Lake Zurich’s fastest siblings: Patrick and Emily Burns

Meggie Furlong, social media manager

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With a combined total of 11 state runs and 9 varsity letters, Patrick and Emily Burns are Lake Zurich’s fastest siblings.

Patrick, junior, placed 73rd at the IHSA Class 3A State Cross Country Championship with a three mile personal record of 15:03. He started running competitively in sixth grade.

“In my fifth grade year, [my mom] ran a running club at Sarah Adams [elementary school],” Patrick said. “In sixth grade, my mom suggested that I join cross country, and I did. [However,] I first got into the high school program the summer before seventh grade. I joined the high school cross country camp, which really got me excited about the training and getting faster.”

Emily, sophomore, was awarded MVP on girls’ cross country team this year and holds a three mile personal record of 18:41. She also started with the running club when she was in fourth grade. Emily now competes at the varsity level, often at the same event as her brother.

“I panic for [him],” Emily said. “I’m like ‘where is he?’ and start freaking out if I don’t see [him] run by.”

On the other hand, Patrick is more relaxed when watching his sister run and instead focuses on helping her through her race.

“I don’t get nervous, but I hope she does well [when I watch her race]. I’m more like ‘oh, it’s Emily’ [when I see her pass]. And then I yell, but [she] said [she] doesn’t like my yelling so I reconsider it, but I still yell. I usually yell to go get people and stuff like that,” Patrick said. “Her cheers [for me] are like ‘let’s go Patch-rickkkk. It so sounds softball-y.”

When at races together, the Burns siblings do not feel that they are in competition with one another, nor do they feel pressure from their parents, according to Emily.

“[Our mom] started cross country in fifth grade and then ran all through college at Marquette. She won conference her junior year there,” Emily said. “Now she times all of us. But no, [she doesn’t put pressure on us]. It’s a bonus [when she’s proud of us], but it’s not like that’s what drives us.”

The only Burns sibling who does feel pressured, they agree, is Patrick and Emily’s younger brother and Middle School South seventh grader, Danny Burns.

“Danny’s got the most pressure out of all of us. Being the third child to the both of us who went to state in seventh and eighth grade and this year he missed it by three seconds,” Emily said. “Danny doesn’t enjoy running as much as us, [but he] is very good. He doesn’t have to work that hard, but he’s great. [Unlike] Patrick, who had the least natural talent [between the three of us].”

Even though they come from a family of runners and train year round, Patrick and Emily have not ran together since 2013.

“We decided to go on a five mile run,” Emily said. “(“that was a bit much for you,” Patrick adds) And I was not ready to go [that far] yet, but he took me anyway and he was going too fast and I had to keep stopping. I [also] kept asking how far we were. (“She kept saying she had a cramp. It was so bad. We had to walk half the run,” Patrick adds.) It was just too much. Afterwards, he said ‘I swear I will never run with you again’, and that was it.”

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