The Starting Line

The Starting Line

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.

River to River weekend

If I could run only one race a year, it would be the River to River Relay.

Teams of eight people run 80 miles across the southern tip of the state.

More Illinois 5K entries available Tuesday

Runners, if you’re looking to get into the Provena Illinois 5K run on May 1, you’ve got another chance.

The 5K race closed, but the Illinois Marathon folks are opening up another 500 spots at 8 a.m. Tuesday. If you want one of those spots, you must register online at

Runner profile: The Hajek/Scheid family

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

Name: Bruce Hajek and Beth Scheid, and daughters Brittany Scheid and Brianna Hajek
Hometown: Urbana
Age: Bruce, 54; Beth, 52; Brittany, 16; Brianna, 14

Trying out Nordic walking

I tried Nordic walking for the first time last night, at Meadowbrook Park.

If you’ve seen walkers around town using poles, those are Nordic walkers.

Runner profile: Jean Driscoll and Sam Morse

This is one of a series of profiles on runners training for one of the Illinois Marathon races.
Name: Jean Driscoll and Sam Morse
Hometown: Savoy for both
Age: Driscoll, 43, and Sam, 12