FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon Completes Fourth Year
Winning the 2013 Fox Valley Half Marathon wasn't enough for Geneva native
Eric Ott. He wanted more.
After pacing the Half Marathoners with a time of 1:15:54, Ott planned to
head right back out to the course to run the final miles of the Full
Marathon with his 65-year-old father, Bill, who was racing in his first
"It was a nice day and a great atmosphere out here," Eric Ott said. "What
else can you ask for?"
Ott, 32, ran in college at Miami Ohio and said this was his first Half
Marathon win. When he needed a little extra motivation down the stretch, he
found it in the scores of spectators on hand on a beautiful, sunny Sunday
"It's great because a lot of the people here on the course, you have your
name on the bib so even if they don't know you, they know you," Ott said.
"They're like 'Go Eric!' and I'm like 'oh...hey! thanks!'
"The race directors are runners themselves. They're not just some
organization from out-of-state that says 'hey, let's do a race here.'
They're all in the area. They know the people, the volunteers, everything.
It's just a really cool event."
It was a day of firsts for the top racers, as Marathon winner Jeff Kelly
claimed his first victory at age 39 and 29-year-old Naperville native Britt
Kelly (no relation) won her first Half Marathon.
"That was exciting," Jeff Kelly said. "At Mile 18, I started getting really
emotional at some points. It hit me and I started tearing up a little bit.
And then that goes away and then I'm happy.
"I do get emotional, but then I go back because I have to keep working.
It's very exciting for me. It means a lot to get a win, because I don't
know how much longer I'll be able to run hard. I'm almost 40. This is a
huge thing for me. I've gotten third and Top 10 before, but I've never
Jeff hails from Urbana, Ill., and had his friend, Brandon Smith, on hand
run the last few miles to provide inspiration and motivation. The two
runners are part of the CU Racing Team in Champaign-Urbana.
Britt Kelly was all alone on the course, so she didn't have anybody around
for motivation. Instead, she had to rely on herself and kept repeating
"steady, focus" in her head to get her through the challenge.
"[I just picked it up from years and years of running," Britt said. "It's
easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself and for me, that's what keeps me
calm. It just works for me to keep me going.
"The course is beautiful. It was very quiet, peaceful, nice and shaded. I
liked it. I'd love to come back and do it again."
Jeff Kelly came in with a time of 2:40:01 to pace the Marathon runners,
with Chicagoan Mark Wehrman (2:41:53) and Ian Sanchez (2:44:22) filling out
the rest of the Top 3.
Lindsey Kong (3:01:23) claimed the win among female Marathoners, with
Geneva's Elena Shemyakina (3:02:32) and Carol Stream's Jennifer Benitez
(3:04:33) following behind.
Britt Kelly paced the women in the Half Marathon with a time of 1:28:20
while Amy Kong (1:29:51) took second and Laura Papageorgiou (1:30:32) took
third. John Collet (1:17:08) and Steve Nusser (1:17:47) finished behind
Eric Ott in the men's portion of the Half Marathon.
Steve Breese (2:06:03) and Julie Talbot (2:32:32) won the Fall Final 20.
"It was another successful year," co-race director Dave Sheble said. "The
weather was awesome and it was amazing to see so many fans come out to
cheer on the runners. The riverwalk was jam-packed with people screaming,
shouting and holding up signs. That has to be great motivation for the
runners closing out the home stretch, many of whom are completing their
first marathons or looking to set a personal record."
"I'm so glad to see how much the race has grown in just its first four
years," said Craig Bixler, the other race director. "We truly have the
greatest group of people volunteering for the event, and it's great to see
all of the hard work pay off."
About the Fox Valley Marathon Races
In its 2010 Inaugural Event, the Fox Valley Marathon Races quickly became
Chicago's premier west suburban running event and one of the best in the
entire Midwest. The Marathon, Half Marathon and 20 mile races showcase the
towns, parks and paved trails along the Fox River from St. Charles to
Aurora, and draw runners from across the country and internationally. The
fast, flat, shady course and extensive volunteer support make it a favorite
for all runners from first timers to Personal Best and Boston hopefuls.
The Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon is a great course for first timers
and is the largest single day sporting event in the Fox Valley. It was
named Best Marathon 2012 by Chicago Magazine, a Midwest Top 25 Marathon and
is a great Boston qualifier.
Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon 2013 is timed perfectly to the Chicago
marathon schedule, including an innovative Fall Final 20TM race three weeks
before Chicago 2013. The Race Flex™ allows runners to double the chance of
finding good weather for their fall marathon attempt.
The Fox Valley Marathon Races -- for runners, by runners. For more
information, visit us at www.fv26.com