UPDATE, Sept. 12, 2015 / The second annual Judd-A-Thon steps off on Sun., Sept. 20, at the same place, same time.  Get ready and set before the event begins at 10.01AM, on the 0.1K path near Naperville’s Judd Kendall VFW Post, located at 908 W. Jackson Ave.  The distance of 0.1K is slightly more than the length of a football field (109.3 yards).  If you blink, you might miss the run, so be prompt and alert.

UPDATE, Sept. 22, 2014 / The first-ever Judd-A-Thon at the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 held Sept. 21 could be called an “instant success” because many participants raced past the finish line in seconds flat.

All the other 300-plus individuals crossed the finish line in less than three minutes. Photographers had to be quick to catch it all!

What’s more, sometimes enthusiastic spectators couldn’t tell if banner for the start and finish line were coming or going. (You had to be there to witness the fun of it all.)

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Above / More than 300 participants entered the first-ever Judd-A-Thon in Naperville.

At the end of the run, organizers were thrilled to report the Judd-A-Thon had raised $10,000 for the  VFW National Home for Children, in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Members from the VFW Post will deliver the funds to the temporary residence in early October.

“We’re going to have one of those huge checks printed up by Minuteman Press to make the presentation next month,” said Jan Barbour, who served as one of the event organizers.

After the run, hundreds of friends and families gathered outside on the patio of the VFW Post for brunch, fellowship and a few toasts to the event’s success.  Led by veteran Dave Szablewski, a raffle with prizes donated by many local merchants also went quickly.

All numbers from the race bibs were placed in a bucket for the raffle, explained photographer Jim Hoch who recorded the event in photos.

“Ski drew from a bucket of all entrants…” said Hoch. “But, if the prize wasn’t claimed immediately, he drew another number, so you needed to be present to win!”
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 Several “One in a Million” Cock Robin t-shirts were among a bunch of great raffle prizes donated for the event from many local merchants.

“Make plans to run the race next year,” said veterans’ advocate Mike Barbour after the race. “The sad part of this is that a 3-year -old young man beat me! He actually ran the race twice and still beat me!”

For a showcase of photos of the event from start to finish, complete with costumed runners, visit James Hoch Photography.

Introductory Story / 2014

Organizers at the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 have planned a “challenging” athletic endeavor called the Judd-A-Thon for Sun., Sept. 21. The first-time short distance run/walk will go a long way to benefit veteran and military families at  VFW National Home for Children, in Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

The event will step off at 10.01AM and will stretch to 0.1K on a path near Naperville’s Judd Kendall VFW Post, located at 908 W. Jackson Ave.  The distance of 0.1K is slightly more than the length of a football field (109.3 yards).

The pre-registration cost is $20 that includes a one-of-a-kind t-shirt, “a Goodie Bag filled with all kinds of great stuff (this is old school….there’s actually going to be swag in your bag),” noted veteran and publicist Mike Barbour in numerous news releases.  Race day registration will be $25.

Pre-registered racers can pick up race packets at VFW Post 3873 from 3PM to 7 PM on Fri., Sept. 19 or from 9AM  to 12PM on Sat., Sept. 20.

A post event party will be held in the VFW Canteen. Register online at http://www.napervfw3873.org/files/Judd-A-Thon.pdf.

According to Barbour, “Best of all, one of those white, oval stickers for the back of your car, announcing to the world that you completed the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, first annual, 0.1K Judd-A-Thon.”

Comparing the Judd-A-Thon to a marathon and perhaps a silly triathlon, Barbour says it takes special inner strength and will to participate in this special event that will include an official timing clock, sponsor tents, first aid station, running bibs, free snacks, USMC Drill Sergeant “Warm-Ups,” etc.

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Above / Publicist Mike Barbour also was enthusiastic about promoting prizes for costumes.

Participants also are welcome to dress up in costumes to attract attention for the event. The best costume of the day also will receive a prize.

For 2014,  the limit is 500 participants, based on first come for the coveted spots.

Barbour said planners appreciate everyone who has stepped up to become sponsors as well as early entries.

Sponsorships are still available ($250.00 or more).  Individuals and businesses that sign up by Fri., Sept. 12, will be listed on the commemorative t-shirts.

“The best part is that $20 of every donation will go directly to the VFW National Home for Children, in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. The National Home supports the children and families of killed or injured veterans, all the way from K through 12th grade,” added Barbour.

RELATED STORIES: Mike Barbour is a monthly contributing columnist for Positively Naperville. Find a collection of his insights and advocacy for veterans here.