It was off to the races in the fourth Annual Healthy Driven Naperville Half Marathon and Marathon.
The course had a few minor changes from last years route, but overall turned out to be a success.
“We tweaked the course a little bit we had to make some changes for traffic flow, working with the city and so far the runners loved it, the course start and finish we moved it this year a block east of where we were last year its worked out really well…We had roughly 4,200 runners today, weather has been perfect its been a great cool day for the runners since start and they have been having a fantastic start,” said Co-Race Director, Tom Horvath.
The male and female winners in the Half Marathon didn’t just place in first; it was also their first time running the 13.1-mile route in Naperville.
“It was great it’s gorgeous outside I was feeling really good this is my first time running a race in five years and it’s good to be out here…I blew out my Achilles five years ago and I never thought I would be in the race again so I’m really happy,” said Michael Luchessi, First Place Male in the Half Marathon.
“It was good, I’ve never ran here before, but it was good, great weather and lots of fans out there so that was nice,” said Alyssa Schneider, First Place Female in the Half Marathon.
And speaking of fans, they were out in full force today, which the Full Marathon winners said really helped them on that 26.2-mile stretch.
“My Achilles started hurting at mile eight so I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish, but once I hit 20 I knew there was no stopping, all the ladies on the course kept me going cheering, ‘first woman, first woman’ and I just couldn’t let them down and I really couldn’t do it without God, I said if you could just get me across that finish line I just would really appreciate it and he got me there,” said Sarah Mahaney, First Place Female in the Marathon.
“It was nice, it was fun, it was a lot of people out there enjoying their front lawns and cheering us on and it was good,” said Andrew Kaehr, First Place Male in the Marathon.
And the cheering community expanded beyond the sidelines, with over 1,000 volunteers making sure the runners were best taken care of.
“We couldn’t pull this off without the volunteers, this is a world class race and we have world class volunteers and we just couldn’t do it without them,” said Stephen Queen, Race Village Logistics Manager.
“I just thought it would be fun to come out here and be a part of the excitement and all these runners trying to reach their goals that they’ve worked so hard for and be apart of the community,” said Julie Frommelt, Volunteer at Naperville’s Half Marathon and Marathon.
And the community definitely came together to share each and every runner’s accomplishments.
“Me personally, what I love is watching these people come across the finish line especially for runners who are doing their first marathon and seeing the emotion on them and the accomplishment it really can be emotional for me,” said Horvath.
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
Get daily hometown news and sports delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!