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Thursday, April 4, 2013 11:04 am


Running has become a pretty big deal in Springfield, and now it’s about to get bigger. Bill Stokes of Springfield, a longtime volunteer for the Springfield Road Runners Club, is organizing a marathon race (26.2 miles) to be held here in October, rounding out the city’s race offerings. Stokes says he started planning the Springfield Marathon because Springfield is one of the few state capitals without a full marathon race. While the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon coming up on April 7 brings hundreds of people to town, the lack of a marathon race here means local runners must go to other cities to run that flagship distance. “These things have grown into a real phenomenon over the past few years,” Stokes says, pointing out that the Illinois Marathon event in Champaign-Urbana draws 20,000 people to that metro area. The Springfield Marathon is planned for Oct. 20, starting and ending on the University of Illinois Springfield campus. Also offered is a half-marathon (13.1 miles) option, 10k (6.2 miles) option, and a four-person marathon relay option. Stokes says registration is capped at 3,500 for now. In the meantime, volunteers are needed for both the Springfield Marathon and the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon. For more information, visit springfieldmarathon.net or contact Bill Stokes at bill.stokes@gmail.com.
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