Naperville, IL (November 9, 2014) — The 2014 Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon and Half-Marathon has concluded in resounding victories for runners, spectators, organizers & volunteers, sponsors, Charity Partners, and the City of Naperville itself.
Naperville Mayor A. George Pradel was there all morning, spreading his great enthusiasm from the pre-race ceremony, to high-fiving and cheering on passing runners in the street, through congratulating and awarding finishers.
“This is a destination event!” declared Mayor A. George Pradel during the ABC7 News live broadcast from the Finish Line. Race Co-Director Craig Bixler, with the Mayor in the live interview, concurred: “We’ve got runners from Europe, Asia, Canada• plus 36 different states here in the U.S. This year’s race courses were a hit with runners, spectators, and businesses — spectators could see their runners at 4 spots along the marathon route, all within walking distance of the Start/Finish and Naperville’s downtown, letting them spend time cheering AND at the downtown restaurants and shops.”
“I’ve done the Chicago Marathon at least ten times,” said ABC7 News Reporter John Garcia, who ran the 2014 Naperville Half-Marathon instead of Chicago this year. “I really enjoy that Naperville is close by, it’s a great city to run through with cheering sections lining the streets, and that the field is a bit smaller — it’s more fun when you’re not getting lost in the crowd.”
Runners receiving special recognition were Jeff Purdom (1:13:59) and Amber White (1:18:24) for their first-place finishes in the Half-Marathon, and Yonatan “Yonni” Mascote (2:33:53) and Marisa Hird (2:50:57) for their first-place finishes in the Full Marathon. These runners received their medals upon finishing, and also received crystal awards presented to them by Mayor Pradel and Edward Hospital’s Brian Davis.
“Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare is thrilled to be associated with such a first-class, community-driven event,” said Brian Davis, who is Chief Marketing Officer of Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare. “The Edward Foundation received thousands in contributions from designated runners, our Edward Health & Fitness Centers hosted packed pickup, we had 100-plus volunteers at water stations, and our clinicians made sure that runners had access to the highest level of medical care, massages and physical therapy stretching. It was a real team effort.”
The safety of the 6,000-plus runners (over 1,000 of whom were from Naperville) and multiple-thousands of spectators, partners, and volunteers was top priority. “We were very pleased with the Logistical Plan that we worked on all year for this event,” explaines Race Co-Director Dave Sheble, who helped coordinate the presence of Safety & Security Teams, including CRW and Naperville SWAT. “Security was highly visible, to ensure the safety of runners and spectators — this was the largest multi-jurisdictional event in Naperville history!”
Coverage from local and area news outlets was comprehensive. Naperville’s own NCTV began its live broadcast at 6:50a.m. and continued through the event, including the pre-race ceremony, the presence of the American Legion Riders, the division-winning runners, the festivities at Celebration Village and Charity Village, and everything in between. Stories emerged from The Daily Herald, TribLocal, The Sun-Times, and more, continuing into the week.
“We continue to be amazed by our awesome volunteers,” notes Race Co-Director Pat Leonard, “More than 1200 volunteers this year — from our pre-race Expo workers to race-day Course Marshals, to post-race warming-jacket distributors, and more — worked hard to put on the best race possible for our 6000+ runners!”
Race Co-Director Tom Horvath oversaw planning, setup, and prep committees for the Celebration Village and more. He notes: “The team worked hard to make this a first-class experience before, during, and after the race. Whether you are a first-time- or experienced- marathoner, we’ve strived to make the Naperville Marathon & Half-Marathon your best race of the year.”
Heather Kash, Senior Director of Corporate Relations & Risk Management for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, for whom $10,600 was raised in this event, agrees. “This is one of the best marathons in terms of making it easy for Charities to participate and fundraise,” she noted. “This should be the model for all Marathons.”
In his speech at the closing/celebratory dinner meeting on Sunday night, Race Co-Director Dave Sheble congratulated all who contributed to the event: “The one word I’d assign to this event is pride. You all took pride in your efforts, and now we can all BE proud of our event.” Co-Director Craig Bixler followed, paraphrasing Muhammad Ali: “‘Some believe it’s easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it;’ well, you — WE — are changing it.”