St. Charles Readies for Sunday Marathon

Runners from 39 states, Washington, D.C., a military base, Canada, Netherlands, Brazil and Australia are set to compete in the Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon.

The third annual Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon steps off at 7 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, in St. Charles, heading south through Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora and Aurora before circling back.

In what has been called the largest single-day sporting event in the Fox Valley area, more than 2,900 runners have signed up for the event’s three races, which include the Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon, the Half Marathon and the Fall Final 20, a 20-mile run designed to provide racers with an organized training run, according to a Fox Valley Marathon release.

This year’s event features runners from 39 states, Washington, D.C., a military base, Canada, Netherlands, Brazil and Australia, the release states.

Named the best marathon in the Chicagoland area in the August edition of Chicago Magazine, the Fox Valley Marathon again falls into the Top 25 among Boston Qualifiers.

“We feel like we are really hitting our stride in Year 3,” race co-Director Dave Sheble said in the release. “The level of interest from volunteers has been incredible, as has the support each community has provided. The committee has been working very hard for the past year and it all culminates in Sunday’s race.

“The 2012 race still features the Weather Flex option, which allows runners to switch between the Half, Full or Fall Final 20, depending on the weather the morning of the race” he said. “The group of runners range from a slew of first-timers to highly competitive runners looking to take advantage of a fast course.”

Two such runners are Justin Gillette, winner of more than 30 marathons, and Shannon Bixler, daughter of race co-Director Craig Bixler and the female winner of the 2012 Livestrong Austin Marathon, as well as the 2011 Fox Valley Marathon, the release states.

For the second straight year, the Advocate Dryer Fox Valley Marathon will provide runners with a great opportunity to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

“With Boston registration closing even earlier this year than in years past, our race provides one of the last chances for runners to qualify for the 2013 Boston Marathon,” Craig Bixler said in the release. “We’re honored to be considered a Top 25 qualifier again and wish the best of luck to all those with eyes on Boston.”

Though registration is closed for Sunday’s event, there is still plenty of room for spectators to come out and cheer on the runners. For more information, there is a complete Spectator Guide on www.fv26.com.


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