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Naperville Marathon sign-up opens for charity runners Monday

Runners planning to take part in Naperville’s second yearly citywide marathon have a chance to sign up on behalf of a charity beginning Monday. General registration is set to begin March 8.

Plans are quickly taking shape for the 2014 Edward Hospital Naperville Marathon & Half Marathon, set for Nov. 9. The new Charity-Donation program for race participants aims to expand on the proceeds from the inaugural event last November, which generated more than $290,000 for assorted causes.

“We want to attract as many runners as possible to sponsor charities,” race codirector Craig Bixler said in a meeting for representatives of charity partners last week.

The marathon will be open to 7,000 participants, twice the number of openings that were available in the first run. A shift in the route to entirely paved roads from last year’s mix of streets, forest preserves and park land will make the increased head count feasible.

Also new is the location for the start and finish lines, which will be in Knoch Park, just south of Naperville Central High School. Activities scheduled after the marathon will include musical performances, food, beer and other refreshments.

Charity Week kicks off at 8 a.m. Monday and continues through March 2. Those who sign on with one of the 26 participating nonprofits are guaranteed a spot in the marathon, in exchange for their donation commitment for their chosen local, regional or national beneficiary. They also are entitled to discounted, and in some cases waived, registration fees.

Last year, all of the marathon’s entry spots were filled within 14 hours after registration opened.

More information is available at www.naperville26.com.

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