Runs, Walks, Bike Rides and a Duck Race

Above / Ready. Set. (Hang on to your entry.) Go! The 4th Annual Pumpkin Race, hosted by Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, welcomes all ages to decorate a pumpkin racer and experience a fun afternoon of competition at Rotary Hill near Moser Tower. The festivities begin at 1PM on Sat., Oct. 26. First race at 1:30PM.

Meanwhile, consider ways all year to keep moving so many fine organizations can run! Be ready mid-March every year to begin again with Michael Finnegan during the Rotary Sunrise St. Paddy’s Day 5K in downtown Naperville.

Naperville residents and friends run, walk, bike and race plastic ducks for charity and fun at many area .1K, 5K, 10K, and/or multi-mile events that bring the community together.

This peddling green machine leading the way for the Rotary Club of Naperville – Sunrise reminds us the service club already is getting set for its annual St. Paddy’s Day 5K. Meanwhile, another Naperville Rotary Bike Ride is slated for the second Sunday in August. (PN File Photo)

The community calendars populate with more outdoor events by the week from mid-March through Thanksgiving Day. PN appreciates the recent updates of returning events. Send local updates for repeat runs, walks, bike rides and golf outings in 2019 and 2020 to

The Rotary Sunrise St. Paddy’s Day 5K sets off the outdoor movement of family-friendly events for the season in March, just before the annual  West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Parade, a tradition that exemplifies that Naperville loves a parade! (Search the Photo Galleries for parade photos.)

Get set to head down the long stretch of special outdoor activities for all ages, organized here by the month.

Be an early bird among 7,500 runners for Naperville Noon Lions Turkey Trot 5K

Dates for running and walking events in 2019 are all lined up, mindful that on Thanksgiving Day there’s “no penalty for running fast and eating later” in the Naperville Noon Lions Club Turkey Trot 5K.

Note that registration for the Noon Lions Turkey Trot began on May 1, 2019, for the fun of the run!

CrimeStoppers promotes Runs for Safety

McGruff the Crime DogFor 2019, the dedicated folks at CrimeStoppers again will help support other 5K events as well as the Naperville Marathon.

Look for McGruff and Friends at the Run for Reading GLOW Run 5K now in May and the Lions Club Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day.

And memorize the CrimeStoppers phone number to provide anonymous tips about local crimes if you see something that needs reporting.

Crime Stoppers: (630) 420-6006

Remember, keeping the community safe is everyone’s responsibility.

If you see something suspicious, say something to a public safety officer.

Thanks to everybody who helps keep local nonprofits running!

October 2019

Edward A Walk to Remember

Sunday, October 12, 2019 / Held at the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion in Naperville. For more information or to register, visit

Stop, Drop and Run 5K Run/Walk

Previously on a Saturday in October.  See post on September 21, 2019.

Annual CROP Walk 5K

Sunday, October 13, 2019 / Walk time: 1:30PM Grace United Methodist Church  in Naperville INFO: (Traditionally held the third Sunday in October)

Healthy Driven Naperville Half Marathon

Sunday, October 20, 2019 / Racetime: 7AM / Registration is in now in progress. Sign up today for one of the teams participating in the Naperville Half Marathon. In 2016, PN observed Marathon officials and participants attired in Cubs’ spirit wear. Will 2019 return the Cubs with an eye on a prize?

Pumpkin Race for Turning Pointe Autism Foundation

Saturday, October 26, 2019 / Noon-5PM at Rotary Hill near Moser Tower along the Riverwalk. For info about creating a pumpkin racer with a special theme to compete in this fun event for folks of all ages, visit

Remember! Riding bicycles, skate boards and motor bikes is prohibited on the Riverwalk. Pumpkin racing for Turning Pointe Autism Foundation is allowed. Cheers!

November 2019

Noon Lions Turkey Trot 5K —Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 2019

Thursday, November 28, 2019 / Downtown Naperville Registration starts May 1, 2019 — Race usually reaches capacity of 7,500 runners by the end of October and has been sold-out for many years.  Find info at Naperville Noon Lions Club Turkey Trot 5K,

Celebrate the runners at Quigley’s Irish Pub Thanksgiving morning until 11AM. Cheers!


March 2020

As luck would have it, the Rotary Sunrise banner that marks the beginning and end of the St. Paddy’s Day 5K always is featured in the WSI St. Patrick’s Parade that follows the run.

Rotary Sunrise St. Paddy’s Day 5K

Saturday, March 14, 2020 / Downtown Naperville Racetime: 8AM Rotary Club of Naperville Sunrise  The 2019 St. Paddy’s Day 5K also will feature a costume competition. (Note the West Suburban Irish St. Patrick’s Parade will step off right after the run, also in downtown Naperville.)

April 2019 (To be updated soon)

March of Dimes / March for Babies

Sunday, April 14, 2019 / Community Park, 1800 Short St | Lisle. Join the fight to reduce premature birth and infant mortality. In the U.S., 1 in 10 babies is born too soon. March of Dimes is working to improve this statistic and we’re proud to support its research and care. Please encourage your bankers as they walk to give every baby the strongest start possible. CLICK HERE to join the March for Babies and/or donate to the March of Dimes.


Naperville Women’s Half Marathon/5K (360 Youth Services & Little Friends, Inc.)

run-field-nccSunday, April 28, 2019 / At the completion of the half-marathon at North Central College, the third competition of the day will showcase a host of elite female runners racing on a closed 5,000-meter course. The race will benefit two favorite local charities, Little Friends and 360 Youth Services.

Editor’s Note / Pictured at the finish line, a new running event on April 24, 2016, at North Central College with help from Naperville Running Co. benefited Little Friends and 360 Youth Services. 

Eikon 5K

Saturday, April 29, 2019 / Plainfield North High School Racetime: TBD Eikon is a nine-month internship program for college-age students, equipping them to be effective leaders and change-agents in their community. Eikon is a part of Calvary Church, a congregation that has been committed to mending our local and global communities for over 40 years. Find updated info at

The DuPage Human Race 5K

Saturday, April 27, 2019 / Held at Esplanade at Locust Point, 1901 Butterfield Road / Start: @ 9:00 AM (CDT) / Register by April 20. Many Naperville nonprofits compete such as Naperville Woman’s Club.

May 2019

Walk MS

Sunday, May 5, 2019 / Walk MS, the signature fundraising event for the National MS Society, to celebrate the progress and powerful connections made in the movement to end Multiple Sclerosis and to raise critical funds for MS research and services.  Walk MS events will take place across Illinois, including Naperville’s Centennial Park and Riverwalk.  Opening ceremonies at 8:45 AM. Walk begins at 9 AM.

Illinois Team Hope Walk

Sunday, May 19, 2019  Registration for the Team Hope Walk to raise funds for 13th Annual Huntington’s Disease.  Organizers say they walk to support the mission of the Huntington’s Disease Society of America: Help For Today-Hope For Tomorrow. For more info about Huntington’s Disease, visit

Operation Welcome You Home Wounded Warrior 5K

Saturday, May 25, 2019 / Join the run at Settlers Park in Plainfield. 8AM Sharp!

Run for Reading / GLOW (Give Literacy Opportunity to Win) 5K Run

Saturday, May 18, 2019 / Fifth Avenue Station – Plank Road Racetime: 8:15PM / Jeanine Nicarico Literacy Foundation  (Note! Grant applications submitted in March 2019, are being considered for presentation at the run!) Alert! Alert! Alert! Fun Run for Reading GLOW is a few weeks earlier!

PN 2016 Story Link Saved in Archive.

Other “Run for Reading” PN Story Links

June 2020

Scott’s Walk

NOTE! This popular walk aimed to educate the community about testicular cancer and heighten awareness more than it tried to raise funds.  After a successful run of walks, organizers have taken a break. Any funds raised will be donated to Scott’s Venture Fund at the College of the Menominee Nation.   This spot in the July schedule will be saved to heighten important awareness about testicular cancer with the hope to educate. Photos / Updated PN 2014 Post.


July 2019

Tour de Independents 

July 1-July 31 / Tour de Independents to Find Waldo / Look for Waldo to be hiding in many of your favorite independent businesses all during July. Finding Waldo is another way to celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July, too. For updates and other details, visit the link on the IndieBound Naperville Website or click here. (The 2019 wrap up get-together with the raffle drawing is set for 11AM Aug. 2, at Anderson’s Bookshop.) As always, look for the bright red sign indicating independent businesses. Thanks for getting to know your local independent business community every day!

Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk

Sunday, July 14, 2019 / Riverwalk Pavilion / INFO & Advance Registration/

PN Archive Post with Photos: Pancreatic Cancer Walk / 2016 Event with Photo Gallery

PN UPDATE / Jeopardy! James connects with donation to support 2019 Walk

Annual KBMF 5K Walk / Run 

Saturday, July 27, 2019 / Naperville North High School  / Annual Kathryn Bender Memorial Foundation 5K to run or walk around the football field to help raise money to purchase EKG machines that provide heart screening to young adults. The check-in will start at 8:30AM with the 5K beginning at 9AM. Please print the ‘Registration Form‘ or just show up and register that morning! 

August 2019


Experience Triathlon / Naperville Sprint Triathlon

Sunday, August 4, 2019 / Downtown Naperville Premier Event Management

Walk to End Lupus Now!

Saturday, August 10, 2019 / Naperville Riverwalk Grand Pavilion

Members of Rotary Downtown—Rocky Caylor, Mary Corrigan and Nancy Quigley—greeted cyclists at a rest stop along the SAG supported route for the 2018 Rotary Ride. Look for them again on Aug. 11, 2019.

23rd Annual Naperville Rotary Bike Ride

Sunday, August 11, 2019 / 6:30AM-11AM (Begin at your leisure) Start from Commissioner’s Park at 111th Street for a ride that will take cyclists to Silver Springs.  INFO: Rotary Ride / REGISTRATION begins soon. (NOTE! For the first time, a Rotary Ride Jersey to commemorate the fun ride was offered for purchase online through August 31, 2018. )

Riverwalk Duck Race Returns

Thanks to Busey Bank for taking a quack at pulling the nonprofits together for the Riverwalk Duck Race!

Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019 / 10AM start time along Riverwalk and DuPage River / Start at footbridge near Centennial Park and end at Eagle Street Bridge. Rain or shine.  Take a quack with a lucky duck for five bucks to help celebrate the Riverwalk’s 38th year as it prepares to begin another year, marking the city’s sesquicentennial on Sept. 7, 1981.  INFO:

The Jumbo Duck Costume Contest will return during the Riverwalk Duck Race on Aug. 14, 2019! Find Waldo in the race presented by Busey Bank.

(After a hiatus of several years, the Riverwalk Duck Race returned in 2016, now hosted by the Riverwalk Foundation. Presented by Busey Bank, the Duck Race is to promote the Riverwalk and spread the word why it’s important to let wildlife be wild and let them find their nutrition naturally. Simply put… don’t feed bread crumbs or human snacks to ducks, geese or any waterfowl.

Jumbo ducks were added to the 2018 competition. Busey’s duck was disguised as Waldo to help promote independent businesses, too.

Also note how many of the events featured on this list take place along the Naperville Riverwalk, uniting residents and visitors for important causes. Thanks for supporting the care and enhancement of this city’s natural treasure by taking a quack at the duck race. Cheers!

Click here to purchase a Five Buck Duck! You don’t have to be present to win!

Scott S’Cool Scoot

Saturday, Aug. 24. 2019 / Scott Elementary School. 5K Run or 3K Walk. /8AM from Scott Elementary School, 500 Warwick Drive, Naperville.

September 2019

Fling Mile (Just before Jaycees Labor Day Parade)

8:45AM Monday, September 2, 2019 / Fling Mile Info on Facebook: 4-Day Last Fling Schedule:

Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley’s 3rd Annual Bike for the Kids

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2019 / Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley Early Registration Open: Bike for the Kids for Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley’s 3rd Annual Bike for the Kids! This special event returns to Elgin on Sunday, September 9. Choose from a family fun ride and 12, 25, 50 and 100 mile routes. All proceeds will support our services.

Linden Oaks & Breaking Free – Addiction Awareness & Run for Recovery 5K / Walk

Saturday, September TBD 2019 / Departs 10AM.  Event held at Danada Forest Preserve in Wheaton. For more information, please visit

Annual APDA Parkinson’s Walk-a-Thon

10AM Saturday, September 7, 2019  / Naperville Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 / INFO / Registration is from 8:30-9:30AM.

Creative costumes (above), warm ups (below), commemorative t-shirts, and supporting an important cause are just a few of the very big benefits of participating in the very short Judd-A-Thon. All ages are welcome to come in costume (or not) to support the annual .1K fun run/stroll/walk raises funds for the VFW National Home for Children during morning festivities at the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, 908 W. Jackson Ave.

Judd-A-Thon .1K

10:01AM Sunday, September, 15, 2019 / Judd-A-Thon .1K between the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion and the Judd Kendall VFW / Picture this very short run via 2014 PN Post of Inaugural event.  The.1K fun run/stroll/walk raises funds for the VFW National Home for Children. Race-day registration begins at 8:30AM. And remember the really big fun begins after the really brief run with refreshments and camaraderie. Mike Barbour’s column tells more.

Rotary Festiville

Sunday, September TBD, 2019 / Family fun event returns to Top Golf hosted by Rotary Club of Naperville to benefit Rotary Charities. INFO: (INFO not yet posted)

Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Naperville

Sunday, September 15, 2019 / North Central College Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, 455 South Brainard Street,
Naperville, IL 60540.  Check-in: 8:30AM  Ceremony: 9:30AM 3-Mile Walk begins: 10AM INFO:

Annual Run for the Mind / Benefit for NAMI DuPage

Third Saturday, September 2019. Check out new details with new path. / Racetime: 9AM Complete / Link and online registration and more INFO: Run for the Mind. 

Annual Hike for Hesed

8AM Saturday, September 21, 2019  / Hesed House traveling south along the Fox Valley River path to the Montgomery Bridge INFO:

Annual DuPagePads Run 4 Home

8AM Saturday, September 21, 2019 / 703 W. Liberty in Wheaton INFO: or (630) 682-3846. 

Stop, Drop and Run 5K Run/Walk

Saturday, September 21, 2019 / The Naperville Professional Firefighters for a Cause and the Naperville Fire Department will host the inaugural Stop, Drop and Run 5K Run/Walk to benefit the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance’s Camp ‘I am Me.’ Visit

Congratulations to all participants who keep the season moving so that many worthwhile charities can run!

Click here for 2019 Charity Golf Outings

Click here for Naperville Festivals, Traditions & Special Events

Celebrate safely.

All local runs, walks and bike rides soon will be updated for 2019 upon request from sponsoring organizations. For now, some past events serve as place holders.

Thanks to everybody who lends support to keep local nonprofits running!

Positively Naperville has been Naperville’s independently-owned community newspaper since September 2001. Thanks for supporting local businesses whenever possible. With all the choices in Naperville, it’s almost always possible. Check out “Latest News” from PN’s homepage every day. Cheers!


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