Better Makers: Race Against Hate 2018 Demonstrates ‘Love Trumps Hate Every Time’

Better Makers: Race Against Hate 2018 'Sends a Message ... That Love Trumps Hate Every Time'

On June 17, nearly 5,000 participants and 300 volunteers turned out to YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s 19th Annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate.

Race Against Hate 2018: volunteers
Nearly 300 volunteers help make the race a success every year.

Honoring the legacy of Ricky Byrdsong, the former Northwestern University men’s basketball coach who was murdered in 1999 by a white supremacist, Race Against Hate proceeds go directly toward the YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s work to prevent violence and promote racial justice.   

Race Against Hate 2018
The 5K walk at the 19th Annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate drew gleeful participants of all ages.

Karen Singer, president and CEO of YWCA Evanston/North Shore, said the June 17 turn out represented just how many people care about ending racism and violence.

“For 19 years, the Race Against Hate has brought thousands together to demonstrate that we are united in our commitment to end racism, hate, and intolerance throughout all of our communities. The presence of so many people sends a powerful message,” said Singer at the event. This year’s race also included on-site voter registration, and Singer encouraged attendees to get involved.

“Today we ask you to register to vote, find your voice, and use your voice to shape the issues that will shape all of our lives,” Singer said.

Race Against Hate 2018: I race against hate because...
At the race site, participants wrote about why they were racing. This year’s event also included on-site voter registration.

Ricky Byrdsong’s widow, Sherialyn, also shared gratitude to race participants.

“Nineteen years ago, we had no idea that with every passing year this race would become increasingly relevant and that hate in all of its evil forms would be commonplace,” she said. “Your participation sends a message to the nation that love trumps hate every time.”

Race Against Hate 2018: Stand Against Racism
Impact: YWCA community events centered on racial justice, like the Stand Against Racism, are supported with funds from Race Against Hate.

Race Against Hate and the YWCA Evanston/North Shore would like to thank all participants who came from the North Shore community, greater Illinois, and those who traveled across the country to participate.

If you would like to learn more about Race Against Hate, violence prevention, and justice work, visit the YWCA Evanston/North Shore website.

2018 Race Against Hate Results


The top overall male finisher in the 5K was Gedion Yitref, who finished with a time of 15:38. Steffen Unrich was second in 16:02, and Arturs Bareikis was third in 16:17. The top three female finishers in the 5K were Jane Bareikis, 18:01, Emma Keenan, 18:19, and Erika Edmonson, 18:44.


The top overall male finisher in the 10K was Daniel Campbell, 37:39. Second was Kevin Doyle, 38:38, followed by Daniel Derosa, 38.44. The top three female finishers in the 10K were Vanessa Righeimer, 40:03, Lisa Bennatan, 41:11, and Bridget Montgomery, 43:57.

Complete race results can be found online.

(Race results recorded by Nancy E. Anderson)

Other Results of Note:

This year’s race was sponsored by: Allstate, Thermoflex, Rotary International, Evanston Community Bank & Trust, Make It Better and more.

Save the date: The 20th annual Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate will take place on June 16, 2019.


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Haley YamadaHaley Yamada is a summer intern for the editorial staff at Make It Better. She is currently working toward a journalism degree from Medill at Northwestern University and plans to graduate in June of 2020. Her work has been published in Spoon University Magazine and on the Northwestern News Network. In her free time she enjoys reading, running, and her pug, Odie. Last year, she ran the Chicago Marathon for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and continues to support the organization today.