10 Years Running – Abe’s Log

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For those of you who are new to the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon (CCIM) and all its races, you’re in for a treat. This year is the 10th running, and each year the races get better and more fun. It is among the very best marathon weekends in the country.

You don’t have to take my word for it (even if I am Honest Abe). Listen to what others have to say.

In 2014, Runner’s World magazine chose the CCIM as one of the best new marathons, and this year, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) chose our 2018 half marathon as its national championship event. According to their website, they want to, “shine a spotlight on well-run, community-based events, and to promote the sport of running.” The CCIM is just that.

Then there’s what past participants have said. One noted, “I especially loved the feeling of the community and sportsmanship among all the racers: 10Kers encouraging marathoners and marathoners encouraging 10Kers. We can’t wait for 2018.”

And then there’s legendary Boston Marathon race director Dave McGillivray, our special guest in 2016, who had this to say about his experience in Champaign-Urbana:

“I am in awe. I thought your event was a masterpiece! You have raised the bar in the industry. Even in challenging conditions, the end product was stellar. Your attention to detail coupled with so many unique and creative touches made this one of the best runner experiences I’ve ever encountered.”

When others tell you great things about a race, it’s hard to argue it. Everyone has a story.

History abounds with the CCIM. Over the last 10 years, we’ve had top-quality featured speakers, from marathon legends Kathrine Switzer and Frank Shorter to Lorraine Moller and Dick Beardsley.

We’ve had over 161,000 runners in all races since 2009. The CCIM and its charity partners have raised over $1.159 million for local charities. What a testament to how great the running community is in Champaign-Urbana and from around the world.

People come from all over to do our race: from all corners of our state, our country, and our world. Runners from over 50 countries have run the streets of Champaign-Urbana. A runner from that far away chose to come to our race in our town. That tells me just what kind of reputation we have earned over the last 10 years.

This will be the 10th time I’ve run the half marathon (the ninth time wearing my Abe Lincoln costume), and there is always something new and exciting about it. It’s the weather or the medals, the training or the injuries. But really, it’s the people that interest me most. It’s their drive to run the best race they can wherever they run, be it at the front, in the middle, or at the back of the pack. What I love about the CCIM is that it is my race. This is my community, and I hope you enjoy the challenge of getting to the start line.

See you on the roads!