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updated: 8/2/2011 3:39 PM

North Aurora Days race gets a makeover

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By Samantha Kiesel

A dare from Kerri Branson's friends changed her life in a very big way.

Five years ago, friends dared Branson to run a marathon in Minneapolis. After five months of training, she was hooked. Branson started her own fitness business, began organizing races and even got her husband involved.

Branson is now the race director for the 5K and 10K run and walk during the North Aurora Days festival. She has re-branded the event, calling it The Eagles Run. It is set for 7 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6; there will be a one-mile fun as well.

"I've really tried to get the word out about the race this year," Branson said. "We are expecting to double the 237 runners from last year."

The participants get to run through what Branson calls "one of the most beautiful courses in the area" at the Mooseheart campus.

Branson said the race needed a new look after it returned to North Aurora Days last year after a four-year break.

The race is very family oriented event, as members of the North Aurora Mothers Club are available to take care of the children of runners. It can be difficult to find child care at 6 a.m., Branson said.

Branson, a resident of North Aurora for 11 years, jumped at the chance to organize a race in the area.

"When I had the chance to organize a race in my own hometown, I was there," Branson said. "Everyone that is involved are great people and I've really enjoyed this whole experience."

For race details, visit