Naperville’s St. Patrick’s 5k Race

The Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise in cooperation with West Suburban Irish hosted the ninth annual St. Patrick’s Day 5k race.

Temperatures for the 8 a.m. race were below freezing, but that didn’t stop over 2,000 people from showing up.

“We’ve been doing this, for what the last 10 years? So, this is kind of our tradition. We do this every year for St. Patrick’s Day,” said Jennifer Ryan, a runner in the race.

“Weather? It doesn’t matter it could be snowing and we’ll still be doing this,” said Tony Ryan, who participated in the race.

“We’re prepared, we’ve got a lot of layers and we got our hand warmers,” said Debbie Terrell, a runner in the race.

The race started on Jackson Avenue. Participants then made their way up through Mill Street to Naperville North, before making a U-turn and heading toward Downtown Naperville.

Runners took a small detour on Main Street, and back along downtown and eventually back to Jackson Avenue where the race finished.

Dan O’Keefe, a former runner at North Central College, won the 3.1-mile race with a time of 14 minutes 47 seconds.

“It was good, a lot of fun. Perfect weather you know, high 20’s, no wind, fast course couldn’t have ask for better guys to race with. So a lot of fun, happy with it, good way to start the Saturday morning,” said O’Keefe.

Race director Mark Schroeder says the race means more than final placing’s.

“This our ninth race, and every year we’re over 2,000 runners. We have 300 volunteers [and] we put this race on every year to raise money for charity. Every penny that we raise goes to a 501 C charity. This year is Alive Center and KidsMatter,” said Schroeder.

Along the race route were supporters and volunteers encouraging participants.

“It’s just great to see the community go out, gather, [and] support a great event. And give back to a great cause that the Rotary Club supports,” said Drew Glassford, a volunteer.

Running to help make a difference.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.

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