Smile Politely

Ready, set, race

The winter was hard on runners and their training but the polar vortex didn’t stop over 21,000 runners and walkers from participating in either a full marathon, half marathon, 10k, marathon relay, wheelchair half marathon, 5k, or youth run. The event was operated by over 3,500 volunteers spread throughout U of I’s ARC, Memorial stadium, and the run course. Aside from the race activities, the marathon staff were able to raise over $60,000 for charity donated by members of our community.

The 5k was ran Friday night. The sun was going down and the sky was turning dark as the runners were set off from Oak Street en route to Memorial Stadium.

This year’s men’s 5k winner was 26 year old Alake Kashyap from Springfield, Illinois. His pace was 5:24 per mile with a total time of 16 minutes and 48 seconds.

Other runners poured into the stadium some dressed colorfully. 

Fans filled the stadium to welcome the runnings into Memorial Stadium.

Many runners went home that evening only to wake early on Saturday to go race again. The races were scheduled to begin around 7 It was still cool from the nighttime, but the sun was well on its way up by the start of the race. 

The wheelchair half marathon was the first group to go Saturday morning.

They were followed by the foot-racers.

The course weaved throughout Champaign-Urbana and around some familiar sites like the Assembly Hall, Green Street on campus, Main Street in Urbana, Meadowbrook Park, and Memorial Stadium for the finish. 

Runners were given water or Gatorade at various points in the race. Volunteers filled up cups and gave them to thirsty runners as they passed. 

This year’s men’s marathon winner was 32 year old Hillary Kimaiyo from Kenya. His pace was 5:21 per mile with a total time of 2 hours and 20 minutes.

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