While many Chicagoans are bustling about shopping malls, a team of ChicagoNow bloggers have a different plan for Black Friday. They will be kicking off the inaugural ChicagoNow Black Friday 5k and Food Drive.

The free race will kick off at 3 p.m. at Fleet Feet, located at 1620 N. Wells St. Anyone can participate and is asked to bring canned food, gently used shoes and/or old race t-shirts. The donations will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Share Your Soles and St. Vincent DePaul. After the 5k, the runners will head to Casey Morans in Wrigleyville for an after-party.

At least 40 people are expected to particpate, which is remarkable considering the organizers put the race together last week. Then again, the organizers are ChicagoNow bloggers who are both veteran racers and social media pros.

Dave Wallach, who writes the blog Pace of Chicago, came up with the idea for the run and worked with other ChicagoNow bloggers to get the word out.

“All of the bloggers have each posted about the run a couple times this week, as well as writing about it on Twitter and Facebook,” says Daniel Malinski, who writes the blog Cubicle Dad and was one of the faces of this year’s Chicago Marathon. “Runners themselves are also very connected. So if you put it out to one runner, ten more will quickly hear about it and then it spreads like wildfire.”

Originally the bloggers were going to start further north, near Montrose Harbor. Then Fleet Feet signed on to sponsor the run and the start got moved to their Pipers Alley store.

“That’s the nice thing about blogging and social media,” Malinski says. “You can change on the fly.”

-Tracy Samantha Schmidt