Little Village Running Group: Inspired By Wind

Members of Viento running group hold sign up for peers runningRunning has been a growing fad all over the country but more, in Chicago, the Windy City. Running clubs have been popping up all over the city, especially in Latino neighborhoods. Pilsen has the Warrior running group, while east of the neighborhood has seen the recent development of the Chi City Running Club.

The Warriors, over time, have expanded to outer neighborhoods like Midway and Brighton Park. One of the most recent running groups is to develop though in Little Village is called Viento, which started in October of 2012.

Founded by a group of experienced runners and triathletes, the group has begun to grow in size and in distance. had the opportunity to speak with co-founder of the group, Jessica Vergara, runner and triathlete.

Read on for more insight into the running group including how to join.

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LD: Why did Viento start? 

JV: We started the running club for the sole purpose of having a group of like minded people to run in our neighborhood together to promote a healthy lifestyle, community involvement, and to motivate our friends and neighbors in achieving lifetime goals.

LD: How many people are involved?

JV: There are four founders, whom at least two of the four show up to every run. We have about 25-40 runners/joggers who show up to the runs, but we are hoping to bring in more.

LD: What has this done for the community of Little Village?

JV: I think that Viento helped change the perspective that the community and those outside of the community had about Little Village. We have had such positive feedback from everyone in the community wanting to help out, join, cheer us on. Its been a wonderful reaction. Viento is really a group that brings people who want to feel safe and run in their neighborhood, to keep healthy, and just getting to know our neighborhood in a more intimate level and appreciate the people who live here. We are truly a running family.

LD: What are the benefits of having a running group?
JV: The benefits of having a running group is creating another family of people who are there to motivate you and your goals. Not only do our runners come together to run but they are also there to celebrate life events. The group really is bringing neighbors together and enjoying our neighborhood in a different way.