Hosting its first Library Loop 5K on Oct. 22, the Algonquin Area Public Library invited Olympian and Algonquin native Evan Jager to help kick off the event.
He might be surprised to learn he’ll also be serenaded.
A band made up of students from Jacobs High School, where Jager graduated in 2007, will perform “Run, Jager, Run,” a song written by STAR 105.5’s Stew Cohen. Cohen will emcee the 5K, scheduled for 8 to 11 a.m. Oct. 22 at the library, 2600 Harnish Drive.
Cohen actually wrote the song shortly after Jager won the silver medal for the steeplechase at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Jager is the current North American record holder in the 3000-meter steeplechase. In August at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships, he took third place for the first U.S. medal in the event in a Worlds competition.
“I was just inspired because he’s a local guy, a great runner,” said Cohen, who also has written lyrics for the area classic rock band Vertical Jam and is the news director for both STAR 105.5 (WZSR-FM) and 103.9 The Fox.
“I was watching the YouTube videos of him running, blonde hair flapping in the wind. … He just looked so different than everybody else.”
Among the lyrics: “Blonde hair flying in the wind, Over the hurdles, through the water and win. That’s the goal of Evan Jager, the Olympian, Running wild with incredible style.”
Needing someone else to write the music for his lyrics, Cohen said, the song kind of sat in a drawer for awhile until he reached out to the Music Industry Club at Jacobs High School. He challenged members at the end of the last school year to write music for the lyrics during the summer. He told them he’d pick a winner.
He checked back with the club this school year, and only the band, The Resorts, comprised of high school students, had taken up the challenge. The Resorts wrote a rock tune to accompany the lyrics, music Cohen described as “excellent.”
“We just decided it was a good idea to take it because it was something to do, and we thought it was interesting and pretty cool,” said Kelton Kennen, a 15-year-old Jacobs High School sophomore who plays lead guitar for The Resorts
The band also is comprised of students Elise Bessemer on lead vocals, Treven Lemma on rhythm guitar and vocals, Joey Andreano on bass and Caleb Pieper on drums. They may be joined Oct. 22 by other members of the Music Industry Club or the Jacobs Choir to punch up the song a bit.
“I think it’s a good opportunity,” Lemma said. “It’s a good chance to get our stuff out there and show what we can do. Most of our performances have been more informal.”
Unless it rains and the performance is moved inside, the band hopes to play the “Run, Jager, Run” song along with a few other of tunes.
The 5K will wind its way around neighborhoods and park district walking paths surrounding the library.
Designed to raise money for programs and resources not covered by the library’s operating budget, the race costs $10 for youth, $15 for teens, $35 for those in their 20s through 50s and $32.50 for seniors. For registration or information, call 847-458-3133 or visit www.raceentry.com/races/aapld-library-loop-5k/2017/register.