The Starting Line

The Starting Line

Exercise can benefit people with multiple sclerosis.

Exercise helps reduce some of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and it helps those with the disease have a better quality of life because they feel more confident in their ability to move, says a research scientist at the University of Illinois.

Rob Motl, a professor of kinesiology and community health, is now looking at whether exercise affects more than the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Does it modify the disease itself? If so, exercise could be a new treatment option for people with multiple sclerosis, Motl said.

Illinois half-marathon, relay close to being full.

The limit for the number of runners in the Illinois Half-Marathon has been increased, but that race and the marathon relay are likely to be full by the weekend.

The directors of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon recently increased the cap for the half-marathon from 6,000 to 6,500 runners. The half-marathon reached 6,000 runners on about March 10.

Runner/walker profile: Don and Roma Chenoweth

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

Name: Don and Roma Chenoweth
Hometown: Champaign
Age: Don, 69; Roma, 68
Occupation: Don, retired political science professor; Roma, retired high school English teacher
Race: 5K

For Don and Roma Chenoweth, exercising is a way of life.

They are often running and walking at local races, and they are regulars at Second Wind Running Club’s fun runs each Tuesday in the summer at Meadowbrook Park.

Friends who get me through the miles.


If you really want to get to know someone, run 20 miles with her.

There’s a lot of time for talking.

Far from being lonely or solitary, running for me is extremely social and a way to stay connected with friends.

My longtime running buddies have a regular Sunday morning run, known as “church.” This is when I can catch up on their lives and their families, and we can talk about whatever is on our minds.

Fuel Up

You’ve put in all that work training for your race.

But without the right fuel, you won’t do as well on race day as you’d like.

When athletes are in the midst of training for a big event, they need to be eating the right foods.

Sports nutritionist Susan Kundrat gave nutrition advice Thursday night to runners training for the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon and Half-Marathon. Here are some of her tips for eating right before and after a training run and on race day.

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.