Downers's Grove's annual Thanksgiving race, the Bonfield Express 5K, will alter its course this year to accommodate construction delays over key segments of its traditional route, organizers announced.
The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22. As originally planned, the course will begin and end in downtown Downers Grove.
This year, however, the course will make a loop around the downtown area to the west—in reverse of its usual pattern—through Denburn Woods before heading back downtown. The course will also include a new segment to the east, which passes through the Randall Park area before ending at its customary location at Curtiss Street and Mochel Drive.
Bonfield Express Race Director Will Kupisch said he believes many race participants will prefer the new course, and called the construction delays downtown "a blessing in disguise."
“We’re as excited as ever for the ninth annual race, and the modified course does nothing to take away from the pizazz of the event," Kupisch said. "In fact, we are cautiously optimistic that this could be the preferred course going forward. It maintains the integrity of the former course, including safety, distance and enjoyability of the race experience.”
Race organizers will seek input from participants to determine whether the modified course is maintained in the future, Kupisch said.
The Downers Grove-based Bonfield Foundation is a not-for-profit that aims to build character and community commitment in high school students. It was founded in memory of Downers Grove South teacher Jim Bonfield, who died in October 2003 after battling Hodgkin’s Disease, leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis.
Since 2004, the foundation has awarded more than $185,000 in scholarships to 90 west suburban seniors in Downers Grove, Hinsdale, Lisle and Westmont who reflect Bonfield's personal example of character, perseverance and love of community. Fourteen scholarships were awarded in 2012 alone.
Each year, the Bonfield Express 5K attracts thousands of runners and spectators to downtown Downers Grove.
"The true charm of this race is that it attracts not only competitive runners, but also area residents who run or walk the course to share time with friends and loved ones," said Annette Bonfield, president of the Bonfield Foundation.
Registration is now open for the 2012 race at www.bonfieldexpress.com. The first 5,500 registrants will receive a free tech shirt and race bib.
The top three male and female finishers will be acknowledged and receive gift certificates to use at downtown businesses.
Early online registration runs through Nov. 18. The cost is $25 per runner, or $85 for families.
On-site registration will be held Nov. 17-18 at the Advocate Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, 3815 Highland Ave. There, the cost to register will be $30 per runner, or $100 per family.
Participants are encouraged to pick up their race packets before race day at one of the designated pick-up locations.
Packet Pickup Information
Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center: Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Runner’s Grove: Wednesday, Nov. 21, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Tivoli Theatre: Thursday, Nov. 22 (Thanksgiving/Race Day), 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.
For more information, visit www.bonfieldexpress.com.
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