Runners Rejoice—Naperville Marathon Debuts

June 2013 View more

N2013_06_01_002FITNEIf anyone told me 30 years ago that Naperville would be hosting a marathon, I would have never believed it. In a town of only 42,000 in the 80s, the idea of selling out 3,200 spots in a wink of an eye would have seemed ludicrous. But here we are, 30 years later, and the marathon’s a comin’. On registration day, 3,200 runners rushed to their computers and within 14 hours, it was sold out.

Planning Makes Perfect

“The 2013 Edward Hospital Marathon came to fruition through years of planning and bouncing ideas off one another,” said Bob Hackett, race director. “The running community in Naperville is as vibrant as you will find anywhere in the country.”

When the idea of the marathon was first presented to the city of Naperville, there was a lot of doubt. But according to Hackett, as city leaders listened, they began to see how an event like this could positively impact the community.

“Our original plan had to be tabled due to timing because the 2012 calendar had already been set and approved,” said Hackett. So the planning committee pulled together a new presentation for November 10, 2013.

“It was truly a collaborative effort, from the DuPage County Highway Department, The DuPage County Forest Preserve District, The Naperville Park District, The Will County Forest Preserve District, The Village of Bolingbrook, The Bolingbrook Park District all have worked together to make this happen,” said Hackett.

Running Through Naperville

The course will wind through the streets of Naperville and the paths of the Naperville Park District, The DuPage County Forest Preserves, and into Bolingbrook, where runners will be able to run on some great trails in the Bolingbrook Park District and the Will County Forest Preserve. From there, runners will make their way back north to Naperville and finish at North Central College.

The race will host both new and established runners, for either the half or full marathon. The event will also play a role in those looking to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

“The Naperville running community jumped on this very quickly and it was fun to watch,” said Hackett. However, it wasn’t just Naperville runners that filled the roster, runners from 30 states and three countries also found their spot for the inaugural Edward Hospital 2013 Marathon.

Marathon Benefits Downtown Merchants

In addition to the benefits runners will receive, Naperville merchants will also likely experience a spike in business from visiting runners and their families dining, shopping, and walking the streets of Naperville.

Kris Hartner of Naperville Running Company is looking forward to a Naperville marathon. “As a business owner, I look forward to the energy and foot traffic that will be generated on a November weekend. This is traditionally a slower time of year for downtown businesses and this should bring some additional excitement! It will be fun to see the neighborhoods of Naperville come out to support their friends and neighbors.”

Hackett encourages runners to utilize training programs offered by local running stores, training groups, or running clubs. “The secret to a successful race for runners is to make sure the training has been done. That means week in and week out, that as runners, you are out there getting the miles in.”

The Naperville Marathon is just another way our city is striving to keep it on the map as a vibrant, one-of-a-kind community.

Naperville Marathon
Race Expo: Edward Hospital Fitness Center
Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9

N2013_06_01_003FITNENaperville Running Company sold more than 1,200 Runners for Boston t-shirts in late April to raise money for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. T-shirt sales, along with oher donations, helped raise more than $25,000. All proceeds will benefit One Fund Boston.