City Council to mull more Naperville 5K runs

<p>File Photo</p>

File Photo

Opportunities may be on the rise for runners to take part in charity 5K events in Naperville this year.

The City Council will be asked Tuesday evening to adjust its mid-December decision to close the events calendar for 2014, opening it back up enough to let two more 5Ks join this year’s lineup.

Organizers of the proposed Scullen Sprint, a fundraiser for the southwest Naperville middle school, have been holding off on finalizing plans for their event, proposed for the last weekend in September. Along with a 5K permit request from Run for Veterans Inc., the event was placed on a waiting list for 2015 because both applications came in after the council closed the calendar to additional major events this year.

City policy defines a major event as one that requires street closures, use of city-owned property, creation of no-parking or tow zones, issuance of a liquor license and/or the presence of city staff for support during the event. The calendar currently shows 33 major events this year, including seven 5K races, and a dozen minor ones, which call for city property but no personnel time.

When representatives from the Rotary Club of Naperville came to the council Jan. 21, seeking its blessing for their inaugural Freedom 5K run and walk on May 18, council members agreed to revisit the calendar. They stipulated, however, that the wait list requests must be given equal consideration and said adding more events must not create too large a drain on city services. Staff in the past month confirmed that the Scullen run’s planners would still like to have their 5K this year, but the veterans’ group is opting to hold off in hopes of being added to the calendar for 2015.

Officials told the Rotary representatives that they would be reluctant to approve another major event in the downtown area, but because the Freedom 5K is proposed to take place along and around Diehl Road, they considered it worth a look. The Rotary organizers envision about 1,000 runners and spectators turning out for the event. Staff estimate the city’s cost for services at $6,500.

The Scullen event, which would draw about 500 runners, also would take place far from downtown, making its way through the Tall Grass subdivision northwest of Route 59 and 103rd Street. That run is expected to need about $1,000 worth of support from the city.

The City Council meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St.