One More for Two More

It has been a while since I’ve been nearing the end of the month and I still had an open slot in the blog quota.  Luckily I still have plenty of fodder to pull from.  Probably need to start considering processing more images from the backlog.  My Texas queue is starting to run thin (imagine that).  In the meantime, thought I would continue to show consideration for the non-birders out there and follow up my last running post with the companion piece.  As mentioned in that last post, the Illinois Marathon has options for a two run event – the Friday night 5K (from last post) and the following Saturday morning run.  You can choose your poison on the second run.  I tackled the full marathon a few years back (felt that one for sure), but they have a 10K and a half to round out the options.  My poison this year was the I-Challenge Half.
Illini Marathon April 2018 - I-Challenge HalfThis year, the race coordinators introduced the long sleeve tech shirt.  Definitely more appropriate seeing as how this race is always wet and cold.  Not sure I am a fan of the logo or the color this year, however, the medals are OUTSTANDING.    Not only are they solid/heavy, they are always very artistic.  Think this was the 10th anniversary of this race.
Illini Marathon April 2018 - I-Challenge Half

Hit the jump to get the highlights of the event.


Racing ’18

Thinking by now my bird averse readers are absolutely fed up with all the bird posts this month.. hell, this year.  Admittedly, I’ve definitely narrowed my post themes significantly and for that I apologize – at least to those of you who prefer your birds on a plate with garnish and a fine wine.  To my credit, I have thrown in a few wildlife posts that didn’t have wings along with a few recollections.  To help right the ship, let’s give some respect to my Alma Mater.

Illinois Marathon I-Challenge Half 5K April 2018

Unfortunately, we’ve been subjected to some pretty horrific sporting years as of late.  For the record, I am withholding all donations to the U of I (and my ticket purchases)  until they get their sports straightened out – p a t h e t i c.  However, I must give complete kudos to the race coordinators for the annual Illinois Marathon.

Illinois Marathon I-Challenge Half 5K April 2018

Hit the jump to read more about the race!


I-Challenged I Conquered

And before you know it, it’s a new month!  Greetings all, it has been awhile but that is mostly due to some very productive birding outings with my brother and the official opening of the 2015 race season.  I would be underestimating the blog fodder to say I’m covered for birding posts for the rest of the year thanks to those outings.  Since I ended April with a bird themed post, let’s go with the race season to start off the month of May.  April 23 was the beginning of the Illinois Marathon festivities.  It started with an evening 5K run to get the kinks worked out and the muscles warmed up.
Illinois Marathon 2015

Unfortunately, the weather really wasn’t cooperating with us that weekend with a heavy dose of rain scheduled for that Friday as well as the rest of the weekend.  Figures the wet stuff would come down after a string of nice days leading up to it.  Oh well, that’s how the weather gods treat us runners.  We pretty much lucked out for that 5K.  It was nice and cool and besides being overcast, the rain basically stayed away until after we had finished.  Oh, forgot to mention there was a “we” this year.  My running buddy Sung signed up for the festivities as well.  It is ALWAYS funner when you can run with someone especially someone that you have been training with through the cold snowy days of Winter.  Here we are before the start of the 5K – relaxed and focused on not getting hurt during this short 5K run.  I can’t remember the last time I entered a race under 7 miles – general rule, if it takes longer to take a shower than run, might as well just take a shower.  However, this was a special 5K and trust me, worth skipping the shower .. at least until after the race.


One of the cool things about this race is it ended up on the 50 yard line of Memorial Stadium.  Even after going to the U of I for four years, this is the first time I’ve ever been on that field.  We started together in the first corral thanks to Sung having a small math mix up.  The first corral was meant for 27 minutes and under.  That fit well within my expected time and easily in the expected time for Sung.  Only problem was, he did the conversion from kilometers to mileage incorrectly – simply halved it so 27 minutes for 2.5 miles … oops, 3.1 miles. I think he was a little concerned about his start position after I reminded him how far it really was – NO WORRIES.  We carried an 8:34 pace through the course – congrats to Sung for owning that course.  Granted, there were a couple of incentives during the race – like the rabbit in the orange shirt with the number 5 on it and the frequent course crossers in very attractive dresses and high heels.  Guessing there were sorority activities going on which we both agree should be made a requirement for all future races!

Final numbers – 26:39 42 for 45-49, 544 for males and 741st overall.  All this fun and they even gave us a medal for completing the short run.  Here we are for the official post race shot – happy faces and most important no injuries.



Hit the jump to see what the race weekend really had in store for us!