By: Tom Minichiello, Course Manager
Welcome back for Course Talk, Part 2! Great news – the marathon and half marathon courses are now USATF certified! So, in addition to the course map on our website, let me talk you through the exciting new route for 2015.
We start in grand fashion on Eagle St., between Jackson and Aurora avenues, where Naperville’s famed Riverwalk crosses Eagle St. The quarry and the Carillon are to your right and City Hall is on the left. You begin running south towards Naper Settlement, turning left on Aurora Ave. Your view here will include the sunrise above Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium at North Central College.
The course heads south on Washington St., passing Edward Hospital. You’ll hit Mile 1 just past Osler Dr. and then Mile 2 just before Hobson Rd. A left on Hobson Rd. and a quick left on Hobson Mill Rd. takes runners through neighborhood streets, passing Mile 3 on Honest Pleasure Dr. and Mile 4 on Hillside Rd.
On Brainard St., we run by Highlands School leading to an impressive view of NCC’s Athletic Complex from Prairie Ave. Then another stretch through neighborhood streets, passing Mile 5 on White Oak Dr. and Mile 6 on Pembroke Rd. This leads to Chicago Ave., where runners are treated to a marvelous view as the course heads west toward Downtown Naperville! Runners are treated to a long decent to Mile 7 before heading into Naperville’s celebrated Historic District and the NCC campus.
At Ellsworth St. and Chicago Ave. is the fine-looking Wentz Concert Hall. We turn right here and then left on Jefferson Ave., running past Quigley’s Irish Pub and crossing over Washington St. into the heart of Downtown Naperville! Runners pass the downtown’s many shops and restaurants, including Naperville Running Company, consistently voted one of the top running stores in the country. The course turns right on Main St. and then left on Benton Ave. and we pass Mile 8.
We head north on Mill St. to the sprawling NNHS grounds, running through and around the school, passing Mile 9 on Naperville North Dr. and Mile 10 on 5th Ave. Then it’s back south on Mill St., and a right on Spring Ave through neighborhood streets, including Mile 11 on Douglas Ave. and the section of Jefferson Ave. where it crosses over the DuPage River.
Then back east on Aurora Ave., passing Mile 12. The half and full marathon then split at the intersection of Aurora Ave. and West St. Half marathoners stay on Aurora Ave, passing NCHS and Naper Settlement on the right, and the Millennium Carillon and Rotary Hill on the left, all while enjoying a nice smooth decent past Mile 13, and left to the finish on Eagle St.
Full marathoners head south on West St., passing Mile 13 and the halfway point and Knoch Park, before entering the Hobson West neighborhood, where West St. then traverses in a southwesterly direction. After passing Mile 14, runners turn right on Rickert Dr., passing Mile 15 and reaching the western most part of the course at Book Rd.
We head south on Book Rd., cross over 75th St., and pass Mile 16, which is flanked by Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. Then just beyond 87th St., we pass Mile 17. A left on Leverenz Rd. begins another stretch of neighborhood streets, passing Mile 18, crossing over Plainfield-Naperville Rd., and then a left on Gateshead Dr., passing Mile 19. After a left on Modaff Rd., we loop around Avena Cr. where we pass Mile 20, then we begin our way back north.
We turn right at 87th St., passing Mile 21, to Washington St., where runners head north, passing Mile 22. At the Bailey Rd. intersection, runners hop on the DuPage River Trail and continue through the 75th St underpass. Then a left turn through the tunnel under Washington St, takes runners to Mile 23. A right on Clyde Dr. and a quick left on Tupelo Ave. begins the final stretch through neighborhood streets, including Mile 24 on Laurel Ln. and Mile 25 on Emerald Dr. A right on West St takes runners to the “One Mile To Go” point at the corner of Osler Dr. The course continues past Knoch Park to Aurora Ave.
A right on Aurora Ave. takes full marathoners past Mile 26 with NCHS and Naper Settlement on the right, and the Millennium Carillon and Rotary Hill on the left, all while enjoying a nice smooth decent, and a left to the finish on Eagle St.
Wow! What a course! The landmarks, scenery, schools, miles of picturesque neighborhoods with beautiful homes and parks, and of course BEAUTIFUL Downtown Naperville. What a town! Can’t wait to see you out there on November 8!
And here’s an insider tip…if you’re out on the course for a training run, keep an eye out for light green painted numbers at each mile (see exact locations below) and arrows at every turn.
I’ll be back again closer to race day with more course information, including convenient ways for spectators to cheer on runners at multiple points!
Tom Minichiello is Finisher #52 of the 50sub4 Marathon Club – a group of about 300 runners with the goal to not just run and complete a marathon in all 50 states, but to run each marathon in each state in under 4 hours. Currently, there are about 65 runners or “finishers” who have accomplished the goal. For more information about the 50sub4 Marathon Club, visit www.50sub4.com. View a video about Tom’s journey at www.vimeo.com/85624446. Contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mile Marker Locations:
Half & Full Marathon
1 – on Washington St, 185 feet south of the Osler Dr traffic light
2 – on Washington St, 0.1 mile north of Hobson Rd
3 – on Honest Pleasure Dr, at the second Cavalcade Cir intersection
4 – on Hillside Rd, in front of 417 Hillside Rd
5 – on White Oak Dr, 63 feet south of the Kings Park sign
6 – on Pembroke Rd, just south of Jane Ave, 50 feet north of the fire hydrant
7 – on Chicago Ave, between Julian and Columbia streets, at 726 Chicago Ave
8 – on Benton Ave, 73 feet east of the Stop sign for Eagle St
9 – on Naperville North Dr, at the far end of the northwest parking lot, 21 feet south of the crosswalk
10 – on 5th Ave, in front of Naper North Car Care Center at 600-602 5th Ave
11 – on Douglas Ave, 37 feet west of the sewer grate at the corner of Parkway Dr
12 – on Aurora Ave, 160 feet east of the sewer grate at the corner of Berry Ct
13 – on Aurora Ave, 123 feet west of the traffic light pole at the corner of Eagle St
13 – on West St, north of Martin Ave, 22 feet south of the fire hydrant
13.1 “Halfway” – on West St, south of Martin Ave, 3 feet south of the Corporate Partners sign
14 – on West St, 190 feet north of the second Merrimac Cir intersection
15 – on Rickert Dr, 0.1 mile east of Flat Iron Dr
16 – on Book Rd, 0.48 mile south of 75th St
17 – on Book Rd, 0.05 mile south of 87th St, in front of 10S049 Book Rd
18 – on Leverenz Rd, in front of 1350 Leverenz Rd
19 – on Gateshead Dr, 32 feet east of the driveway to 712 Gateshead Dr
20 – on Avena Cir, at the fire hydrant by the corner house, 340 Avena Cir
21 – on 87th St, 50 feet east of the corner at Countryside Cir
22 – on Washington St, 0.08 mile south of Harbor Ct
23 – on the path, west of the tunnel under Washington St, near the end of the canyon
24 – on Laurel Ln, 40 feet north of the sidewalk on Basswood Dr
25 – on Emerald Dr, at the Robin Hill Dr intersection
25.2 “One Mile To Go” – on West St, at the northeast corner of Osler Dr
26 – on Aurora Ave, in front of Rotary Hill, 53 feet east of the crosswalk to NCHS’s main entrance