The Illinois Marathon logo
|Date||Fourth weekend in April|
|Location||Campustown, Champaign, Urbana, United States ending at Memorial Stadium|
The Illinois Marathon is a for-profit marathon which was held for the first time on April 11, 2009 in Champaign, Illinois. This was to be the first marathon ever held in Champaign. The course is very flat and it was expected to produce fast times, with only 85 feet (26 m) of elevation change. The event included five different races. Christie Clinic has been named the title sponsor of the Illinois Marathon for the next five years. The races offered were:
- marathon (42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi))
- half marathon (21.0975 kilometres (13.1094 mi))
- four-person marathon relay
- 5K fun run/walk
- 0.5-mile (0.80 km) and 1-mile (1.6 km) youth races
The race was expected to attract an estimated 10,000 runners in the first year and 15,000-20,000 runners by year five. The Illinois Marathon is a qualifying marathon for the Boston Marathon.
The Illinois Marathon Mission Statement: Quality is a top priority for the marathon. "The Illinois Marathon is committed to being a responsible member of society, giving back to our community, the state, and charities." The Illinois Marathon also wants spectators and runners to find how important exercise is in leading a healthy lifestyle.
The Illinois Marathon course exists throughout Champaign and Urbana. A large portion of the race is run on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. The starting line is near the University of Illinois' Assembly Hall. The races finish at the 50-yard line of Zuppke Field in Memorial Stadium.
The inaugural Illinois Marathon was near cancellation due to the lack of volunteers as of March 16, 2009. The event had about 100 volunteers and needed about 100 to 150 more in order to hold the race safely. Local officials set an April 1, 2009 deadline for the event planners to have enough staff to keep the 7,600 runners safe at the 311 intersections crossed during the race. Lt. Jon Swenson of the Champaign Police Department said, "There's people coming from all over the continental United States and four foreign countries, and it's not something you can cancel on a moment's notice, we indicated our concerns to them about the urgency to get their volunteers secured so we know we're prepared to move forward with the event." After the information that the marathon might get canceled was made public, 350 people volunteered within four days.
2009 Race Results
Over 9,000 individuals participated in the first annual Illinois Marathon. The 2009 Illinois Marathon Champaign was a central location in the Midwest, attracting runners from cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago and St. Louis. Based on a report done by the Champaign Sports Commission, the total estimated economic gain from last year’s marathon was nearly $4.4 million. Amongst one of the biggest changes made in the 2010 race will be the course route. Due to traffic issues at Meadowbrook Park in Urbana last year, where parts of the race were held, runners will now be heading into the park at mile marker 8 instead of 4.
1. Jacob Kendagor 2:26:12 2. Lars Juhl 2:27:15 3. Ben Schneider 2:28:29
1. Meghan Kennihan 2:55:06 2. Krista Colberg 2:58:33 3. Tracy Wollschlager 3:01:52
2010 Illinois Marathon
- "Sign up for The Illinois Marathon in Champaign-Urbana".Kacich, Tom (08-23-08),The News-Gazette. Retrieved (3-31-09).
- "The Illinois Marathon" (PDF).Zielinski, Michael.Retrieved (3-31-09).
- "Marathon in jeopardy of losing permits without volunteers".Monson, Mike (3-16-09). The News Gazette. Retrieved (3-31-09).
- "Marathon volunteers needed or race is off".Monson, Mike (3-17-09). The News Gazette. Retrieved (3-31-09).