Registration for this year's Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon is proceeding at a swift pace.
General sign-up for the second-ever race doesn't begin until March 8, but pre-registration started this week for those running to raise funds for charity.
"As of 10:12 this morning, registration had been open for 26.2 hours," race director Bob Hackett said Tuesday. "We had 109 Naperville runners who had chosen to be charity fundraisers, so far. They truly are charity heroes."
Code numbers for early registration may be acquired by visiting the race website, clicking on a charity partner icon and agreeing to raise funds by running in the marathon.
The 26 charities include organizations such as Naperville Cares, Little Friends, CASA of DuPage County and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Each charity requires a fundraising minimum that ranges from $150 to $500.
Charity runners receive a special race bib, a pre-race dinner, and stretching and massage services before and after the run.
"Everything went off without a hitch at last year's race," said Kris Hartner, owner of Naperville Running Co. "The organizers did a spectacular job, and that's why the city was willing to let them expand it."
One of Hartner's employees, local resident Yonatan Mascote, won last year's inaugural event with a winning time of 2:34:25.
Pre-registration for the Nov. 9 event ends Sunday. Following a five-day respite, general registration will open Saturday, March 8, at 6 a.m.
"The idea here is that we want to give our charities as much time as possible to drive registrations," said Hackett. "Once we open general registration, you're going to see it sell out fast. It will sell like it did last year, if not faster."
Other charity partners for the race include the Edward Foundation, 360 Youth Services, POWER Connection, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, ADOPT Pet Shelter, St. Baldrick's Foundation, Conservation Foundation, Naperville Responds, the Naperville and Indian Prairie educational foundations, Northern Illinois Agency on Aging, Jack H. Marston Melanoma Fund, YMCA, Les Turner ALS Foundation, Team Salute, United Parent Support for Down Syndrome, National Fragile X Foundation, American Cancer Society, Kids in Danger, CancerFree Kids, Illinois Independent Living Center and the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.
"These are all really great programs," said Hackett. "Charity runners get special shirts, a complete training program, and it's a great way to go. It's running with a purpose and doing something nice for somebody else."
The race website is naperville26.com.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun