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Community Sports

New Naperville marathon 'not a competition' with Fox Valley

ST. CHARLES – Tim Arends registered for the inaugural Naperville Marathon in November before filing in for his fourth Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon Sunday morning.

That helped lend credence to his praise for Craig Bixler and Dave Sheble, fellow St. Charles men who double as co-organizers of the Fox Valley event and as part of the new, Naperville planning team.

"I haven't done a ton of different races, but you know, the ones I've done, whether it be Rockford or Schaumburg or some of the others that you can easily drive to in the area, this is by far and away, I think, the best," Arends said. "I hope Naperville's just as good."

Bixler – who has elected to pursue race directing full-time after a lengthy career as a software engineer – stressed the Fox Valley race and the Nov. 10 Naperville event are sister races, not a sibling rivalry.

"So it's not a competition at all," Bixler said. "People that are going to run the Naperville Marathon can run our half [-marathon] or our 20 [-mile run] as a training to do that one."

Or even make it 52.4 miles of Bixler/Sheble bonanza and compete in both.

"It's reasonable to think that you cold run this and run Naperville and not be too beat down for that race," said the 44-year old Arends, who plans to try.

John Collet of Verona, the second overall finisher in Sunday's half-marathon, approached Bixler after his cool-down to offer feedback, positive and constructive alike.

Collet used the Fox Valley half-marathon as preparation for the Naperville Marathon.

"I signed up [for the Naperville Race] because I went to North Central College," Collet said. "It just so happens they're the race director for both. I didn't know that when I signed up."

• Jay Schwab contributed to this report.

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