Runners compete in Illinois Marathon

By Jacob Hurwith

On Saturday over 9,500 people ran through the streets of Champaign and Urbana in the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

There was not a cloud in the sky when more than 9,500 people ran in the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon Saturday.

“This is amazing for the first year,” said Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart. “All of a sudden it just blossomed into over 9,000 people.”

Participants got the chance to run through the streets of Champaign and Urbana before finishing on the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium.

“It is the best feeling in the world running through the stadium,” said Katherine Perry, freshman student from Northwestern University. “It was the perfect ending.”

Bart Yasso, chief running officer of Runner’s World magazine said the stadium finish takes the race to another level. He later added that any marathon needs to the support of the community in order to succeed.

Bill Billman, one of the 2,500 volunteers, said you can really tell from the attendance how much the community cares.

Patrick Ford, sophomore at Parkland College, was the first place finisher for the 5K run clocking in at 17 minutes, 5 seconds.

Jeff Jonaitis, 28, finished first in the half-marathon at 1 hour, 11 minutes, 25 seconds.

Jacob Kendagor, 27, snagged the gold for the marathon at 2 hours, 26 minutes, 10 seconds. The Kenyan native said after the race that he met his goal of completing the race in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes.