The Starting Line

Alma Mater is ready for marathon weekend

Alma Mater is ready for her race.

Check out the iconic statue at Wright and Green, and you’ll see she’s wearing a bib number – No. 1867, appropriately, the year the University of Illinois was founded – and an orange and blue sweatband, in recognition of this weekend’s Illinois Marathon.


What's on your marathon playlist?

I don’t listen to music while I run.

I never have, so it’s not a habit I’ve developed. And I prefer to focus on my running, and on my surroundings, whether it’s enjoying nature, the neighborhood I’m running in, or talking with friends.


Racewalking the Illinois Half-Marathon

Among all the runners in the Illinois Marathon races Saturday, keep an eye out for a group of walkers.

These walkers won’t be strolling leisurely along the course. They’re racewalkers, and you can spot them not only by their speedy pace, but also by their distinctive stride.


Mapping the marathon

Have you wondered how the organizers of the Illinois Marathon mapped the route and ensured it is exactly 26.2 miles?

Jane Domier and Don Luman of the Illinois State Geological Survey worked with marathon Co-director Mike Lindemann to create and map the routes for the marathon, half-marathon and 5K races.


Stand while you work

Back in February, I wrote a blog post about research that found sitting all day was really bad for you — even if you exercised regularly.

Sitting for long periods of time changes how your body metabolizes sugar and fat. The research suggested those with desk jobs should get up regularly and move around.


Links to marathon chat, story about need for marathon volunteers.

Here’s a link to The News-Gazette’s online chat with Jan Seeley, co-director of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon: bit.ly/dnqOsS


Edison Middle School 5K training group

When Conan Jurkowski began a training program last month for kids at Edison Middle School, he wanted to help them prepare for the 5K race at the Illinois Marathon.

But more than that, he wanted the students to see that running is something they can do all their lives, a way to have fun with friends.


Chat with Jan Seeley, co-director of the Illinois Marathon

Jan Seeley, co-director of the Illinois Marathon, will join The News-Gazette for an online chat at noon Friday. She’ll be answering your questions about marathon weekend and the races on May 1.


Guest blogger Dana Mancuso on making a marathon course video.

The Starting Line welcomes guest blogger Dana Mancuso, marketing and public information coordinator for the Urbana Park District, and a runner who will be doing the Illinois half-marathon on May 1. Dana helped create and narrate the video featuring Meadowbrook Park that is part of The News-Gazette’s interactive marathon map. It sounds easier than it was. Here’s her story.


Keeping pace

For 8-year-old Will Shinew, running the “Big Block” is no problem.

Will’s mother, Kim Shinew, is a runner, and she has a one-mile route she’s measured through her Champaign neighborhood. They call their route the Big Block.


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