Top of the Morning, April 14, 2019

Top of the Morning, April 14, 2019

Even though "his" mug is on most of the snazzy medals for this year's Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, Champaign's Jeff Kohmstedt isn't feeling more pressure than usual to perform well. "Being the humble president that I am," he said, "I'm happy to let others wear the laurels of victory."

We're happy to report that for the 10th consecutive year, Kohmstedt will run as Abe Lincoln — top hat, beard and all — on April 27. He's become a popular presence at the race — so much so that he took part in this year's medal reveal video with organizer Jan Seeley, an invite that he said "ranks up there with running the Boston Marathon."

His Honest Abe approach started at the 2009 Freedom 5K in C-U when, on a steamy July 4, "I'm wearing this fake beard that felt like I was wearing a gorilla suit on my face," he said. "After that, I went au naturel and grew my own beard."

Kohmstedt, who has two Abe costumes in his closet, once ran with a friend dressed as a Secret Service agent by his side. Another time "friends and I ran as 'Mount Runmore' with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and me, er, I mean Abe."

"Abe" digs the medals, by the way.

"I don't tell people I'm on the medal, but it is funny how some people naturally say, 'So, I see you're on the medal again this year,' " Kohmstedt said. "It's as though they think Abe and I are one and the same. Weird how that is."

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