Unless you have been living under a rock the past several years – you know that the Illinois Marathon is quickly approaching. For the past six years – love it or hate it – our very own twin city is overrun with runners. I happen to love it for many reasons, the most of which is the unity that it brings when such an enormous event is hosted in our neck of the woods. From running, to volunteering, to cheering – every community member can play a part to make the weekend a fun event for Champaign/Urbana.
Regardless of your past involvement, here are the Top 5 reasons we think local moms should participate:
- Central Illinois has Flat Terrain – this is VERY helpful if you also happen to be pushing a stroller during the 5K.
- Endorphins, Endorphins, Endorphins – EVERY parent could use an extra shot of these to reduce the stress of parenting!
- Fun for the Whole Family – with a little training, most family members over the age of 10 can probably participate in a walk/run 5K, while little ones can ride along in strollers (with snacks handy).
- OR…Alone Time – I know this is the OPPOSITE of #3, but if TOO MUCH family time ails you (we’ve all been there) – running/walking a race is a great reason to do something independently for a little “me time.”
- Community Camaraderie – Whether you choose to “race” with friends and family or go alone, there is a feeling of solidarity that pervades every race I have participated in here in C/U … I don’t know if this is unique to our area races, but I can attest to the harmonious feeling of participating in something bigger than yourself whether it be to raise money for a cause, encourage a friend, or just complete a personal goal in the midst of strangers.
If you find these reasons compelling and yet you find the marathon atmosphere a bit overwhelming, or you don’t think your training will be complete in time, there are other great options for 5k participation right here in our backyard this Spring. Here are a few of our recommendations:
May 2: Hustle to Havana
May 16: Buffalo Trace Trail Race
For a full list of area races check out the Second Wind Running Club’s Calendar.
Erin (Trent) Tarr made the three-hour drive from Southern Illinois to Champaign in 1997 to attend the University of Illinois and never left. Mother of two beautiful girls (2 & 5 years old), her passions for leadership and education have led her to start “Be the Benchmark” – a coaching/mentoring business for tween and teen girls. She also blogs about leadership and motherhood at www.erintarr.com. You can often find her (with two kids in tow) at Champaign Centennial sporting events where her beloved husband of ten years, Adam, works as an athletic trainer.