Edward-Elmhurst re-ups to sponsor Naperville race through 2018
Edward-Elmhurst Health will continue to sponsor the distance-running race established in 2013 in Naperville with an agreement announced Tuesday that lasts through 2018.
The race now called the "Healthy Driven Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon Sponsored by Edward-Elmhurst Health" is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 23 starting and ending in the city's downtown.
Naper Events, LLC, organizes the races of 26.2 and 13.1 miles, while the health system provides volunteers at aid stations, medical services for runners, post-race stretching, injury screening and a site for the pre-race expo.
"We're very excited about extending something that was a winner for three years and just kept growing," Race Director Dave Sheble said. "We have big plans going forward and so do they, so it's a perfect partnership."
General registration for this year's race opens Monday, Feb. 29 at naperville26.com. Charity runner registration -- for those willing to raise money for a participating nonprofit -- begins Feb. 15.
The race got its start in 2013 as the Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon, then in 2015 adjusted its name to incorporate the health system's Healthy Driven campaign, which features NASCAR driver Danica Patrick in a series of ads encouraging people to take charge and drive their health to a better state.
Hospital officials said they will continue to sponsor the race because it allows runners to raise money for charities, give a boost to businesses and improve their health all at once.
"It is a great opportunity for runners, volunteers and spectators to exhibit 'Healthy Driven' habits and reach their 'Healthy Driven' goals," hospital system CEO Pam Davis said in a news release.
In three years, the race has raised more than $750,000 for charities. Last year's race also generated $2.3 million for the Naperville economy, according to an economic impact study the race's organizers commissioned from Kent State University.
Sheble said race organizers are sorting through applications from 60 charities that want to be involved with the race so they can post the chosen groups soon.
The Edward Foundation will be the premier charity as part of the sponsorship agreement. In the 2015 race, 12 charity runners raised nearly $11,000 for the Edward Foundation as part of $241,000 generated for 27 participating charities.