A couple months ago I jokingly suggested everyone take a bike ride to Bensenville, but I never thought the city would steal my idea.

Actually, city officials took it one step further. Instead of a bike ride to Bensenville, they’re sponsoring a September 21 5K run and walk just up the road at the new O’Hare runway. That’s right — jog beneath the jets and let the takeoffs and landings blast out your eardrums. You can pretend you’re an Olympic marathoner, burning up your lungs running through the smog of Beijing. What a fun way to spend a Sunday morning! 

Rosie Andolino, executive director of the O’Hare expansion project, attended last week’s City Council meeting, calling on aldermen to join the fun. I’m hoping Alderman Patrick Levar (45th) will show up, just to give back for all the years he, his friends and family have been feeding at the airport patronage trough.

I sort of feel sorry for the payrollers who will probably get dragooned into getting out of bed early on a Sunday morning for this funfest. But I guess there are worse ways to make a living.

By the way, the run isn’t free — the city’s charging $30 to sign up. It takes a lot of chutzpah to charge folks 30 bucks to run around a runway that was built with hundreds and hundreds of millions of their tax dollars. But hey, you also get a T-shirt, which is more than most of us will probably get out of the Olympics, Mayor Daley’s next multibillion dollar boondoggle.

I’m a little disappointed the run doesn’t go through Bensenville’s Dead Zone. That’s the ghost town Mayor Daley — with financial help from President Bush — created when he forced residents to sell their home. Frankly, I think there’s a lot of interesting things to see in the Dead Zone. Why, they just nabbed a naked guy who apparently wandered in from a passing freight train, my law enforcement pals tell me.

Now here’s a tough choice. What would you rather see: a naked vagabond or Alderman Levar running a 5K?