They’ll still be running for a good cause this weekend, just not hoofing it overnight to Peoria.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, St. Jude Run participants in Champaign and Monticello will stay local in hopes of raising money to fight childhood cancer.
“Totally — totally — we will miss it,” Monticello organizer Tricia Shaw said. “It won’t be the same, but we’re going to power through.”
Year 9 of Monticello’s St. Jude leg will have 40-plus runners — in socially distanced groups of 10 — cover different routes through town Saturday, including a lunchtime jog around the Courthouse Square. Each runner has pledged to raise $1,000. Donations will be accepted along the way and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Forest Preserve Park, where the Wienie Wagon will be open for business (and donating 10 percent of its sales to the fundraiser).
A checkbook isn’t the only way spectators can help out on what should be a steamy day in the Apple Tree, Ridge Point, Chimneys and Jefferson Grove subdivisions.
“Squirt guns and sprinklers encouraged,” said Shaw, who will accompany co-planner Mary Alexander for a check presentation at a slimmed-down St. Jude event Saturday night in Peoria.
In normal times, a large Champaign contingent would leave downtown en masse on Friday night, a festive bar crowd cheering them on. This year, groups of 10 will jog around Hessel Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Later that night, organizers Annessa and Jack Parisi will present a check in Peoria.
“It’s ending up far different than what anyone had planned,” Shaw said.