On April 30th in the Year of Our Lord 2011, I will be a participant in the Illinois half-marathon.
Along the streets of my Alma Mater (and then some).
Where the only running I ever did while enrolled there was a mad dash of Super Star caliber from a campus bar to my apartment in a tequila induced inebriated state on my 21st birthday.
Someone hold me. And then pass me the tequila. Something tells me I'm gonna need it.
Putting my glass-is-half-full, motivational speaker hat back on, here's where I rally the troops. I learned very quickly last summer that running in a pack (even when the pack is spread out along the course by almost an hour) is a heck of a lot more fun than running alone. I also realize that running 13 miles is not everyone's aspiration. I'm still wondering if it's even mine. Luckily for all of you less insane people out there, this event offers other distances including a 5K (held on Friday evening), 10K, and marathon relay. There's also a full-blown one-step-away-from-the-funny-farm-if-you-even-entertain-the-thought full marathon if you feel like gettin' really crazy.
Step back and picture it: You set out on a leisurely run with 14,000 of your closest friends through the beautiful streets of Champaign-Urbana on a lovely spring morning. Following this jaunt, you retire for a bit of R&R at a local hotel. After sufficient rejuvenation time you spend a night out on the town with friends living it up like the college student you still sometimes fool yourself into thinking that you are. Added bonus: the beverages will help numb any residual aches and pains from the earlier event. Much like the Park to Park 5 mile, the run just serves as a warm-up to a full weekend of merriment.
Come on, people. You know you want to do it, especially all my 5 miler comrades. Munchkin, just think of all the bloggable material you could gain by participating. Imagine how toned your ridiculously long legs will be by next summer's swim suit season, Tru Stories! Can you even fathom how much fun it would be to beat even more people who "practice" running without even exerting your full effort, Coach?! Doc, we need your enthusiasm on the streets of Champbana to keep us motivated. No one will require you to cook us a delicious meal afterward, Clark! You've seen what the University of Wisconsin has to offer, Commissioner and Warhol, so now it's time to give the U of I a chance (hint: slightly less picturesque but also significantly less hilly). I would give a unique shout-out to Team Ditta but we all know they're too busy and important to read the blogs; however, you can bet I'll give them my best pitch when I see them on Saturday at a local 5k.
Other people that should brace themselves to endure my recruitment efforts between now and the end of April:
- Swanny (registered last weekend - check)
- ABCT in P-Town
- JD in GC
- Boston (already contemplating running the full 26.2 - loco en la cabeza!)
- Flag Girl
- Papa Poke
- Mr. MC
- Mrs. MC
- The Bride
- Jersey Shore (a coworker of mine & Jen's)
And if I can't convince you of the fun that awaits you on the streets of the University of Illinois? I fully expect you to at least come and watch, cheering your head off for all of us crazy enough to run another stupid race.
Race on, playas!