The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon is a Partner to the Community
Now in its 13th year, the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon has been partnering with DSC since the inception of the race. The CCILM has been known for its generosity. Over the course of the first 11 years, $1.468 million dollars was donated to local charities through the race.
How DSC Partners with the CCILM
The connection is personal for CCILM Co-Owner and Co-Director, Mike Lindemann, who has a daughter with Down syndrome and receives services from DSC. Over the past 11 years, DSC has been the beneficiary of over $180,000 from CCILM.
In past race years, DSC has staffed the CCILM start line corrals with volunteers on Friday night and Saturday morning. DSC also has a team member who follows Reynolds Towing on Saturday and picks up all of the clothing left behind by the runners. Unclaimed clothing is then washed by DSC and taken to a local shelter.
How You Can Stay Involved and Keep Moving
Obviously with the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, last year’s marathon race weekend was canceled, and Jan and Mike recently announced that this year’s marathon weekend is also canceled for the same reason. In the interim, they’ve been able to put together virtual races. Runners and walkers who would like to stay active, while supporting the CCILM and area non-profits, can participate in the just-launched Pace & Pedal Perimeter Challenge (https://illinoismarathon.com/races/pace-pedal-perimeter-challenge/), a virtual event that runs from April 22 to December 31. There are team and solo options, and participants run/walk or bike on their own and enter their times and distances online via a Google-enabled interactive leaderboard, with the option to add a fundraising component for local charities. The routes are along the periphery of the state of Illinois. The race is 100% eco-friendly.
What’s Ahead for the CCILM?
Co-Owner/Co-Director Jan Seeley said the race continues to look ahead to the future, with sustainability on their minds. The race is working toward certification through the Council for Responsible Sport. One of the goals for the future is to find a composting partner for the water cups from hydration stations and also for the banana peels.
Both race directors also want the community to know that this race is for everyone. “This race is a family affair. We have a race for everyone,” said Jan. The race offers a youth run, a 1-mile, 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon and a marathon relay. They also want the race to feel inclusive. “It’s for people of all walks of life.” They also explained that they have programs in place to assist, if income is an obstacle to participating.
They also strive to become a race that would reflect the complexion of this community. As an example, the race has been providing Busey Illinois Youth Run registration applications to local elementary schools in French and Spanish for the past several years.
Get to Know Jan and Mike
Jan was a collegiate athlete at Yale, playing field hockey and lacrosse. She was a member of the U.S. National Field Hockey Team from 1979 to 1982. Jan came to Champaign-Urbana as a graduate student at the University of Illinois in 1987 and has remained here ever since.
In 1998, Jan became the publisher of a running magazine called Marathon & Beyond. Her connection to many runners is how she met the Race Co-Owner/Co-Director, Mike Lindemann, who owns Body N’ Sole Sports. A contact Jan made through the magazine from Fargo, North Dakota was looking to start a marathon in this community and asked Jan and Mike to help. Jan and Mike became the race co-directors after the first year of the event. After year two, the owner of the Illinois Marathon decided to sell the event, and that’s when a local ownership group came together, including Jan and Mike, who saw an opportunity to benefit the race community, as well as local non-profits.
The Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon now has a staff of seven part-time employees plus Jan as the full-time director.
Mike is married to Liz, a DSC board member, and they have three grown daughters, Laura, Allie, and Rachel. Mike runs several times per week.
Jan has two grown sons and enjoys running, hiking, biking, and cooking meals for friends. Jan’s husband, Joe, passed away in 2012. The Illinois Marathon pace team program is known as “Joe’s Pacers” in his honor.
Thank you, Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon, for all you do for DSC and our community!
To learn more about the CCILM, visit https://illinoismarathon.com/