New 5K creates Fling Challenge at Naperville festival
5K foot races are a dime a dozen these days, but Naperville Jaycees are putting a twist on a new 3.1-mile race they're introducing on Labor Day as part of the annual Last Fling festival.
The new race, called the Rooster 5K, steps off immediately after racers finish the festival's more-established race, the classic Fling Mile.
Offering a 5K gives the Fling an event "for real runners, not just the 'run for fun' crowd," said Chad Pedigo, a Jaycees member and 2014 Last Fling executive director.
The twist comes as organizers are inviting runners to complete both races -- one right after the other -- for a total distance of 4.1 miles.
"It's a fantastic way to add different options for our runners and our athletic community," said John Trojanowski, Last Fling executive director.
Seeing the success of other charity 5Ks in the area, Trojanowski said Last Fling organizers wanted to get in on the fun and help increase fundraising totals that will be doled out to a large group of nonprofit organizations chosen by Jaycees members.
Then the club let the "roosters" take the lead.
Roosters are Jaycees volunteers who are 41 or older, and therefore unable to vote on business items in the club billed as a junior chamber leadership and service organization.
Joe Haselhorst, a Naperville dentist and Jaycees Rooster member, is race director of the new 5K. As a runner, Haselhorst said he's excited to add distance to the races offered at the Fling.
"This is our first year, so we want to get as many people involved as we can," Haselhorst said. "It took a while (to plan) but people warmed up to it and got into it and it's at full speed now."
Racers who complete both the Fling Mile and the Rooster 5K at full speed will be up for a unique racing challenge, he said.
Both races mainly trace the route of the Labor Day Parade, which begins at 10 a.m. once the running has finished.
The Fling Mile starts at 8:45 a.m. at Naperville North High School, 899 Mill St., and ends at Rotary Hill, 433 Aurora Ave. At the hill at 9 a.m., the Rooster 5K begins, ending at the same location for a post-race party.
Both races will be timed, and 5K runners also will be able to see a split time for the last mile of the 3.1-mile race.
"If you do the Fling Challenge, you can see how you do on the mile the first time and how you do it at the end of the 5K to compare," Haselhorst said.
One celebrity runner will be completing the Fling Challenge, then speaking afterward at the post-race party. Toma Dobrosavljevic of Bloomingdale, winner of the 16th season of "The Biggest Loser" on NBC, will run and then address the crowd about the healthy lifestyle changes he's made and maintained since losing 171 pounds to win the show's weight-loss competition.
Online registration at lastfling.org costs $20 for the Fling Mile, $35 for the Rooster 5K or $50 to complete both races in the Fling Challenge. Race day registration at the same prices also will be available from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Naperville North High School for the Fling Mile and Fling Challenge and during the same times at Naperville Central High School, 440 Aurora Ave., for the Rooster 5K.
If You GoWhat: Fling Mile and Rooster 5K at the Naperville Jaycees Last Fling
When: Fling Mile starts at 8:45 a.m. Monday; Rooster 5K starts at 9 a.m. Monday
Where: Fling Mile starts at Naperville North High School, 899 Mill St.; Rooster 5K starts at Rotary Hill, 433 Aurora Ave.
Who: Hosted by Naperville Jaycees
Cost: Fling Mile $20; Rooster 5K $35; Fling Challenge (includes both races) $50