BATAVIA – With a few adjustments, aldermen on the Batavia City Council City Services Committee on Tuesday said they want to see the Peapod half marathon continue through the city.
“I think the half marathon is a great opportunity for Batavia,” 5th Ward Alderman Eldon Frydendall said. “We have to promote Batavia as much as we can.”
Assistant City Administrator Jason Bajor had recommended the race, which will be Aug. 25, take place as much as possible on the Fox River Trail.
Mayor Jeff Schielke had said he heard complaints about people who couldn’t get to church because of road closures associated with last year’s race.
“Nobody is saying that this event is not valuable,” Bajor told aldermen. “This is all about a balancing act.”
The Rev. Steven Srock, senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Batavia, said the race creates problems for churchgoers.
“It is extremely disruptive to a Sunday schedule,” he told aldermen. “Parking on the streets is an issue. I’ve had complaints from parishioners that they can’t get out of their driveways because the streets are blocked.”
But 4th Ward Alderman Jim Volk, chairman of the City Services Committee, said slight changes could be made to avoid that problem.
“Let’s try to avoid going on or crossing Main Street,” he said, adding Bajor could work with the race organizers and the Batavia Ministerial Association in addressing the issues.
Several race supporters addressed aldermen.
“We love the spectators,” said Bob Miller of Bartlett, who has participated in the race. “I think the city should give it more support.”
The race, which started in 2008, incorporates seven miles of city streets on Batavia’s east and west sides and six miles of trails, race director Danny Delgado said.