Top of the Morning, July 26, 2014

Top of the Morning, July 26, 2014

By the time they reach Peoria, they're tired, sore and maybe a bit grumpy.

Thank goodness the scene at the end of the 100-mile overnight marathon that is the St. Jude Run is so uplifting.

"It's the best race finish possible with kids high-fiving you the whole way in," said Mike Tankersley of St. Joseph. "There's no feeling like it, and I get choked up every time I think of what some of those kids have gone through. And they're cheering me on? All I did was run."

Tankersley will take part in his fourth St. Jude Run next weekend. The group of physically fit do-gooders will leave downtown Champaign at 6 p.m. Friday and wind up in Peoria some 20 hours later. Some, like Tankersley, will take turns running. Others will drive alongside or collect donations or simply cheerlead. Money raised goes to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

A good cause ... with good stories. Here's more from avid runner Tankersley.

What kind of looks do you get from cars whizzing by in the middle of the night?

Oh they look at us like we are nuts. And we are.

What's the biggest headache?

A bad storm would likely be the biggest problem. Most drivers actually honk or wave in support of us, and we haven't really had any issues with rude drivers.

Is the route the same every year?

Yes, unless road construction causes us to re-route part of the run. Seems like the hills get steeper every year, though.

Is a double-cheeseburger part of the pre-race meal?

Ummm, no. That would not make for a pleasant night — trust me on this. Seriously, I usually sit in back (of the bus) near the 'facilities.' Don't do that.

Is running back to C-U part of the deal?

Go for it! Me? I'm eating my spaghetti, drinking my beer and sleeping all the way back — in a vehicle!

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