Saturday’s first annual SPS Run for Life 5k took advantage of both the quaint Batavia downtown and scenic Fox River Trail to help raise funds for the Suicide Prevention Services of America, a nonprofit specializing in suicide prevention programs, education, and advocacy.
While May weather can be all over the place, participants benefited from cool temps and an overcast morning, perfect for running fast times and for not overheating on a normally sun-filled Fox River Trail. The race started on a brick-covered street near downtown and immediately went uphill for the first half mile. Thankfully, this got the hilly portion out of the way early as the rest of the course was flat and fast.
Just after mile one the course crossed over the river, not on a bridge but on a canal path that kept runners as close as possible to the water and the numerous groups of ducks and geese out searching for breakfast. After runners crossed the river and proceeded on the west side of the trail, they were treated to the well-manicured backyards of the large homes along the river, with some yards sporting unique lawn sculptures. Finally, the mile three sign approached just as runners neared the Batavia History Museum which also served as the starting point for a nice downhill to the finish line.
While this was a great first-year event, there was one snafu that affected the lead group of runners. As they approached the cross over just after mile one, volunteers did not direct the first nine runners across the river. Unfortunately, this meant a few extra miles for each and that the overall winner was not the real first person across the line. The race director and lead timer were notified right away and did their best to straighten out the error. As of press time, the race results were not readily available.
Overall, a runner of any level cannot go wrong with participating in any event along the Fox River Trail. It’s flat, fast, scenic and full of plenty wildlife sights and sounds to keep your mind occupied.