Marathon thanks

Marathon thanks

A Few Simple Words
By Mike Lindemann and Jan Seeley, Co-Directors of the Illinois Marathon

We have just a few words to say about the 2010 Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon: Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

To the cities of Champaign and Urbana and the University of Illinois. For the tremendous job your police, fire, and public works departments and DIA and Campus Recreation did for the race. No stone was left unturned (and, no pothole left unfilled!) Your cooperation and professionalism is fantastic.

To our volunteers. Without you, we would not have a race. When the call came for volunteers, you responded eagerly. And, when we suddenly needed more volunteers with seven days to go, you responded in droves. Race entrants could not stop saying, “you have the BEST volunteers of any race we’ve been too.” We couldn’t agree more.

To the local community. You outdid yourselves this year. Your enthusiasm lifted runners’ spirits on a tough day. And the extra things you did—the lemonade stands and the hoses and the gummy bears on the course—will keep folks coming back to C-U for years to come. Race entrants have been heaping praise upon you. We have an incredible community here in Champaign-Urbana. We’ve always know that. Now, thousands of out-of-towners know that too.

To the local runners. Congratulations to everyone who got off the couch this year and trained to run one of our events, especially first-timers. May this year’s race be the first of many in your lives. It’s great to see the “culture of fitness” rising in our community.

To all of our sponsors. Especially our title sponsors—Christie Clinic, Provena Covenant Medical Center, Busey Bank, and the University of Illinois Alumni Association. Thank you for believing in this event. Because of the tremendous support of our sponsors, we were able to put on a world-class event that in Year 2 looked like a race that had been going on for years and years.

To our communication partners. WCIA/WCFN and the Illini Radio Group (WIXY, Mix 94.5, 92.5 The Chief, WIXY Classic, Extra 92.1, and Oldies 97.9). Not only did your shows inform the local community about the event, but they also truly generated the buzz we all felt this spring. Christie Clinic’s billboards all over town were fun and festive. And, the official race guide that the Illini Radio Group created was a keeper.

To our stellar post race course clean-up crew. Reynolds Towing and Uni High students, parents, and faculty. What a sight to behold you were on race day—a caravan of trucks and trailers and people pulling up the rear of the race course swallowing up every piece of trash, clothing, and race equipment in your sight. You would have made the Grinch proud.

And, last but not least, to our race committee. You guys were truly awesome. We can’t thank you enough for everything you did to make this year’s race a success. Same time next year?

What’s ahead for 2011?
We are evaluating every aspect of this year’s event to determine what worked, what didn’t, and what new components we want to add for next year. We will announce the date for the 2011 race next week. C-U in 2011!

Coming Thursday: Mike and Jan look at how changes to this year's race went and talk about planning for next year.

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