Naperville Half-Marathon and 5K Races Attract Energetic Locals and Others
Thousands of runners will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Healthy Driven Naperville Half Marathon and 5K on Sunday, Oct. 16, by taking in all the sights of downtown Naperville's parks, neighborhoods and bustling downtown district.
A fast downhill finish into a crowd of cheering spectators will leave you feeling exhilarated and ready to pick up your medals and goodies in the race village's food tent. Runners can join the fun by registering now at www.runnaperville.com, or even on race day for a slightly higher fee.
Starting and ending in historic downtown Naperville near the Municipal Center, the course loops twice through downtown Naperville and around Naperville Central High School, with the longer race jutting north to circle Naperville North High School. The course allows spectators to easily cheer on the expected 2,700 runners, said race director Craig Bixler.
"We chose a city where there would be no capacity limit for runners. Naperville is ideal with its wide-open spaces, energetic people and large running population," Bixler said.
"Our current format has opened the door to so many more runners, particularly charitable groups that want to raise money," Bixler stated. "Some people even choose to walk the 5K to raise money."
Many locals and former locals run the race and Bixler said that there is also a "decent overlap" between this annual race and the Chicago and Fox Valley marathons. In fact, they award a "Triple Crown" medal to those participate in both the suburban races and one other of their choice.
"Some Chicago Marathon runners may even elect to just run the 5K as a way to take a victory lap and recover from the previous weekend," Bixler said.
Top race sponsors include Edward-Elmhurst Health, Gerald Auto Group, Dick Pond Athletics and Athleta. Edward-Elmhurst Health sponsors and staffs the medical tents and provides space for the prerace Health and Fitness Expo.
Gerald Subaru of Naperville will provide goodies and giveaways for the charity runners and will also provide racing gloves to those who pick up their race packets Oct. 14-15 at the Health and Fitness Expo at the Edward Hospital Health & Fitness Center, 775 Brom Court.
"The Naperville Marathon is an amazing event that brings together locals from near and far to promote health and wellness," said Alec McKean, Vice President of the Gerald Auto Group. "We see huge crowds of runners and their loved ones cheering them on during the race. Afterward, families make a day of exploring the local shops, restaurants and taking walks along the beautiful Naperville Riverwalk. We are honored to sponsor this event and look forward to cheering on all the runners this year."
Register online through race day at www.runnaperville.com. The cost is $40 for the 5K and graduated fees for the half-marathon -- $95 through Oct. 11, $100 through Oct. 15 and $140 on race day. The first 1,500 runners who register will receive a warm stocking cap. You can also pay extra to order a T-shirt or a quarter-zip sweatshirt.
To visit Gerald Subaru of Naperville online, go to www.geraldsubarunaperville.com.