The Dick Pond Athletics 2010 Inaugural Fox Valley Marathon was yesterday in St. Charles, IL, drawing 1,100 runners for it’s marathon, half marathon and unique Fall Final 20.
Not many race organizers can brag that they sold out their inaugural event, but now co-race directors Dave Sheble and Craig Bixler can.
“The support for the races were tremendous, particularly the marathon and the 20 mile race,” said Bixler.
Twenty miles isn’t usually a popular race distance, but given that this one was three weeks before the nearby Chicago Marathon, it offered runners the perfect chance for a fully supported long training run.
“Our Fall Final 20 is the first that we know of to offer full race amenities including a shirt, medal, pace groups, frequent aid stations, and race-day atmosphere, for a traditional last 20 mile training run before a full fall marathon,” noted Bixler. “It has been such a hit that I wouldn’t be surprised to see this event copied throughout the country, wherever there is a large fall marathon.”
Even elite marathoner Tera Moody, formerly of St. Charles, showed up to get in her last 20 before the October 10, Chicago Marathon. She won the women’s division of the event in 1:59:47, in spite of a nagging foot problem.
Steve Breese of Schaumburg, IL won the men’s division of the Fall Final 20 in 1:57:02.
While some people came for a training run, even more showed up to race the half marathon and full marathon. Part of the appeal — the course. “We advertised a flat, scenic, shaded course – that is what marathon runners look for. So our runners’ expectations were high,” said Bixler.
Apparently, he delivered. The course runs primarily along the scenic Fox Rixer. According to Bixler, it had plenty of “smooth, flat trails under a canopy of trees winding back and forth across the river, over footbridges, under roads, past dams, waterfalls, and even a windmill. We heard so many runner comments at the finish that it was the best course that they had ever raced on.”
Michael Iacofano, 42, of Medina, OH won the men’s division of the marathon in 2:41:29. Trey Howell, 30, was second in 2:49:43 and Lorne Litwora, 32, was third in 2:50:33.
In the women’s division, Anna Siliciano, 27, of Madison, WI, was first in 3:06:00. Jennifer Benitez, 37, was second in 3:06:17 and Karen Meraw, 25, was third in 3:06:31.
In the half marathon, Brian Grudowski, 28, was first in the men’s division with a time of 1:09:06. Chris Bosworth, 26, was second in 1:12:16 and Brad Wheeler, 18, was third in 1:17:53.
On the women’s side, Joan Vitro, 43, was first in 1:39:24. Allison Bixler, 25, was second in 1:39:38 and Nancy Hunt, 41, was third in 1:39:52.
“At its best, race day is filled with first time marathons, tears of joy, inspirational stories, personal bests, and Boston qualifiers,” said Bixler. “We had all of those yesterday. It was a day to remember for our runners, and because it was our inaugural event, it will be a day to remember for everyone who helped make it happen.”
Check here for the full official results of the Dick Pond’s Athletics 2010 Inaugural Fox Valley Marathon, Half Marathon and Final Fall 20.