marathon

Della Perrone/for The News-Gazette at the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in Champaign on April 27, 2013 A wave of runners starts at St. Mary's Road and First Street in Champaign for the Christie Clinic Marathon.Della Perrone/for The News-Gazette at the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in Champaign on April 27, 2013 A wave of runners starts at St. Mary's Road and First Street in Champaign for the Christie Clinic Marathon.

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Organizers of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon have decided to postpone the weekend race until later in the year amid rising concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Jan Seeley, co-director, said Thursday that she and co-director Mike Lindemann are working with University of Illinois officials to confirm a new weekend date sometime after July 2020.

"It’s not possible for us to have it given what’s happened on campus. The University has now shifted to teaching classes online, has banned gatherings of 50 or more indefinitely. The feeling is the situation is not going to get better in the next month. It’s going to get worse,” Seeley said.

As of Thursday, 8,556 people had registered to participate in one or more of the seven events offered between April 23 and 25: a Thursday night one-mile run, Friday 5K, and Saturday 10K, half marathon, marathon relay, marathon and youth run.

The is the 12th year for the popular weekend event, which runners may use to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Last year, about 13,840 participants registered and were supported by some 2,700 volunteers.

"We are working with University officials to confirm a new race weekend date sometime in the second half of the year. We expect to be able to share an update on that in the coming days," said Seeley, who said UI officials need to focus for the moment on figuring out how to educate students.

“We are all taking this very seriously but are very thankful we have such a great community that will work with us to have a great race weekend. It may not look exactly like what we do in April,” she said.

"It’s going to be great. I’m a cup-overflowing person. Many races won’t be rescheduled,” Seeley said.

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Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is mschenk@news-gazette.com, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).