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Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge

Every Day November 5, 2020 to May 1, 2021

The Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge celebrates the state of Illinois. It’s a 25-week virtual event stretching from November 5, 2020 to May 1, 2021. SOLO entrants or TEAMS of up to 10 people virtually run and walk the west-to-east width of the state of Illinois (224 miles), the north-south length of the state (435 miles), or both ways, aka “The Double” (659 miles). SOLO entrants and TEAM captains post their runs/walks on the interactive virtual challenge results platform, where they can see their progress/team’s progress on the Leaderboard. The map is Google-enabled.

The companion Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge Guidebook shares fascinating facts and information about every town and city along the W-E and N-S routes (over 100 profiles). Participants can also attend free monthly webinars featuring noteworthy individuals.

Co-director Jan Seeley chats with MIX 94.5’s Tim and Sarah about the Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge.

The Criss-Cross West-to-East Route Guidebook covers all the towns on the route, from the start line in East Hannibal, Illinois, to the final town, which is Danville, Illinois.
The Criss-Cross North-to-South Guidebook covers all the towns along the route, from the start line in South Beloit, Illinois, to the final town, which is Cairo, Illinois.


Virtually run/walk through the state of Illinois:

  • North-to-South route (South Beloit, IL, to Cairo, IL—435 miles)
  • West-to-East route (East Hannibal, IL, to the Illinois/Indiana border—224 miles)
  • Both directions, aka the “Double” (224 miles + 435 miles)





Registration is now CLOSED

West-to-East route (SOLO entrant or per person on TEAMS) $45
North-to-South route (SOLO entrant or per person on TEAMS) $55
Doublers, who complete both routes (SOLO entrant or per person on TEAMS) $65

Registration is now CLOSED


A Criss-Cross team can have up to 10 members and completes the West-to-East, North-to-South, or Double route by combining all the miles run and walked by the team members over the 25 weeks. A TEAM captain registers him/herself first and pays for the number of people that will be on the team, and creates a team name password for the team. The individual team members then register themselves, using the team name and password the captain has created to complete their registration. No additional money is collected. The TEAM captain posts the runs and walks on the virtual challenge results platform, but every team member has access to the results so they can see how the team is doing.

Teams that want to complete the DOUBLE (224 miles + 435 miles) need to email Jan Seeley at director@illinoismarathon for special registration instructions.


Nope. You do all your running and walking WHEREVER you live, then you post those outings on the virtual challenge results platform and see your progress along the route (the route is like a board game, and you are a game “piece” that moves along the route as you complete and post all your runs and walk). Miles run or walked on a treadmill are acceptable for the Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge.


To enhance your experience in the Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge, we created a webinar series that will celebrate the state of Illinois and share information inside and outside of the endurance industry. The webinars are sponsored by Human Kinetics and moderated by race co-director Jan Seeley. Below is the schedule. A link to each webinar recording is available after the webinar is completed.

Webinar #1 December 8:The Prairie State: Fun Facts & Figures.
Special guests: T. J. Blakeman, President of the Board of Trustees for the Champaign County History Museum; and Patrick Cain, Public Programs & Visitor Services Coordinator at the Museum of the Grand Prairie

Webinar #2 January 12: Don’t Let January Break Your Stride: Keep Stepping Safely This Winter.
Special Guest Mike Lindemann, owner of Body n’ Sole Sports and co-director of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon and the Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge + Lori Ozment, exercise instructor, personal trainer, and yoga teacher.

Webinar #3 January 26 @ noon CST: Staying the Course: A Runner’s Toughest Race
Special Guest: Marathon legend Dick Beardsley will join us for a lively chat about his life, which reads like a Greek tragedy with an upbeat ending. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll come away uplifted by his powerful story of SURVIVAL. Don’t miss it.

Webinar #4 February 9 @ noon CST: Race Directors’ Crystal Ball. What’s Up for 2021?
Special Guests: Big Sur International Marathon executive director Doug Thurston; Hartford Marathon founder and executive director Beth Shluger; and Nuun Hydration Experiential Marketing Director Mike Sommers will share their insights about the road racing industry as it battles back from the pandemic. Are there some silver linings?

Webinar #5: Hidden Gems in the Prairie State: The Coolest Places in Illinois You Never Knew Existed!
Special Guests: Jayne DeLuce, president and CEO of Visit Champaign County; and Cory Jobe, president and CEO of Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau, based in Alton, Illinois. You’ll come away from the webinar with a fascinating list of “must-see” places in Illinois like Cache River, Cave in Rock, Cahokia Mounds, Fort Des Chart, Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, Alton…the Most Haunted Small Town in America, and more.

Webinar #6: Criss-Cross Participant “Field” Report
Special Guests: Criss-Cross participants Tina Heidrich, Craig Stundahl, and Lisa Candocia share unique and memorable moments from their journeys over the past five months. And, Jan Seeley spills the beans about the new virtual challenge launching on April 22 (Earth Day)—Pace & Pedal Perimeter Challenge.


Your Criss-Cross Virtual Challenge swag—winter-style beanie hat, face mask, shirt, NUUN hydration packet, and Challenge Coin—will be available for pickup at Body n’ Sole Sports in Savoy (or will be shipped directly to you) starting in mid-January. After mid-January, additional race swag will be available at Body n’ Sole and shipped to new entrants once a month until the end of the challenge.


West-to-East route entrants receive a gender-specific BROOKS short-sleeve Podium tech shirt. Sizes offered are XS (women only), S, M, L, XL, and XXL. (The Podium shirt runs SMALL, so size up.) The men’s shirt is crew neck, and the color is orange; the women’s shirt is also crew neck, and the color is purple. North-to-South route entrants receive a gender-specific BROOKS long-sleeve Podium tech shirt. (The Podium shirt runs SMALL, so size up.) Sizes offered are XS (women only), S, M, L, XL, and XXL. The men’s and women’s shirts are both crew neck, and the color is nightlife (neon yellow). Entrants in “The Double”—completing both the W-E and N-S routes—receive a gender-specific embroidered quarter-zip top. Sizes offered are XS (women only), S, M, L, XL, and XXL. The color of the quarter-zip is black.


  1. Login into your Race Roster dashboard as a participant.
  2. On your Participant Dashboard, go to your dashboard for the Virtual Challenge that you’ve registered for and click + Add activity (by which, we mean, the run or walk you want to post).
  3. You will then be directed to the activity submission page where you will enter the date you completed your run or walk, the distance/unit of your run or walk, and the time you took to complete it.
  4. Once you have submitted an activity, you will be taken to your challenge dashboard where you can see your completed activities, statistics, and where you currently are on the route. Your name will be listed on the Leaderboard under the Name heading. Clicking on your name will also bring you to your results dashboard. On the course map, your location will be identified by your initials.
  5. You can also post an activity (run or walk) by going to the appropriate leaderboard:


SOLO West-to-East 224 mile leaderboard

SOLO North-to-South 435 mile leaderboard

TEAM West-to-East 224 mile leaderboard

TEAM North-to-South 435 mile leaderboard