• Megann Horstead

Runners chase the sunset in Windmill Whirl 5K


It didn’t take long for those running in the Windmill Whirl 5K to hit their stride Friday night racing as they raced against the sunlight and chased the setting sun.

The run is an annual Batavia Park District event conducted as part of Windmill City Fest. This year it was held along the trails of Mooseheart.

Andrea Lukas, park district customer relations advisor, said they were pleased by the turnout and hoped participants enjoyed the change in venue.

“We just hope that people see a new area for the race,” she said. “Before it was just on a path by the river… (Here) it’s a very pretty scenery.”

Kelly Pottle, of St. Charles, was one of 100 or so runners taking part. The race holds great meaning to her and those she’s invited to join her.

“My boyfriend ran it,” Pottle said. “It was his first-ever race last year. He just passed away a few weeks ago so we’re running it again in honor of him.”

Pottle said she was pleased by the show of support shown by her family, friends and colleagues.

“It’s great,” she said. “I mean, we have over 60 people here.”

Pottle said she intends to use the 5K as a chance to prepare for an upcoming marathon she’ll be running in.

“Just finishing it is great,” she said.

Roger Anderson, of Batavia, said he and his wife enjoy coming out for the race.

“We tend to do a lot of runs in the area,” he said. “We did the four-miler on Monday and this one today.

“That’s our date. We usually go out running together.”

Debbie Anderson said such runs have significance for them as a couple as well. “We met at a 5K 18 years ago,” she said.

Anderson also plans to run in a marathon in the fall, she said. Participating in the Windmill Whirl 5K is part of her training regime.

“I definitely have a plan,” she said. “It’s all mapped out on the refrigerator.”

The run often attracts the same people every year, Lukas said.

“I think just the tradition of it, it’s been going on for so many years that they’re used to it,” she said. “It’s a nice 5K. It’s a nighttime race, which is kind of unusual. Not a lot of 5Ks are at seven o’clock at night.”

Ultimately, the race serves its mission in bringing the community together to experience what the Batavia Park District and Windmill City Fest can offer, she said.

“We’re just very hopeful that it’s a quick ride back into town and they’ll continue (on to attend) the festival,” Lukas said.


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