FROM THE RACE DIRECTOR:
18 SEP Admin Time seems to be upon us. Time to wake up and start setting up the 2015 website, registration site, Facebook page and more as we start an eventual registration and sponsorship/partnership push. For 2015 our traditional first weekend of April is blocked by Easter! So we have to push to April 11, with April 10 for our Trail-Glo race. Yes, there is definitely going to be another Trail-Glo. We got so much positive feedback on our first try, PLUS we learned a couple of things that will improve the 2015 Trail-Glo significantly! Our local lighting designer has pledged his talents for 2015, and this year we'll be boosting that. Plus changing the course around so nobody has to worry about going off-course (yes, in 2014 we had some patient souls who ended up repeating an off-course road loop. We now believe evil squirrels stole some of our trail markers at a certain intersection. Darn squirrels. Anyway, everyone, even those who had to deal with that wrong turn, expressed general happiness with the race and with the cause. It was a fun night and a great spectacle! There is MUCH to be excited about on race morning as well, but more about that later. Right now, it's time get the wheels rolling toward April 11, 2015! Can't wait!
5 APR What...a...weekend! Trail-Glo, for all its logistical challenges, was pretty darned magical after all! We didn't REALLY lose any participants out there, although quite a few ended up doing an extra road lap. Sorry, folks, and thanks for being good sports about it. If we're crazy enough to try Trail-Glo again in 2015 (and we are), we're going to switch to a less "cute" marking system. There is such a thing as too much adventure. But there is NO such thing as too much hot chocolate or too many s'mores. Saturday opened up with a beautiful sunrise, and formed into the most perfect day we've seen in 2014 (although that's not saying much). Much of the morning was a blur, but the consistent sense of fun and positive energy from the participants, volunteers, and race partners was something never to be forgotten! There were so many favorite moments throughout the day. So many personal triumphs. So much great music and entertainment. And at the end of the morning, our presentation of $14,000 to Make-A-Wish Illinois followed by a 4-1/2 year old prince of a boy having his very special wish granted right in front of our eyes. Perfection.
28 MAR Online Registration ENDS Monday night 3/31!! Race Day Registration will be limited and not guaranteed! FRIDAY TRAIL-GLO'ers - you MUST remember a flashlight or headlamp - good batteries. Heck, bring an extra light with your name on it and consider sharing! As for the Half Marathon, weather-wise we're probably going to make the call this weekend, but it is looking like Course B for the Half Marathon. Check the online map and consider... Course B adds nearly a mile of pavement that Course A doesn't have. Be ready for either course and consider that the extra pavement is possible. You'll forgive us for it when you get your medal. We are rocking the medals this year. And the army of FuDogs. And the post-race bread from Great Harvest, bananas from County Market, and grilled items for sale to benefit Allerton Park! So many volunteers stepping up to make a great weekend for a great cause. This is going to be something...
16 MAR This is where the excitement starts to pick up... we're less than three weeks away! The Trail-Glo 5K on Friday is going to be unforgettable (thanks Dee, Jason, and anonymous others). The river's receding. The upper trails are soft but already run-able. By race weekend they should be in great shape. And while this is just going to read like a typical thank you list, I am sincerely inspired by the enthusiasm and inputs coming from the Make-A-Wish Illinois office, from Derek Peterson and Co. at Allerton Park, from Jason and Co. at Accelerated Rehabilitation Center of Decatur, from Jim and Co. at Monticello Bus Service, from Lisa at Great Harvest Bread of Champaign (finish line bread and prizes), and from Haresh at Monticello Subway (COOKIES!). In addition to individuals from all around the area who have stepped up to help, we're further enriched by the support from volunteering organizations like Delta Sigma Phi of Millikin, Decatur Running Club, Lincoln's ChalleNGe Academy, Monticello High School's Cheerleaders and its Lifesavers program, the HUSH Program, and of course Monticello Madrigals and musicians! The beautiful setting for this remarkable race weekend, and the worthy cause to which we contribute make this a race to sign up for. But it's the combined energy of all these groups that make ATHM a CAN'T MISS event. So... don't miss it!
4 MAR The early registration period is about to end and race fees are going to go up - just a little. There is still PLENTY of room in the Half Marathon and 10K, and we've got more than 100 age category awards to hand out (they're all in my office, staring at me, right now... very unnerving, but if you just have one or two, then they're great decorations!) We've got a special experience in store for you, so if you're on the fence, jump on over and register now!
17 FEB Registration is just flying (and, by the way, the early registration discount is expiring soon)! We've heard such kind words from so many who are signing up... some excited to see what it's all about, and others eager to return! Among them, we've got a whole NCAA Div III women's cross country team coming down from Northern Indiana to run both the Trail-Glo 5K on Friday AND the 10K or Half Marathon on Saturday (they'll have their own race category, so yeah, we're getting more fu dogs for them)! And our men's and women's 2013 overall Half Marathon winners have both registered to come back as well! The earlier you register, the more we can plan, so we're thrilled at the turnout and hoping for much more... all for a great cause!
20 JAN An important point about lodging: DON'T BOOK ONLINE. Our local Best Western Gateway Inn has blocked out rooms for YOU, so online it looks like the hotel's full. You've got to call them at 217-762-9436 and tell them you're coming for the race. You'll get a cut-rate, a late check-out for post-race shower, and race shuttle service if you like!
13 JAN We've just finalized our design for the 2014 finisher medals. They are every bit as cool as 2013's, but quite different. People are going to love them! Also, our RD was invited to a meeting of Monticello High School's Lifesavers organization. They brought nearly 30 awesome volunteers last year, and hopefully they'll be as enthusiastic for 2014!
30 DEC Another enhancement for 2014! We'll be awarding age category prizes in mostly 5-year increments for the Half Marathon and the 10K. Will it be Fu-Dogs again? Stay tuned! We're working on a variation for the 2014 finisher medals, too. Also, we are THRILLED to announce that Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers will be partnering with us again in 2014, including a sizeable donation to Make-A-Wish Illinois, pre-race stretching and post-race massage from the Decatur team!
24 NOV Three GREAT developments to report: 1) The Friday night 5K is growing into something not to be missed. Imagine one of those "color run" events you hear about, only you don't have to clean colored corn starch stuff out of your car for the next several months. More details to follow, although much of the 5K will be kind of held as a surprise. Saturday participants get a discount on the 5K, and to celebrate our volunteers, they run it free!! 2) Kirby Medical Center has confirmed their participation for 2014! Comprehensive emergency medical services and support, and a hefty donation to the cause! We are so grateful for the boost they provide! 3) The Course B map (ready just in case the river floods) is now available on the "The Races" tab. It would incorporate the Audubon Trail, which circles a pretty little pond, has some sharp turns, and will wake up your quads a little!
12 NOV THE 2014 COURSE MAP IS HERE! Go to the "The Races" tab to download it on PDF. The 10K course and the first 7 miles of the Half Marathon are set in stone, but we'll also be releasing a "Course B" map depicting the version used for the last 6 half marathon miles if the Sangamon River doesn't cooperate. Course B uses some out-and-back in the later miles, but lives on the same upper trails as Course A. In both versions, half marathoners can run alongside 10Kers until they split right at the 10K finish, making the FuDog Garden a great spectator zone. Also this year, regardless of the Sangamon's reach, we'll be entirely off-road except for the short stretch needed to start our field, to cross the river, and for a short connection from Sun Singer to Centaur!
25 OCT The 26th Annual Allerton Park Trail Run gets underway Sunday morning at 9AM. 59 people qualified for the Monticello Triple Crown by running our race in April, the Kirby Derby in May, and the trail run on Sunday. Each of them will be taking home their free and very cool track jacket (men) or pullover (women), generously sponsored by Kelly's Accounting Service of Monticello. Check out our Facebook page to see the free garments for 2013!! And YES, we'll be doing something similar in 2014. Kelly has already said she's in! So, remember "4,5,10,26" and SAVE THE DATES for 2014: 4/5 ATHM, 5/10 Kirby Derby, 10/26 APTR. Congratulations to the 59 Triple Crown honorees of 2013, and thanks for your support!
11 OCT ATHM is proud to be part of the Monticello Triple Crown, generously sponsored by Kelly's Accounting Service of Monticello. Check out our Facebook page to see a sample of the FREE track jacket that Triple Crown participants are earning for 2013!! The final race in the Triple Crown is October 27, the Allerton Park Trail Run, a fantastic 5.7-mile dash through the woods, put on by C-U's Second Wind Running Club.
29 SEP 13 Welcome to our fairly new web site! Check in here often for race news and updates. We encourage you to plan (and train) ahead to Welcome Spring 2014 to Allerton! There is no better way to celebrate the return of warmth, leaves, and new life at Allerton Park than to join hundreds of fellow trails enthusiasts on a physical and musical adventure, all while raising funds for Make-A-Wish Illinois! Get to know us on Facebook, and register soon (not open for 2015 yet - check in later)! And feel free to send us questions or comments at any time by email or facebook messaging.