One of series of more than a dozen running events staged throughout the year around the Chicagoland area by All Community Events, the Naperville Trails Half Marathon is set for its 5th annual running in 2014, on an out-and-back course along the park roads and trails of the Danada County Forest Preserve just north of the city.
Designed as a benefit for the local chapter of the Special Olympics, the race starts and finishes inside the park just off Naperville Road near the Danada Equestrian Center, which was once owned by Chicago commodities trader Dan Rice and his wife Ada.
Both racehorse enthusiasts, they bred and trained champion thoroughbred horses here on their farm back in the mid-20th century, including their horse Lucky Debonair, whom famed jockey Willie Shoemaker rode to victory in the 1965 Kentucky Derby. Today, the farm area is part of the Danada Forest Preserve, which spans more than 780 acres and features wide-open forests, prairies and wetlands areas.
Runners start the race near the equestrian center and head out onto the crushed limestone trails that wind their way through the preserve, heading first northeast through the park nearly all the way to its northeastern corner near the intersection of Butterfield Road and Leask Lane.
Once they reach the turnaround point, runners then head back along the park trails in the reverse direction back toward the equestrian center, and continue making their way westward through the preserve’s winding trails, eventually making their way to the areas just south of Arrowhead Country Club.
Runners make their way around three loops around what is roughly a figure-eight section of the trails around this part of the preserve, first with two loops around the lower trails and then a single loop around the upper section before heading back toward the equestrian center for the race finish.
Runners can expect some rolling hills along the park trails, though much of the course is otherwise flat terrain, as the elevation for the race route ranges between a low of about 720 feet above sea level and a high of just over 780 feet.
At the race’s 2013 running, 722 runners crossed the finish line. For 2014, like last year, the event is limited to 750 entrants. The course time limit is 3 1/2 hours.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in the northeastern part of the state, roughly 37 miles west of downtown Chicago, Naperville typically experiences mild to moderately warm (and occasionally still hot) weather conditions in the late summer season, as September temperatures average between 51°F and 75°F.
On the day of the race (Sept. 14), the average low is 52°F and the average high is 76°F.
- $50 for the half marathon, if registered by August 11, 2014
- $51 between Aug. 12 – September 12 (at 5:00 PM)
- $60 at the race packet pickup, and on the day of the race
To reserve your spot in the late summer 2014 running of the Naperville Trails Half Marathon race, register online at RunSignUp.com.