The Starting Line
Bill Iffrig — the now-famous 78-year-old Boston Marathoner who was knocked down by the first bomb blast — says he won’t be back at Boston again next year.
He’s not worried about another attack like the one that killed three people and injured nearly 200 more when two bombs exploded at the finish line of last week’s marathon.
It’s one of my favorite running weekends of the year — the River to River Relay in southern Illinois. Hills and more hills. Vans and more vans. Runners in tutus, Muppet costumes and fake butts (really). It’s awesome.
If you won’t be there, here are some other races to consider:
Weekend of April 20-21:
— Abe’s Mini Triathlon and Pioneer Sprint
Running the Boston Marathon two years ago was one of the best running experiences I’ve ever had.
The runners are thrilled to be there, the spectators are incredibly supportive and the communities from Hopkinton to Boston are so welcoming.
I’m officially tapering now, in preparation for the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon. If you’re also in taper mode but still want to race, there are all kinds of 5Ks in the area this weekend. Here’s the list:
Weekend of April 13-14:
— Illinois Veterans Memorial 5K Run/Walk
Tony Hillen will pin on a bib number for the first time in late April and run the 5K and the half marathon at the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.
They’ll be his first-ever races. And the runner lining up at the start line will be a leaner, fitter Tony Hillen.
This is the weekend for the new Allerton Trails Half Marathon and 10K. If you’re running one of those races, I’ll see you at the finish line, where I’m volunteering. And if you’re looking for a race in the upcoming weekends, here are a few suggestions:
Weekend of April 6-7:
— Allerton Trails Half Marathon and 10K Race
One of Bridgett Wakefield’s favorite moments as a volunteer for the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon came when Memorial Stadium was nearly empty. Most of the racers had finished, and race officials were packing up their equipment.
The cyclists on this bike ride might be riding in central Illinois, but they are negotiating courses with a couple thousand feet in elevation change and hills with up to a 15 percent grade.
They have varying levels of speed, but they ride next to each other, chatting throughout the one to two hours on their bikes.