The Fit List

The Fit List

I’m looking forward to running in nice, cool temps this weekend. The forecast calls for highs in the 50s in Duluth — can’t wait! And the USA Track & Field half marathon championships will be part of Grandma’s Marathon, so it should be exciting.
Here’s the list of local races for the next few weekends. I’ve also added a list of upcoming registration deadlines for races a little farther out.

Weekend of June 22-23:
Marilyn Davidson High Heel Dash
This is the second year for this benefit dash for the Tuscola school district. The dash — named for the late Marilyn Davidson, a former Tuscola school board member — is Saturday, and it’s just a couple of blocks through downtown Tuscola. Proceeds from the event will go toward buying computers for North Ward Middle School.
No tennis shoes allowed for anyone age 12 and older. There will be prizes for the best high heels for women, the best legs for men, the most creative shoes for kids and the best group representation.
Here’s a link for more information and for registration.

Run for Kids Sake 5K
This is a 5K run/walk and a kids dash on Saturday in Springfield. It is sponsored by the FBI Springfield Citizens Academy Alumni Association and it aims to raise awareness of child safety issues. The Kids Dash is 100 yards and the kids get to run with FBI agents.
You can find more information on the race’s Facebook page at

Country Run 5K
This is a 5K race, 1-mile walk and kids run in Lexington on Saturday. The walk and kids run are free.
Here’s a link for more information.

U Otter Run 5K Trail Race
This 5K is at Comlara County Park near Hudson on Saturday. You can register on race day.
Click here for more information. There’s a link for online registration.

Run to Rescue 5K
This race includes a 5K run and a 1-mile run/walk on Saturday at Tipton Park in Bloomington. The race raises money for She is Safe, an organization to protect women and girls in high-risk places around the world from being abused or exploited.
For more information, go to

Jubilee Challenge
This is the fourth race in the Illinois Homegrown Race Series Championship. It’s sponsored by the Peoria Area Mountain Bike Association and it’s Sunday at Jubilee State Park in Brimfield, northwest of Peoria.
Here is information about the race series and here’s a link for registration.

Shamrock Race to the Cross
This is a 5K, 10K and 1-mile fun run in Effingham on Saturday. It benefits the booster club at Sacred Heart School.
Here’s a link for online registration, which has more information.

Bethany Celebration 5K Run
This is a 5K run and a 1-mile fun run in Bethany on Saturday. Here’s a link for online registration.

Thursday, June 27:
CASA Light Up My Darkness
This is a 5K run/walk at sunset on Thursday, June 27, in Effingham. It’s a fundraiser for Effingham County’s CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) organization, which advocates for children in abuse and neglect cases.
There is food and live music following the race, and it is in conjunction with a barbecue championship event.
Go to to find the race brochure. And here’s a link to online registration.

Weekend of June 29-30:
Gifford Community Celebration 5K
This race is on Saturday, June 29, in Gifford, and it is the first of four races in the All Area 5K Championship Circuit. The Gifford race includes a 5K run/walk and a 1K kids fun run.
Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for a link to the race form and a link to 5K championship circuit information.
Participants in at least three of the four circuit races will be eligible for the championship awards, and champions will be determined by runners’ three fastest cumulative times. An award will be given to overall male and female runners, as well as age group awards. Those who want to participate in the race circuit must register by July 3 and pay a $5 fee (in addition to the entry fees for the individual races).
The other races in the All Area 5K Championship Circuit at Rantoul’s Rockin the Runway 5K on July 3; the Fisher Fair 5K on July 13; and the St. Joseph Community Festival 5K on Aug. 10.

Kracker Klassic 5K
This run/walk is Saturday, June 29, in Tolono, part of Tolono Fun Day. In addition to the 5K, there’s the Kiddie Klassic — choose from either a 1-mile fun run or a 1/4-mile run.
You can find more information at or you can get to the race brochure through Dropbox here.

The Shady Hollow Chase
This is a handicapped trail race on Saturday, June 29, at Comlara County Park near Hudson. The race is 5 miles and it will be handicapped with a start time assigned according to age, gender and the runners’ most recent 5K times.
Half the proceeds from the race will be donated to a charity of the winning runner’s choice. The other half will be donated to the Comlara County Park trail maintenance fund through McLean County Parks and Recreation.
Click here for more information and to register.

Pedaling for Kicks
This ride on Saturday, June 29, offers six distances, all starting from East White Oak Bible Church, northwest of Normal. There are 10- and 20-mile family routes, and rides of 25, 37, 44 and 63 miles.
For more information, go to

Main Street Mile
This 1-mile run is on the evening of Friday, June 28, in Peoria. Runners will race in heats based on time.
For more information, go to

The L.A.T.E. Ride
I did this ride once, a long time ago. I’m not so good with lack of sleep, but otherwise it was great. Pedaling along the lakeshore and watching the sunrise can’t be beat.
This ride is on Saturday night to Sunday morning, June 29-30, in Chicago. It’s a 25-mile ride, starting at 1 a.m. Sunday morning at Buckingham Fountain and going through a bunch of different neighborhoods and back to the lakeshore at sunrise.
There are awards for best costume, best decorated helmet, best decorated bike and best lit bike. The ride is a fundraiser for the Friends of the Parks.
For more information, go to

Lytle Park Triathlon
This is a sprint triathlon on Saturday, June 29, in Mattoon. The distances are: a 300-meter swim in the Lytle Park Pool; a 12.5-mile bike ride; and a 3-mile run.
Here’s a link for more information and registration. There is also race day registration for this tri.

Multisport Extravaganza
This is a Peoria-area event on Friday, June 28, through Sunday, June 30, with camping, hiking, mountain biking, paddling, orienteering, cycling, trail running and other activities to try out at Wildlife Prairie State Park at Hanna City, just west of Peoria. This sounds like my kind of weekend.
Here’s a link for more information.

Signs of Sunshine 5K
This is a 5K walk or run and a kids fun run on Saturday, June 29, in Normal. It is sponsored by Signs of Sunshine, a nonprofit organization supporting people suffering a serious illness or injury.
For more information, go to

Le Grand Tour de Champaign
This is a ride series from Saturday, June 29, through Sunday, July 21, that Champaign Cycle is using to celebrate the Tour de France. There are 14 recreational rides from Prairie Cycle Club, the Kickapoo Mountain Bike Club and Wild Card Racing.
If you complete five rides, you are entered in a prize drawing, and various levels of participation earn you discounts at Champaign Cycle.
Here’s a link for more information.

Bourbonnais Friendship Festival 5K
This is a 5K run and a 1.5-mile fitness walk on Saturday, June 29, in Bourbonnais. Here’s a link for online registration.

Wednesday, July 3:
Rockin the Runway
This 5K race is the evening of Wednesday, July 3, at the Rantoul National Aviation Center. There’s a 5K run and a 5K noncompetitive walk. The run is part of the All Area 5K Championship Circuit (see the entry for the Gifford Community Celebration 5K, above).
Runners and walkers get free entry to the Firecracker Classic and one guest pass. The Firecracker Classic includes inflatables and kids games, laser tag and live music, with fireworks later in the evening.
Click here to get to a page where you can download the registration form and the route.

Thursday, July 4:
Freedom Celebration 5K
This Fourth of July race has been mercifully moved up from 11:05 a.m. to 9:05 a.m. — thank goodness, because last year it was beastly hot. There’s a 5K run, a 5K walk and a youth run.
The parade time has been moved up as well, to 11:05 a.m. The proceeds from the race help support Fourth of July activities.
For more information, click here.

Staley Firecracker Road Run
This is a 4-mile or 8-mile race, or a 2-mile walk, on July 4 in Decatur. Click here for more information. There’s a link to the race form on the page.

Park to Park 5-Miler
This race on July 4 is one of the Lake Run Club’s races. It starts near Miller Park in Bloomington and goes to The Corncrib in Normal. You can park at The Corncrib and there is bus transportation to the start line and after the race as well.
Here’s a link for information about the race, and here’s a link for online registration.

Fourth of July Metric Century
If you’d like to spend your Fourth riding rather than running, there’s this ride near Joliet. Choose from distances of 30, 45 or 62 miles. The routes go through Kendall and Grundy counties, southwest of Plainfield.
Here’s a link for more information and registration.

Friday, July 5:
Tuscola Firecracker 5K
This race is on Friday evening, July 5, in Tuscola. It’s a 5K run and walk and a fun walk. The race kicks off Tuscola’s Sparks in the Park Fourth of July celebration, which is on Saturday.
Here's a link to a page that includes a pdf of the race registration form.

Weekend of July 6-7:
Rodney T. Miller Lakeside Triathlon
I did this tri several years ago and liked it. It is Sunday, July 7, in Decatur. There are both intermediate and short course distances. The intermediate course is a .75-mile swim, 19-mile bike and 4.5-mile run. The short course is a 400-yard swim, 19-mile bike and a 5K run.
There is also a kids race on Saturday, July 6. The triathlon course for 10- to 14-year-olds is a 250-yard swim, 3.4-mile bike and 1-mile run. There is a duathlon available for kids as well. The course for 5- to 8-year-olds is a half-mile run, a 1.5-mile bike and another half-mile run. The course for 9- to 14-year-olds is a 1-mile run, 3.4-mile bike and another 1-mile run.
The race is named for the late Rodney Miller, a collegiate swimmer, triathlete and Illinois State Trooper. The race proceeds go to a memorial fund to help support Decatur or Macon County children in sport-related programs or activities.
For more information, go to

Dog Days 5K
This 5K — another Lake Run Club event — is on the evening of Saturday, July 6, in Lake Bloomington. Enter by June 30 for a discounted entry fee.
Click here for more information. Or go here and click on the race entry form for this race in the list.

Scheels 5K
This 5K race is Saturday, July 6, in Springfield. There’s a 5K run/walk and a Kiddie Run, and the race benefits the Children’s Miracle Network and the Midtown Rotary Club of Springfield.
Here’s a link for more information and online registration.

Spring Lake Singletrack Classic
This is a mountain bike race on Sunday, July 7, at Spring Lake Park in Macomb that is part of the Illinois Homegrown Race Series Championship. The categories include juniors, novice, sport and expert, as well as a free kids race. There is race day registration.
Click here for online registration (there’s a link to the race flyer on this page), and here is a link for more information about the race series.

Upcoming registration deadlines:
BTN Big 10K
This is a 10K race and a 5K run/walk in Chicago on Saturday, July 27, followed by a FanFest and tailgate party. Runners will get a shirt in the colors of the Big Ten school of their choice, but you must register by July 1 to get the shirt. Also, this race sold out last year.
The race will be televised on the Big Ten Network. For more information or to register, go to

Tri-State Tour
This bike ride is offered Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, Aug. 4. It is an 85-mile ride, with a century option available. The ride starts in Hammond, Ind., and goes up Lake Michigan, through Chicago and the northern suburbs to Kenosha, Wis. The route is mostly on bike paths and trails, with some secondary roads.
The registration deadline for the July 13 ride is June 29, and the deadline for the Aug. 4 ride is July 28. Here’s a link for more information.

If you know of an event you’d like to see included in the Fit List, please e-mail me at

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