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Illinois Marathon

yes, Virginia there is a marathon in Illinois and it does not revolve around Chicago. 

Here in Urbana-Champaign (twin cities) we will host our first marathon. 
Home to - 
the Fighting Illini
the Univeristy of Illinois
National Center for Super Computing Application
Bonnie Blair (olympic speed skater)
John Bardeen (co-inventor of the transistor)
Ang Lee (UI film school graduate - director)
Ludacris (rapper)
REO Speedwagon (rock band for old people like me)
Jerry Sanders (founder of AMD - computer chips)
LaToya Bond (WNBA player)
Deron Williams, Dee Brown, Luther Head (active NBA players from the U of I)
Jennie Garth (Beverly Hills 90210 actress)
Roger Ebert Film Festival
HAL9000 (misguided computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey)
Mark  Roberts (writer/producer of one of my favorite shows - Two and a Half Men)
Erika Harold (Miss America 2003)
Red Grange (the Galopping Ghost)
Headlights (rock band)

and that is just a few of the interesting people from the two cities. 

The marathon will wind its way through the two cities and across parts of the campus. You will get to see various outdoor art sculptures (not that I call all of it art), through several parks, through quaint tree lined neighborhoods. It should be at least 50% shady along the course.

There will be several bands along the way (48 according to the map - which might rival Chicago). It will be a small race. Last I heard 3000 signed up for all events with about 1000 for the full marathon.

Dick Beardsley and Bart Yasso are the guest speakers. Team in Training has made it a spring event (not too late to join, ask me how).

Per the website it is now a Boston qualifier for 2010 - 
The road to Boston starts in Champaign/Urbana!  

Yes….with a course this flat and fast, you know it is going to be a Boston Qualifier!!  Our certification process is now completed. The 2009 marathon will be a qualifier for the 2010 Boston Marathon.

(USATF Certification: Marathon IL-08111-JW; 1/2 Marathon IL-08112-JW)

There is also a marathon relay and a 5k fun run. Pace groups for the marathon as well to help you qualify. (Wish I could hang with a 3:30 pace group)

Why am I running it?
I live here and it is the first. Come join me.

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Marlene said...

Sounds like a great even, and it's always nice to race close to home.

Rural Runner E said...

I think I am bringing three friends to run the race as a relay. We all want to run a relay as prep for a later marathon and I want to come visit my home state (from Southern Illinois). Looking forward to it.

lindsay said...

sounds like a fun, smaller race! big city races have that big-city appeal, but small, local races have more personality to them. hope you get a big tnt turnout!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Local marathons are so great. You get to sleep in your own bed and eat your own food.