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updated: 2/17/2014 2:19 PM

Naperville Marathon proposes new course to include more neighborhoods

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  • Organizers of the second annual Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon will seek approval for a new route when they come before the Naperville City Council on Tuesday. Last year's inaugural race started on the campus of North Central College; this year's would start at Naperville Central High School.

       Organizers of the second annual Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon will seek approval for a new route when they come before the Naperville City Council on Tuesday. Last year's inaugural race started on the campus of North Central College; this year's would start at Naperville Central High School.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • A total of 7,000 runners will be allowed to register for the second annual Edward Hospital Marathon and Half Marathon. Organizers hope to start and finish this year's race at Naperville Central High School.

       A total of 7,000 runners will be allowed to register for the second annual Edward Hospital Marathon and Half Marathon. Organizers hope to start and finish this year's race at Naperville Central High School.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

The route for the second annual Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon could be set as soon as Tuesday night, when Naperville City Council members are scheduled to vote on the course during a meeting at 7 p.m. in the municipal center, 400 S. Eagle St.

If the proposed route is approved, the race will start Sunday, Nov. 9, on Hillside Road adjacent Naperville Central High School, using the same starting location as the Naperville Noon Lions Turkey Trot 5K.

The 7,000 total runners organizers will allow to sign up for the marathon and half marathon will begin by heading south on West Street and making a clockwise loop south almost all the way to 95th Street. Half marathoners will finish when they arrive back at the high school, while marathoners then will run through several central Naperville neighborhoods west and east of downtown to complete 26.2 miles.

The proposed course removes all sections in forest preserves that brought runners through the tall grasses of Springbrook Prairie and the hills and curves of Greene Valley last fall.

"I think we have a good, solid route," Naperville City Manager Doug Krieger said. "We really worked to minimize the impact on the community, churches particularly, since it is a Sunday race. And I think we came up with a good solution."

The route uses portions of major streets such as Chicago Avenue, Washington Street, Book Road, Aurora Avenue and a small section of Ogden Avenue, but Race Director Bob Hackett said organizers also are highlighting many secondary streets through neighborhoods.

"We're really looking to get much more involved with the neighborhoods," Hackett said.

Roughly 26 subdivisions are along this year's proposed course -- 13 in the south loop to be completed by marathoners and half marathoners, and another 13 in the other sections of the course only those going the full distance will see. Hackett said that opened up the possibility for a friendly competition between neighborhoods in each section of the course to produce the best cheering section.

Once runners cross the finish line, they will be asked to vote for their favorite subdivision that provided the best "support and cheering" or "enthusiastic welcome for the runners," Hackett said. During a post-race celebration to be staged at Knoch Park, the winning neighborhoods will be awarded.

If the city council approves the course Tuesday, organizers then can finalize entrance fees and set a start date for registration, Hackett said. The 2,900 open slots in last year's race sold out in 14 hours.

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