Jodi Heckel, a writer for the University of Illinois News Bureau, is a runner and triathlete. You can email her at prairieathlete@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter (@jodiheckel).

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Participants in the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon races can add another physical activity besides running to their weekend.

The event will have a Row and Run competition this year. Runners can row on a water rowing machine and do ab rotations with a weighted slam ball at the expo, and compete against others for prizes. All the proceeds from the Row and Run competition go to Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS.

Row and Run is sponsored by Orangetheory Fitness, a fitness studio that offers workouts involving cardio, rowing and strength training. The Champaign location will have a booth with rowing machines and slam balls at the Illinois Marathon expo on April 23-24, where Row and Run participants will do their rowing and ab rotations.

“They want more people to know what they do. If people are training at Orangetheory Fitness, they are fit enough to run one of our races. It allowed us to come up with a fun, unique idea and have the money go to charity. It’s a win-win-win,” said Illinois Marathon co-director Jan Seeley.

The Row and Run competition is based on Pump and Run events at which participants bench press as many reps as they can, then run a 5K. The number of reps determines the amount of time subtracted from their race finish time. The Quad Cities Marathon has a Pump and Run event that includes both bench press and biceps curls.

At Row and Run, participants will row for three minutes and do one minute of ab rotations with a slam ball. Their finish times in the 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon will be lowered for the purposes of the Row and Run competition based on their scores in the rowing and ab rotations.

For every 100 meters rowed in three minutes, runners will get 10 seconds off their race time in the 5K, 20 seconds in the 10K, 30 seconds in the half marathon and 60 seconds in the marathon. For every ab rotation completed in one minute, runners will get one second off their race time in the 5K, two seconds in the 10K, three seconds in the half marathon and five seconds in the marathon.

Those participating in the Row and Run competition will compete against others for prizes. The competition is separate from the age group awards for the running events.

The Row and Run competition costs $8. Participants can sign up through the Illinois Marathon website by going to illinoismarathon.com and going to the “About Us” tab at the top, then clicking on “Race Merchandise” in the drop down menu. They also can sign up at the Orangetheory Fitness booth at the expo.

Runner/volunteer perks

Also new this year for the Illinois Marathon: ice cream.

Those who both run one of the Illinois Marathon events and volunteer during race weekend will get a Culver’s Double Dippers card, good for a free double scoop of Culver’s custard every month for a year. The year will run from May 2020 to April 2021 for racers/volunteers at this year’s event.

Jodi Heckel, a writer for the University of Illinois News Bureau, is a runner and triathlete. You can email her at prairieathlete@gmail.com or follow her at twitter.com/jodiheckel. Her blog is at www.news-gazette.com/blogs/starting-line/.

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