Marathon Clears Hurdle

The second Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon cleared a major hurdle and planning is well underway for the November 9 event.

At the latest council meeting, race directors Bob Hackett and Craig Bixler presented a new route for this year’s event.

The route was redone using feedback from the 2013 race, including the elimination of hills to make the course flatter.

Major changes include moving the start and finish lines from North Central College to Knoch Park and eliminating the Greene Valley Forest Preserve portion of the race to opt for more main roads.

“We will be going city streets because of the runners that will be coming into town,” said Marathon Co-Director, Bob Hackett. “It gets too crowded and it’s just not safe.”

And this route will wind through 26 neighborhoods both in north and south Naperville to showcase the city and to get more residents involved.

“We’ve identified 13 subdivisions in the north and 13 in the south and we’re looking forward to working with the homeowners confederation to create a little neighborhood challenge,” Hackett explained to the council. “To see whose got the best cheering community, who’s got the best sound and the runners will actually vote on that and after we will award a subdivision from the north and a subdivision to the south after the race down in the tent.”

Despite a few questions about the doubling of runners from last year’s 3,500 to 7,000. The 2014 marathon and course got full approval from the council.

“We had zero complaints last year so for your first time out that’s unbelievable, you guys do a great job,” said Councilman Paul Hinterlong.

Another change this year is when charity runners can sign-up.

During the new charity week, beginning February 24, runners registering with a charity can sign up before the general registration.

“Charity week was an opportunity for us to let runners sign up for the race and really give to the charities,” said Marathon Co-Director, Craig Bixler. “Just one more way to incentivize runners to come to the charities.”

725 charity runners will be supporting 26 organizations, 10 of them located in Naperville.

“[Runners]can go on to the Naperville Marathon Website and click on the charity they choose to run for and fill out their application,” said Barbara Martin, Partner Charity Coordinator for the 2014 race.

If you’re interested in the general sign-up, your day will come on Saturday March 8th starting at 6am, last year’s event sold out in 14 hours.

This year organizers chose to put registration on a weekend instead of a weekday hoping to ease frustrations from last year.

“We had a rush last year, there were people who got up in the morning and tried to sign on. The website was very busy and so they weren’t able to so they had to head off to work. They thought okay not problem I’ll come home from work and sign up and then they came home and found out we were full,” said Bixler. “So we thought a Saturday morning at 6am would make it a little more fair for everyone.”

The fees have also been made public. If you run the full marathon, you’ll pay $115, and $85 for the half, some charities have decided to pay part of that fee for their runner.

That information can be found on the individual organization’s website.


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