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Batavia race organizers upset about proposed course changes

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 5:17 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 11:21 p.m. CDT

BATAVIA – The organizers of the Peapod half marathon, which will be Aug. 25, are voicing concerns about a proposal to change the race’s course.

Race Director Danny Delgado said he recently met with Batavia Assistant City Administrator Jason Bajor and Batavia Police Deputy Chief Glenn Autenrieth, who have recommended the race take place only on trails within the city. The race, which started in 2008, incorporates seven miles of city streets on Batavia’s east and west sides and six miles of trails, Delgado said.

“They want to put 100 percent of the race on the Fox River Trail, which really hurts the marketability of the run,” Delgado said. “It would be an out-and-back, boring race. It would be the same trail that everybody walks their dog on and trains on.”

Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said he heard complaints after last year’s race about people who couldn’t get to church because of road closures associated with the race.

“We’re trying to come up with alternatives that don’t cause as much disruption,” Schielke said. “We’re not trying to squelch it. Hopefully, we will work something out that will get everybody where they need to go.”

The Batavia City Council City Services Committee plans to discuss the issue at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave. Delgado said if the race’s course is changed as proposed, he would be forced to cancel this year’s race and to relocate next year’s race to another nearby community.

“This is the first year we’ve heard there have been complaints,” Delgado said. “We’ve had people from Chicago participate in the race who say it puts Batavia on the map in the running world.”

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