DeKalb Corn Classic 10K to be overhauled

By Eddie Garcia

Cross Country Head Coach Adrian Myers took on a new role as the Athletics Liaison just over a year ago when he, along with a new board committee, decided they were going to reinvent a 38-year-old tradition.

The title is just about the only thing remaining the same for this year’s DeKalb Corn Classic 10K as nearly half of the course will now take place on campus.

A group of board members mostly consisting of Huskie alumni, community members and Myers himself took over the race with the hopes of bridging the gap between the university and the DeKalb community.

Myers compared his vision for the reinvented 10K Classic similar to Purdue University’s Boilermaker Half-Marathon, which attracts a few thousand people every year.

“We were looking for ways to connect the community and also benefit our program from a fundraising standpoint,” Myers said. “We came up with taking over the DeKalb Corn Classic 10K, giving it a new course, kind of a facelift so to speak and have it highlight the historical components of both DeKalb and NIU.”

The new course, which now starts and finishes in downtown DeKalb, will give participants the experience of running through historic neighborhoods along the Kishwaukee River, through campus and exclusive access of running through Huskie stadium.

Nearly 400 people participated in last year’s 10K Classic, with the previous course layout beginning at Huntley Middle School and working its way through a few nearby neighborhoods.

Jessica Antonacci, DeKalb Corn Classic Race Director, said the ultimate goal is to create an additional homecoming event that alumni and community members can look forward to attending on a yearly basis.

“We are definitely hoping to grow the race to become a staple in the community,” Antonacci said. “We want something people look forward to and just another opportunity to promote DeKalb.”

In years past, the race included over 200 Huskie volunteers. Myers said they hope to break that record this year. A majority of those volunteers include Huskie athletes, administrators and coaches.

“One of my responsibilities is an athletics’ liaison, so to speak,” Myers said. “We thought social media training tip Tuesday would be valuable because it exposes me to the running community and includes some general tips to pass along.”

Participants are welcome to join a post-race celebration party in Van Buer Plaza, 148 N. Second St., DeKalb. Free beer will be provided by Fatty’s Pub and Grill, 1312 W. Lincoln Highway.

The revitalized DeKalb Corn Classic 10K is set for 8:15 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23.