Above / Registration is underway for Naperville Sunrise Rotary St. Paddy’s Day 5K that steps off behind Green Man pace setter on March 16. (PN File Photo Courtesy Steve Essig)

Registration is filling fast for the 2019 Naperville Sunrise Rotary’s St. Paddy’s Day 5K set to begin at 8AM Sat, March 16, in Downtown Naperville.

Held in cooperation with the West Suburban Irish, the St. Paddy’s Day 5K is held immediately prior to the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The race is one of the largest 5K’s in the area, and the first major race of the running season. Gerald Subaru will again be the title sponsor of the race. 

Proceeds from the ninth annual event will benefit two local organizations dedicated to youth and young adults. The run will support KidsMatter’s efforts to help young people mitigate stress that can lead to depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol use and suicide. In addition, funds will help provide high school mentors to middle-schoolers at the Alive Center.

Race, run, walk or watch

The St. Paddy’s Day 5K is for racers, runners, and walkers. The course is professionally chip-timed to ensure race time accuracy. Each person registering for the race will receive a technical running shirt, available in both men’s and women’s sizes. Race Day registration will be available at a premium.

There are cash awards to the overall top three men’s and women’s runners. Awards will also be provided to the top three finishers in each age group. Walkers will follow the runners across the start line, with their time being recorded from the passing of the start line to the finish line. St Patrick’s Day themed costumes and hats are encouraged.  Costume awards encourage participants to enter into the festive spirit of the event.  The race is kicked off by St. Patrick and the Green Man pace setter.

Sunrise Rotary also hosts Naper Lights at Naper Settlement during the holiday season.

“This event is well supported by the community, among runners and families alike. It’s a great way to kick off your running season, have fun and just enjoy the spirit of the community,” says Race Chairman Mark Schroeder. “We are proud of the positive comments we get every year about how well the race is conducted.”

The race course begins and ends at Centennial Beach in the heart of downtown Naperville and follows the parade route. The 5K will start at 8AM, in plenty of time to watch the parade which starts at 10AM.

Spectators for the parade often arrive early to cheer on runners. Every intersection along the parade route will be supervised by parade marshals to ensure safety.  At the post-race party, participants can enjoy green beer, 5K Wine, corned beef sandwiches and a variety of other foods and refreshments.  A number of local sponsors will have display and information booths at the event.

Event aims to benefit local youth via KidsMatter and Alive Center 

“We are pleased to present this 5K event to help provide support to young people in our community,” says Sunrise Rotary club president Jeanette Oakeshott. “The St. Paddy’s Day 5K has become one of Naperville’s most-anticipated signature events.  It’s a great opportunity to celebrate family and fun as part of one of Naperville’s favorite holiday celebrations. Club members and community volunteers work side by side at the event and then join in the St. Patrick’s Day parade immediately following the run.”  

Registration fee for an adult is $40. From March 3, 2019, through race day, the registration fee for an adult is $45. Child registration remains unchanged at $25 (ages 14 & under).

For information, online registration and packet pickup details, visit www.StPaddysDay5K.org.