Final Countdown – Abe’s Log

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We’re less than a month away from this year’s Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon (CCIM), and the behind the scenes work of putting on your marathon is in high gear. The medal reveal should happen any day now. Expo preparations by vendors and groups are in the works. And the pasta feed menu is set. All that’s needed now is the calendar to turn and your training to finish on a high note.

Of course, there’s always that last minute push for volunteers that gives race Co-Directors Jan and Mike sleepless nights. (You can volunteer here, by the way.) And those aches and pains you’ll worry about should reach a boiling point the day or two before the race, early enough to give you sleepless nights, too.

This is the 10th running of the CCIM. As the race date draws near, something in me wants to reflect on just how far we’ve come as runners in those 10 years. I picked up running again 13 years after high school in 2004, but I didn’t really start taking running seriously until 2008, just in time for the first CCIM in 2009.

I first donned my Abe hat in year two of the CCIM, and with each running, the community has embraced this event like nothing else. Everyone looks forward to it. People who don’t see themselves as runners find that actually, they are. Once you lace up, you’re a runner. Even those who end up walking one of the races, you’re a runner in my book.

The race has changed a lot in 10 years. From the changes to the course (remember the congestion that first year at Meadowbrook Park?) to adding the 10K and the I-Challenges to expanded postrace celebrations to the crazy central Illinois weather: hot years, rainy years, perfect years. No matter what, this is our race, and I’m looking forward to running C-U in costume!

See you at the start line.