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2015 Reagan Run Registration Now Open

Registration for the 2015 Reagan Run is now open!! Register online today though June 19th to get the early bird rate!

Registration Fees:

  • $20.00 through June 19, 2015, $25.00 June 20 through July 3, $30.00 Race Day and $10 Active Military Fee.

Race Details

  • Packet Pickup is Friday, July 3, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Dixon YMCA (101 N Galena Ave).
  • Race begins at the Ronald Reagan Home on 810 S. Hennepin at 8 a.m.

Race Day Registration & Packet Pickup

Saturday, July 4, 2015, 6:15 – 7:30 AM
Online Registration cutoff is July 3, 2015 @ 11:59 a.m.
Packet pickup is at Haymarket Square on 255 Highland Ave.

Pre-Race Preparation

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a first-time racer, the days before a race can be quite stressful. You put in several weeks of hard work and training, and want to arrive at the start line feeling healthy, energized, and ready to run your best!

Here are a few things to keep in mind in the days before the race:

Cover the route beforehand if possible. Running the course ahead lets you familiarize yourself with the terrain and identify points where you’ll have to push hard. Knowing where the race starts will prevent you from getting lost on race morning so you’re not late!

Rest. In the final week before race day, you should increase your rest, recovery and sleep. It’s important after training to give your body time to recover. This will leave your legs feeling fresh for race day.

Don’t try anything new! This is definitely not the time to try new foods, new running gear, shoes, sports drinks or gels. It’s best to stick with what you trained with.

Hydrate. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Stay hydrated the day before by drinking half your body weight in ounces. On race morning, drink when you wake up, but try to limit your fluids 30 minutes prior to start.

Prepare your race gear. Lay out your race clothes and accessories the night before. If you already have your bib, fasten it to your shirt so all you have to do in the morning is get dressed. It’s easy to forget something on race day, so make a list to remind you of everything you need to take with you.

Wake up early. Get up a little early to get yourself prepared. Your body will function better if you’ve been up for a few hours. If you are hungry, eat a pre-race snack like half a banana or toast with peanut butter.

Arrive early: Get to the start of the race before the start. This allows time for you to check out the start and make any last minute bathroom or car trips.

Identify yourself. Put your name, address and cell number on your race bib. There are accessories like RoadID that can be worn on your wrist or shoe.

Most importantly, have fun!  “The ultimate is not to win, but to reach within the depths of your capabilities and to compete against yourself to the greatest extent possible. When you do that, you have dignity. You have the pride. You can walk about with character and pride no matter in what place you

Benefits of Running

By this time of the year Dixonites fall into two categories:

1. Those planning on participating in the 15th Annual Reagan Run 5k on July 5, 2014

2. Those who aren’t.

Those who aren’t are probably wondering what the big deal about running is.  Why get up earlier than I have to?  Why waste my time? Why do something so hard?  Why risk an injury?  What’s wrong with watching ESPN instead?  Well runners, non-runners and those thinking about becoming runners — here’s your answers:

The Benefits of Running.

1.  Weight management. For those trying to lose or maintain weight it’s difficult to find a better exercise than running.  Minute per minute running burns more calories than any exercise with the exception of cross country skiing.  Many runners begin to run with the goal of losing weight.  Most find they end up feeling much better, stronger and fitter.  The miles come much easier with time.

2.  Improve your overall health.  Running is a fantastic activity for improving and maintaining good health.  It raises the good cholesterol or HDL and reduces the risk of hypertension, diabetes, strokes and heart disease.  Running puts stress on bones and muscles which in turn strengthens the bones and decreases the risk of osteoporosis and thus life threatening hip fractures.  The risk of certain cancers is also decreased by running and thus decreasing overall percentage of body fat.

3. Meet cool people and develop friendships.  I would challenge anyone to stand in the starting line of the Reagan Run and not find a friendly person to talk to.  Running with a friend is a great way to catch up whether you see each other on a daily basis or less frequently. Interesting conversations always make the time and mile pass quickly.  It’s a lot easier on the thumbs than catching up via texting.

4. The infamous “Runner’s High.”  Non-runners may want to skip this section because you just wouldn’t understand.   Running releases endorphins causing a feeling of happiness or euphoria.  It’s that strange feeling of exhaustion combined with giddiness that keeps many runners coming back for more.  The feeling is enhanced by running outside – for instance – on trails.  So turn off the treadmill and head to the bike path.  Regular runners have less depression, chronic fatigue, Vitamin D deficiency and are almost never grumpy at work or when dealing with difficult family members (ok that may be a little exaggeration).

5.  Improve your success in any sport.  I would challenge anyone to find a sport that running doesn’t help with (bowling, pool, poker and chess don’t count).  By being stronger, fitter, improving lung capacity and muscle strength, performance in any sport from baseball to golfing will improve.

6.  Versatile and relatively inexpensive.  Running can be done almost anywhere and anytime (using common sense for safety).  A good pair of running shoes and weather appropriate clothes are all that is needed.  On vacation, running is a great way to explore your new surroundings and maybe even meet some locals ( see # 3).

7.  Develop personal goals.  Running is friendly on aging.  Running can be done at any age and each individual can set their own standards of success.  The general running community accepts that goals change as people change.  Boston Marathon qualifying times for example are based on sex and age and get easier as you “grow up.”

8. SANITY.  My personal favorite.  Between work, kids homework, taxi driver, bills to pay, smart phone overload and bad news all over the world, who doesn’t need time to escape and unwind?  So whether you run alone or with a friend, inside or outside, morning, lunch break or evening, take the time to take a breath and put your and the world’s problems behind you.  You’ll have a much fresher perspective when you return.

9.  Sleep better, improved mental sharpness. Studies have shown that insomniacs fell asleep significantly faster on days that they run.  Just avoid running within an hour or two of bedtime.  Those happy endorphins (see #4) may still be with you at lights out time.  In addition running may prevent you from becoming an insomniac in the first place.  In general runners make less mistakes at work, are more efficient with their time and overall student runners have a higher GPA in high school and college.

10.  Running the 15th annual Reagan Run 5k. Yes, of course, after all your hard work, you’ve earned the ultimate reward — participating in the best 5k run in the midwest!!  Enjoy the hills and earn the privilege of partaking in all the good food and drink after the race.  See ya there!!  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll even end up with a PR!

Deb Drengenberg

Some things that have changed in 15 years of Reagan Running

Our course, although always a similar route, this is what you call a flexible course. We have consistently kept it a 5K course, (5 kilometers/3.1 mile). But in 15 years we have adjusted and adapted to bridge replacement, street renovation, increased runners, better opportunities for the race and still kept the same basic design of one mile street, middle mile wooded trail, one mile street. Originally we tried our best to avoid Galena and limit our use of Peoria but as we grew and as the city improved its infrastructure we created a more Downtown Dixon oriented venue and tried to show off the improvements and highlight our downtown. Thank you City of Dixon – you’re a wonderful host.

The participant numbers have grown from a first race of 300 plus runners to over 1600 participants last year. It’s gone from an easily managed summer fun run to a mass of serious contenders, runners and lots of enthusiastic joggers and walkers. The organizational challenges grow but always our committee has found willing volunteers and local assistance to meet the changes. We had runners from 37 states and 4 counties running last year’s event. Nice way to experience the Rock River Valley.

The Fun Run for the kids. It’s in its 14th year and has produced so, so many graduates that have moved on up to the full 5K race. It would be fun to have tracked some of the early youngsters and discovered if they felt the Fun Run was a stepping stone to running the big event, to competing, to having fun and running regularly. Regardless, it’s too cool and very inspiring to see 300 plus youngsters roaring down Hennepin hill, swinging by the old South Central School and twisting their way into Hay Market Square. Every participant gets a medal and lots of congratulations for a fine effort. They can then stick around and watch the finish of the Main Event.

This year the Kids Run crew has been working a Go Far Run Program which consists of a Tuesday & Thursday training run 8 weeks prior to the event. This effort also incorporates character building and good eating and health discussion with the kids. KSB and Dixon Family YMCA have cosponsored this new aspect of the Kids Run in conjunction with The GO FAR RUN program.

Recent running records. We’ve seen some milestones in Dixon running history since the RR5k was started, coincidence? Not too long ago we had the first ever Cross County State Champ or at least the first I recollect. And this past track season we had a DHS record set in the girls 4×400 relay event. Congratulations to both and we hope the running bug may have bit at the RR5k and if not we sure hope you’ll join in on our fun event too.

CORPORATE CHALLENGE – We created an event within an event to inspire community business participation, camaraderie and fitness while still challenging the competitive teams to meet head on, mano a mano or in this case foot to foot. Local companies are encouraged to have 5 of their employees’ team up and match their combined race times with all the other Corporate Challengers. It’s a friendly competition but I’ve noticed some serious contenders always eyeing last year’s crown holder.

CHARITABLE BENEFACTORS – From the original two organizations, Dixon Boosters Club and Dixon Main Street we have now added YMCA, Men’s Garden Club, Dixon Police Association, Reagan Boyhood Home, Dixon Park District and The City of Dixon. All proceeds go to the various charities or to direct expenses and those are held down dramatically by a very generous community of in kind sponsors. Glad to do it and pass it on.

ORGANIZATION – The core group of volunteers is similar but none of this happens without many, many volunteers and groups. The help of Dixon Booster, Dixon Main Street, Dixon Park District, Dixon Family YMCA, Dixon Police, City of Dixon, and oh so many of our sponsors’ people all help. Different sports teams pitch in, cheerleaders help out, truly a community effort. Thank you all.

SPONSORS – The same original three hold us up as our pillars; The Telegraph, KSB and PLN Insurance Co. This year’s logo sponsors are Ken Nelson, YMCA, Subway, AgPerspective, Boss Carpet, Culver’s, Slain Construction, Bonnell Truck Equip, Dixon Autobody, Mama Cimino, Community State Bank, Edward Jones, ACE, Dixon Ford, Kohl’s, US Bank, Supreme Cleaners, Hicks Insurance, Don Knight Electric, CliftonLarsonAllen, Industrial Repair Assistance, McDonalds, Dixon Petunia Festival and the National Guard. The full list of Special Thanks Supporters is on our entry blank also available at the Y, Dixon Park District or many of these sponsors locations.

Our original intent was to fill a void in the community’s summer festival with a family event that focused on physical fitness and healthful activity which would also give back to the community. With the help of so many we now have a fun and unique running event that does manage to give back. Thanks and let’s keep up the string of record participation, get registered and join in.  Go to or go to

Building A Healthier Community One Step At A Time!

You know racing season is upon us when the weather finally turns warm and runners take their runs outdoors to the streets of the community. It’s a great sight to see our community taking such strides to a healthier lifestyle.

This year, through collaboration of the Dixon YMCA, the Reagan Run Committee, AHEC and the University of Illinois Extension, a new program has been brought to Dixon – the Go FAR (go out for a run) program.

GO FAR is a comprehensive fitness program for children that promotes fun, physical activity, healthy eating and good character. The goal of the GO FAR program is to empower children to make healthy lifestyle choices that they can integrate and sustain throughout their entire life, including life lessons like sportsmanship, self-disciple and consideration. This 9 week program works in tandem with the Reagan Run and the Kids’ Fun Run to teach kids how to properly train and run a 5K. Training runs began the last week of May with the series coming to an end at this year’s 15th annual Reagan Run on July 5th.

Children age 9 an under can participate in the annual Kids’ Fun Run beginning at 7:30 a.m. on July 5th. This is a free, noncompetitive road race of approximately 6/10 of a mile. Kids typically finish within eight to fifteen minutes. This allows parents time to watch or run along with their kids and still have time to compete in the 5K. Safety is a top concern for all runners therefore the 5K and Kids’ Run courses are well-marked and full of volunteers.

Participants of the fun run will receive medals, goodie bags and refreshments upon finishing.

Special thanks to all those sponsors who make the Kids’ Fun Run and Go FAR program possible: Dixon Family YMCA, Boss Carpet One Floor & Home, KSB Hospital, Grot Imaging Studios, Dr. Tom Lawless, Optometrist, Reagan Run 5K, Kohl’s, Exceptional Dentistry, AHEC and the University of Illinois Extension Office.

Hope to see you there and happy running!

Registration Fees

  • Register on or before 6/15 = $20
  • Register on 6/16 through 7/4 = $25
  • Register on race day = $30