Thanks to our friends at Presence Health for sponsoring our list of 10 Things You Should Know about the 2017 Illinois Marathon. One thing you should certainly do this week: visit the Presence Health booth at the Health and Fitness Expo on Thursday and Friday! A few of the special things that will be happening there: get a quick, relaxing hand massage from their Spiritual Care team (Thursday 4-6 only). It provides immediate health benefits including enhanced circulation and range of motion in your wrist and fingers. On Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can:
*Lighten up with the Presence Health Clinical Dietician team. Whether you’re trying to figure out what to eat before race day or just want to freshen up your family’s meal plans, stop by to get some quick tips.
*Get your BMI checked
*Spirometry Screening: See how well your lungs work with a spirometry screening that measures how much air you inhale, how much you exhale and how quickly you exhale.
On both days, they’ll also have a giant signable card where people can leave an inspirational message for runners plus there will be lots of opportunities to win cool swag including athletic shirts and cinch bags.
It’s Illinois Marathon Week in Champaign-Urbana! Even if you’re not running, there are plenty of ways for you and your family to be involved.
1. Youth Fun Run: There’s still time to get your kids running in the Busey Illinois Marathon Youth Run, a 1K fun run which starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Youth Run is geared towards kids 9 and under (and we’ve seen kids as young as 2 run!). In-person registration for the youth run will take place at the Health and Fitness Expo on Thursday and Friday; and at Memorial Stadium, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., on Saturday, April 22. The cost is $12 before Saturday, $15 day of race. NOTE: Rain date is Sunday, April 23. New this year: From 1-3 p.m. before the race, children can visit the Youth Run Fun Zone—featuring balloon artists, temporary tattoos, coloring pages, games and more.
2. About the Health and Fitness Expo: That’s the central hub for all things Illinois Marathon on Thursday, April 20, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.. It’s located in the ARC, just north of Memorial Stadium. If you like to pick up lots of cool swag and learn about races all over the country, that’s the place to be – and it’s totally free. It’s also where you pick up race packets and will be the location of the Pasta Feed Friday night (tickets still available). If you want to go there: park in the lots west of State Farm Center. Of course, remember to visit our friends at the Presence Health booth for hand massages, diet tips and more.
3. Traffic on your mind? If you are concerned about traffic on Friday night (Presence Health 5K) or on Saturday (marathon day), here’s a list of resources with maps of the course so you can plan local travel accordingly. There is also a list of estimated times when runners will pass through certain mile markers.
4. Runners love to be cheered on! Spectators are welcome and encouraged. Determining your spectator viewing place based on the on-course entertainment? There’s a full entertainment list online. Our personal favorite this year: the amazing Centennial High School band at mile 17 (William and Crescent) – Drum Line, Sousaphones, and Flag Team. Go Chargers!
5. If you’re spectating, make a sign. For any size donation to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, you can get a free cheer sign that your kids can decorate and personalize. The EIF will have a booth at the Health and Fitness Expo at the ARC, and will have supplies to color the sign there. If you can’t be there, here are some funny and inspirational sign ideas we found on Pinterest (warning, some are a little off-color).
6. Early risers? Get a free breakfast from the Bagel Bite Bar, west of the State Farm Center. Sponsored by our friends at Einstein Bros. Bagels and Columbia Street Roastery, they will serve 5,000 bagel halves and cream cheese to runners, spectators, and volunteers starting at 5:30 a.m. Get the bagels/coffee while they last.
7. Do you have family running in the marathon? Sign up to get messages tracking their progress at www.illinoismarathon.com/traking.php. The system will receive up to 10 text (smartphones only) and/or email messages on a runner’s progress during the race. As runners cross each timing mat on the race course, a message is sent (timing mats will be located at 10K, 10 miles, 13.1 miles, 20 miles, and the finish). There is no fee to sign up for the service, though your phone plan’s message/data rates may apply.
8. 4th mile and 27th mile – post-race fun! Join in the fun at 4th mile (held on Friday night, April 21). Starting at 6:30 p.m.and located just outside Memorial Stadium on Kirby Ave. (see the area map for location), the 4th Mile is the perfect place for you to kick up some excitement before your Saturday race and where you can celebrate with your friends after the Presence Health 5K. Champaign-Urbana-based band 90’s Daughter will take center stage from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. to entertain runners and their families after the race. In addition to live music, there will be food trucks as well as a beer tent and activities for the kids.
27th Mile: Everyone is welcome at the Meijer 27th Mile Celebrate Victory Bash on the south side of Memorial Stadium on Saturday, April 22. Purchase a bite to eat from local food trucks, get your kids active in the inflatables (presumably for a fee); and enjoy free live music from 90s Daughter (8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)
9. Start times for the races:
Friday night: The Presence Health 5K starts at 7:30 p.m.
Wheelchair Half – starts at 7:01 a.m.
Marathon, half marathon, and marathon relay runners start in waves based on pace. Runners will leave between 7:03 to 7:25 a.m.
The Presence Health 10K starts at approximately 7:35 a.m.
The Busey Youth Run: 3 p.m.
10. Donate gently used or new shoes: That’s What She Said, in partnership with Body n’ Sole Sports, is proud to continue She Said: Stepping Up, a shoe drive to collect gently used shoes of all styles and sizes. She Said: Stepping Up will have a booth at the Health & Fitness Expo on Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21.. That’s What She Said will identify the individuals and organizations who will most benefit from the shoe donations, which can consist of any size, from youth up to the larger sizes for men and women, in new or gently used condition.
What are you most looking forward to this weekend?