On Saturday I'm running my first half marathon in two years (my last performance wasn't all that hot). My race is part of the Illinois Marathon, which will be a huge local event. All events (full marathon, half, 5K, and marathon relay) have closed and we are looking at a much bigger turnout than anybody expected. That's great for our town, for our economy, and for local running.
Although Champaign-Urbana has an active and lively running community, we've never had our very own marathon until now. That got me reflecting on all the cool things about running a big race that's local...
5. If I have to drop out I won't get lost;
4. Friends on the race committee have been giving me all the inside dirt on race planning for months;
3. Lotsa friends running and helping on the course means they'll shout and cheer for me;
2. Chance to see some of my students who are also running, and hopefully to kick their asses;
1. If I have to pee and the porta-potty lines are too long, I can always knock on friends' doors.