The last four years have been unique for our community and our event. There’s been a lot lost—opportunities to be together, loved ones who are no longer with us, and goals put on hold. Yet, I keep finding bright spots amid dark times—and so many of those bright spots have been YOU. Our amazing Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend community has been a beam of sunshine through it all.
You are adaptable. You moved with us into a virtual age for our 2020 and 2021 races.
You were supportive. You rooted for us all along the way and showed up to rally for us in 2022 and 2023.
You were understanding and kind. You were present and you listened. It has meant so much to all of us here at the race, and it has meant so much to me.
As I took in our 2023 Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend festivities, I kept seeing a throughline. I saw old college buddies getting the gang back together. I saw families joining hands as they crossed the finish line. I saw neighbors volunteering side by side. I saw the exchange of high-fives, kisses, and embraces.
All the while, a word was echoing in my ears: reunion. While a running event is simple in its foundations, its meaning to each runner and to our community is deep and complex. The shared experience of moving our bodies joyfully alongside each other brings us closer together. Each year, we can come to C-U and have a chance to be REUNITED.
This motif is not limited to the reunion of people. It’s also about making our event whole again.
Even as we were given the green light to bring race weekend back in person in 2022, COVID’s effect on local police forces ultimately led to the cancellation of the marathon distance that year and removed it from our list of distances for 2023 as well.
Despite those obstacles, we remained adamant that our full marathon distance has a critical place in our race weekend and in our community. Just before the 2023 edition of the race, we announced that 26.2 is BACK in C-U! This theme nods to the reunion of all race distances for the first time since 2019.
While we still have seven months until race day, our team is already hard at work preparing for the ultimate reunion party. Registration is open, our theme has been revealed, and, now, we’re off to the races—literally!
We hope you’ll share with us how race weekend helps reunite you with the people and goals that you care about. We hope you connect with and love this year’s theme as much as we do!
C-U at the reunion?
Jan Seeley is the award-winning director of the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend and has been lacing up her running shoes for 50 years! For 15 years, the event has remained committed to fostering a happy, healthy community in central Illinois. Since its inception, the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend has donated $1.734 million to charities in the community and generated an estimated $6 million in economic impact annually.