BATAVIA – Nearly 1,500 runners participating in Sunday's Peapod half-marathon will follow a slightly different route designed to alleviate traffic problems associated with the race.
Earlier this year, Batavia Assistant City Administrator Jason Bajor and Batavia Police Deputy Chief Glenn Autenrieth had recommended that the Peapod Half Madness 13.1 – so named because a half-marathon is 13.1 miles – take place only on trails within the city. The race, which started in 2008, incorporates several miles of city's streets on Batavia's east and west sides and several miles of trails.
After race organizers and participants met with aldermen in February, a compromise was reached that would allow the race to continue through the city with a slight adjustment to the route.
"They wanted us to avoid Main Street," race director Danny Delgado said. "We found an alternate route that is a lot safer for the runners. It takes the runners up McKee Street to Western Avenue, rather than going on Main Street. The runners won't encounter as much traffic."
The race will take place between 7 and 10 a.m., with the start and finish line being near Houston Street and North Island Avenue in downtown Batavia. So far, 1,400 runners have registered to participate, up 30 percent from last year, Delgado said.
"Our goal was to reach 1,500 people," Delgado said. "We will probably fall short of that, but we are very pleased with the number of added registrants this year."
Residents living along the race route are urged to lend support to the runners.
"We are really trying to get the runners on the course to help motivate the runners," Delgado said.
The race will benefit two charities, the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and the Batavia Fourth of July Committee. The Kane County Chronicle is one of the race's sponsors.