The Starting Line

The Starting Line

Runner profile: John Murphy

This is one of a series of profiles on runners training for one of the Illinois Marathon races.

Name: John Murphy
Hometown: Champaign
Age: 50
Occupation: Associate professor of communication at the University of Illinois
Race: half-marathon

At this time last year, John Murphy was not a runner.

He didn’t exercise much at all, although he liked to hike when he had the opportunity.

Making the Race Run


You’re not a runner, but you’d like to be involved with the Illinois Marathon on May 1? There’s plenty for you to do.

The marathon needs at least 2,500 volunteers to put on the event safely. That includes people to hand out bib numbers and chips and help with the pasta dinner at the marathon expo; man the water stations on the course; help control traffic at intersections on the race course; hand out finisher medals at Memorial Stadium; and do post-race cleanup.

Learning to have fun on the ice.

If you read anything about Katherine Reutter during the Winter Olympics, you probably know the speedskater from Champaign got her start on the ice in the Learn to Skate program at the University of Illinois Ice Arena.

While some, like Reutter, may go on to competitive glory, the goal of the program is simply to get people – kids and adults – comfortable enough on the ice to enjoy public ice-skating sessions, said Jami Houston, assistant director of the Ice Arena.

EKGs for young athletes?


Should young athletes have an electrocardiogram before participating in sports?

A new study says the test will help identify cardiovascular disease that might be missed in a standard physical exam.

According to a story about the study at this medical news site, two in every 100,000 young athletes die from sudden cardiac death each year. Hidden cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of sudden death in young athletes, it says.

Runner profile: Sue Grey

This is one of a series of profiles on runners training for one of the Illinois Marathon races.

Name: Sue Grey    
Hometown: Champaign
Age: 48
Occupation: Vice-president for community impact at the United Way of Champaign County and Champaign school board member
Race: half-marathon

When Sue Grey runs the half-marathon here in town on May 1, her brother will be cheering her on.

And after she completes the 13 miles and receives her finisher’s medal, she’ll put it around his neck.

Interval training can make you fitter, faster.

Interval training could be the key for everyday athletes to improve their physical fitness in a shorter amount of time.

A recent story from the Associated Press said studies are showing that more people are able to handle interval training – periods of intense exercise with rest periods between sets – than previously thought.

Research showed interval training can improve endurance, oxygen use, strength and speed at a greater rate than a normal exercise routine, according to the story.

UI's I-Cook show features healthy recipes.


A new cooking show airing on the University of Illinois’ cable television station focuses on simple, healthy cooking for college students, or anyone in the community.

The I-Cook show features nutrition expert Susan Kundrat — a registered dietician specializing in nutrition for wellness, fitness and sports performance — demonstrating recipes and offering tips for healthy meals.

Runner profile: Melissa Raguet-Schofield

This is the first of a series of profiles on runners training for one of the Illinois Marathon races.

Name: Melissa Raguet-Schofield
Hometown: Urbana
Age: 30
Occupation: Just completed Ph.D in biological anthropology.
Race: marathon

Melissa Raguet-Schofield thought she’d be running the Boston Marathon this spring. She qualified for Boston in Indianapolis in the fall of 2008. Then she became pregnant shortly after the marathon, so Boston was put on hold for a year.

Don't just sit there!

I knew sitting at a desk all day, looking at a computer, was not really good for my health.

But I’m a reasonably active person. I thought I exercised enough each week to counteract some of the negative aspects of a desk job.

So I was pretty dismayed to read that even for regular exercisers, sitting for a long period of time is really bad for you.

Illinois Marathon races filling up.

Do you want to run in one of the events at the Illinois Marathon this spring?

If you’re not yet entered, you might want to think about doing so soon — especially if you want to get into the half-marathon or marathon relay.

The half-marathon is 84 percent full, and the marathon relay is 78 percent full. Those two races will fill sometime in March, said the race’s co-director, Jan Seeley.