor Hills residents help energize runners from across the country

Flossmoor Hill students Imani Green, left, with her brother Camilo Green cheering oncoming runners. (Nuha Abdessalam/H-F Chronicle)
Flossmoor Hill students Imani Green, left, with her brother Camilo Green cheering oncoming runners. (Nuha Abdessalam/H-F Chronicle)

Note: This story is part of a series looking at the 2023 Hidden Gem Half Marathon from various perspectives in Flossmoor.

Runners from around the nation sprinted through Flossmoor’s historic roads, viewing the village’s tree-lined streets, vintage homes, parks, and prideful community members during the Hidden Gem Half Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 9. 

This was the 4th running of the 13.1-mile race designated as the “Best Race of 2022” by the Chicago Area Runners Association.

New and returning runners traveled through Flossmoor’s scenic and distinguishable neighborhoods with cheers of joy and applause from residents. 

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Marvel’s Spiderman and Black Panther made cameos in support along the route. Flossmoor Hills elementary students Camilo Green and Imani Green proudly wore their superhero character costumes this year for runners. The two gleefully jumped up and down and cheered, “I’m so happy, I can’t stop dancing.”

Members of the Illinois Brass Choir, from left, Joey Bonanotte, Scott Kelley, Anthony Melee, Rob Calhoon and Paul Schlesinger. In the back playing Sousaphone is Paul Eisenberg, (Nuha Abdessalam/H-F Chronicle)
Members of the Illinois Brass Choir, from left, Joey Bonanotte, Scott Kelley, Anthony Melee, Rob Calhoon and Paul Schlesinger. In the back playing Sousaphone is Paul Eisenberg, (Nuha Abdessalam/H-F Chronicle)

The sounds of the Illinois Brass Choir joined fellowship with locals, forming even more camaraderie along the sidelines by performing and playing uplifting marching songs on their trumpets and tubas for passing runners.

“This marks our third year being able to perform and celebrate our beautiful town and runners,” said musician Rob Calhoon.

Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s dance team happily greeted passing runners in front of H-F. Dance team members waited in anticipation for runners to cross through by shaking, rattling, and rolling their pom poms with excitement while chanting harmonically. 

The dance team continued belting out motivating cheers of “Let’s go, we got this, you got this!”  accompanied by synchronized dancing. 

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