Springfield’s race schedule is crazy!
The gallons of sweat, aching muscles and months of training have led to this: race day. You’re at the starting line with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of other people, your mind amped up and your body full of energy like an outstretched spring ready to snap into action. As the race begins, a human deluge pours over the start line, legs pumping like pistons and the look of focused determination on every face.
So begins the racing season of 2013. The schedule in Springfield and the surrounding communities seems to fill almost every weekend, a sign of the increasing popularity of cycling, footraces and personal fitness. Here’s a chronological guide to sweating it out with your fellow athletes.
The last weekend in May is a big season opener, with at least three different events on May 25. For the runners, the Passavant Powerade 5k/10k in Jacksonville is going for its 21st year straight. As the name suggests, there’s a 5k run (3.1 miles) and a 10k run (6.2 miles) over a mostly flat course. The race starts from Passavant Area Hospital at 7:30 a.m. on May 25. For more information, visit www.passavanthospital.com/2012-passavant-powerade-5k10k or www.facebook.com/PassavantRace.
The same day, the Brian McMillen 10K/5k Run/1 Mile Walk at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield honors the memory of an LLCC graduate who was killed in the line of duty with the Illinois State Police in 2007. The race raises money for the Brian McMillen Veterans Scholarship, which benefits veterans attending LLCC. The race starts at 8 a.m. on May 25 at LLCC. For more information, visit http://www.llccveteransclub.org/Brian-McMillen-5k-run.php.
Cyclists will be more at home with the Capital City Biathlon, now in its sixth year. The 3.1-mile run and 15-mile ride takes racers from the beach house on Lake Springfield out into the countryside and back. It begins at 7:30 a.m. on May 25, and it benefits Habitat for Humanity of Sangamon County. For more information, visit www.capitalcitybiathlon.com.
For a major change of pace that’s sure to leave you exhausted and filthy, check out the Beast Mode Challenge. Hosted by Team Warrior Concepts, a mixed martial arts gym in Springfield, Beast Mode is a footrace with obstacles like fire jumps, greased pyramid climbs, and gladiator-style “battle sticks.” This intense race drew about 500 people last year. It’s planned for June 1 at 5200 N. Walnut, north of the airport. For more information, visit www.teamwarriorconcepts.com/includes/inc_beastModeInfo.php.
While there’s certainly an art to racing, the Regional Burn Center 5K Run/Walk plans to take the “art” portion literally. Memorial Medical Center partnered with the unique ColorBlaze5k folks to turn runners into a moving, tie-dyed canvas. The idea is that participants wear as much white as possible, and along the way, they’re “blazed” with a biodegradable, edible substance in a variety of colors. This race benefits Memorial’s Regional Burn Center, and it starts at 11 a.m. on June 8 at Southwind Park. For more information, visit http://www.colorblaze5k.com.
This year, students from Lanphier High School’s Eighth Grade AVID program are organizing a race to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois and the autism program at the Hope Institute for Children and Families in Springfield. The C.H.A.R.M.S. (Children’s Hope and Awareness Run for Meaningful Support) 5k is planned for 8:30 a.m. on June 9 in Washington Park. For more information, visit www.raceit.com/search/event.aspx?id=20839.
After you’re done running one of those races, you’ve got one or two weeks to recover before entering the Stovepipe Sprint Triathlon. Held by Tri-Harder Promotions in historic Petersburg and Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, the triathlon starts with a 500-yard swim in a private lake, followed by a 13-mile bike ride and 5k run.
If that’s not enough of a challenge, opt for the Railsplitter Triathlon, held at the same time and place as the shorter Stovepipe. The Olympic-distance Railsplitter begins with a 9/10 mile swim, then a 24.8-mile bike ride and a 10k run. The Railsplitter begins at 7:30 a.m. on June 15, with the Stovepipe not far behind at 8 a.m. the same day. For more information on both races, visit www.triharderpromotions.com.
Not up for the punishment of a triathlon? Maybe the Bob Goldman Scholastic Challenge 5k is more your speed. The flat 3.1-mile event benefits high school running programs. It also offers races for children, with the Tiny Tyke Trot 100-yard dash for ages five and under, and the Kid’s Challenge Quarter Mile Run for ages six to 10. The 5k starts at 7:30 a.m. on June 16 at the beach house on Lake Springfield. For more information, visit www.sc5k.com.
The Springfield Chapter of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association plans to hold its Run for Kids Sake 5k on June 22, with actual FBI agents participating and giving out information on child safety. The run is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on June 22 in Washington Park. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/RunForKidsSake5k.
Are you sensing a theme of child-related runs yet? Here’s another one: the genHKids Coalition is hosting its Get Fit on Route 66 Walk, Run, Roll and Health Expo to promote healthy children. The one-mile race is accessible for children of different abilities, and they’ve planned activities and a healthy snack. The fun starts at 9 a.m. on June 22 at Southwind Park. For more information, visit www.genhkids.org/walkrunroll.html.
Getting back to more grown-up races, the Women’s Distance Festival is organized by the Springfield Road Runners Club and benefits Ronald McDonald House. The race starts at 8 a.m. on July 13 in Washington Park. For more information, visit www.womensdistance.srrc.net.
If you’re fast but not keen on running for long, the Sizzling Mile is your race. It’s held each year at the Sacred Heart-Griffin Track, and the current overall record of 4:23 puts the fastest runner at almost 13.7 miles per hour. Even if you’re not quite that fast, it’s a fun race with good camaraderie. It starts at 6 p.m. on July 24 at Sacred Heart-Griffin Track. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TheSizzlingMile.
With the July heat, why not go for a quick swim? And then a bike ride, and then a run. A triplet of triathlons from Tri-Harder Promotions offers varying distances for the cross-training athlete. The Stoneman Sprint Triathlon is a 500-yard swim, a 12-mile bike, and a 3.1-mile run. Go a bit farther with the Iron Abe Olympic Triathlon, a 9/10-mile swim, followed by a 24.8-mile ride, then a 6.1-mile run. The truly masochistic among us will gravitate toward the Route 66 Half Iron Triathlon, a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike, and a 13.1-mile run. The first of the three races starts at 7 a.m. on July 27 at the Lake Springield beach house. For more information, visit www.triharderpromotions.com.
The Illinois State Fair marks the beginning of the end of summer, and it also brings the last two races on our list. The two-mile Scheels Illinois State Fair Parade Run opens the fair on Aug. 4, while the Abe’s Amble 10k race finishes the fair on Aug. 18. For more information on the Parade Run, visit paraderun.eventbrite.com. For more information on Abe’s Amble, visit www.2013abesarmy.blogspot.com.
Whether you’re a longtime athlete or a couch potato just learning to put down the chips, Springfield has a race for you. It’s a great way to meet people, have fun and get fit.
Contact Patrick Yeagle at email@example.com.
Summer races in the Springfield area
5K and 10K
Brian McMillen 10K/
5k Run/1 Mile Walk
Capital City Biathlon
Beast Mode Challenge
Regional Burn Center
Stovepipe Sprint Triathlon
Bob Goldman Scholastic Challenge 5k
Run for Kids Sake 5K
Get Fit on Route 66
Walk, Run and Roll
Women’s Distance Festival
Route 66 Half Iron
Abe’s Amble 10k