On November 10th a group of city employees will be among the more than 3,000 runners hitting the streets for the Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon.
Grant Wehrli can often be found behind the dais at city council meetings, but these days he can be seen running outside getting ready for his first half marathon.
“My racing background is very limited to 5 and 10Ks, so this is way out of my comfort zone,” he said. “It’s one of those things, if you’re going to do one, this is the first one in Naperville, it’s good for the community, I’m going to give it a go. My objective is truly just to finish and that’s about it.”
He’s just one of a group of city employees running in the inaugural event. City Clerk Pam LaFeber has run four half marathons and starts her day at 4:30 in the morning to prepare for her first full.
“I was a little intimidated by the Chicago Marathon,” said LaFeber. “Then when this Naperville Marathon was in the planning stages, I thought ‘It’s perfect.’ And the original route was about a block from my house so how could I say no?”
Training for a marathon takes months and the group is working together to make sure they each stay on track.
“The group of supporters is like the best thing you could ask for,” said Amy Ramer, Financial Reporting Analyst for the City of Naperville. “It’s a great way to motivate each other, inspire each other to have the camaraderie amongst them it’s a great thing. “
“It’s something that helps me out significantly just knowing others are watching,” said Doug Krieger, Naperville City Manager.
However one runner is a little behind schedule, but she has a pretty good reason.
“The little guy is due March 16th,” said Katy Librizzi, Engineering Technician for the City of Naperville. “So hopefully once the baby is here in the spring I’ll be able to get back into it and follow one of the many training routines I’ve followed in the past and hopefully have a successful half marathon.”
An important part of the training process is making sure you have the proper footwear. LaFeber headed over to the Naperville Running Company to find the perfect pair of shoes.
“You have to have good shoes,” said LaFeber. “If you don’t your legs are going to hurt, your back is going to hurt, your posture is going to be bad, and you’re going to lean over. Your feet support you the whole way so you need a good pair of shoes that fit your feet right. Everyone runs differently.“
News spread quickly about the Naperville Marathon, which is a Boston qualifier. It sold out in just 14 hours, and the group is excited to be a part of the experience.
“We’re promoting wellness at the police department and the city has an overall promotion of that as well,” said Tom Kammerer, Commander, Naperville Police Department.
“It’s going to be great for Naperville,” said Wehrli. “I’m glad the community is rallying behind this. I think having a group of city employees do this is good camaraderie. We are talking about safety and getting exercise. All in all it’s truly an awesome event.”
This summer we’ll check in with the group and see how their training is going. Then in November we’ll head to the marathon and see how their hard work paid off.
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