April 15, 2016

Rain soaked Illinois Marathon went on for many

This week's Flashback Friday takes a look at the runners from last year's Illinois Marathon. At 10:15am organizers for the Illinois Marathon threw in the wet towel. Rotating drizzle and downpours, the sky continually drenched runners of the 2015 race.

Marathon Runner David Tuwei
Overall winner David Tuwei takes a drink while running to a first place finish at the 2015 Illinois Marathon. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Despite canceling the race, organizers left the finish line open for those souls willing to brave the elements to run the entire race. Many of the runners who passed me along the course after the 24 mile mark had no plans to let a little Midwestern shower, thunder and a random bolt of lightning spoil their race. That wasn't a good enough reason to hope on the buses that crawled along the course to pick up marathoners who called it quits. Those who plodded onward had trained their bodies not to quit. They had braved the weather this far soak and wet; there was not quitting now.

Click here to see more than 100 race photos from the 2015 installment of the Illinois Marathon in our photo archive. Did you run and want to see your photo added to our collection? Send us a note here with your bib#. Below is a preview of some of the awesome photos in the PhotoNews collection.

Illinois Marathon runner
A sentiment shared by many of those who competed in the race, a runner shows her disappointment after hearing the Illinois Marathon was canceled as she ran the last two miles of her race. The race was canceled at 10:15a to give runners time to find shelter as strong storms with heavy downpours and lightning passed through Champaign County.

John Bakalar
John Bakalar, from Carterville, IL, runs to a eighth place finish in his age group at the 2015 Illinois Marathon. If there was an award for the best hair of the race, would have been in the "running" for the title. Bakalar finished the race with a time of 3:15:52.

Kat Prush
Giving a single thumbs and a wink, Kat Prush, from Elmhurst, IL, runs down West Armory next to the Champaign Country Club golf course on her way to a 58th place finish in her age group. She crossed the finish line at 4:14:30.

James Ritter and Tim Holland running in the rain.
James Ritter, from Jerseyville, IL, and Tim Holland, from Alton, IL, flex their guns as they run side by side during one of the day's many downpours.

Liam Gascoin from New Lenox
Liam Gascoin, from New Lenox, IL, points both barrels at the camera as he runs to a third place finish in his age group at the 2015 Illinois Marathon. He finished his race with a time of 3:45:03.

St. Joseph-Ogden High School volleyball head coach Abby McDonald is all smiles as she runs her leg of her relay.

Truphena Busienei places 19th overall
Truphena Busienei, from Toluca, San Buena, runs to a 19th place overall finish. The Kenyan crossed the finish line at 2:56:35 to take second place in the women's final standings.

Steve Laning and Anando Naqui,
With Steve Laning on his heals as they round the corner at Waverly and Country Lane in Champaign, Anando Naqui, from Chicago, IL, runs to a sixth place finish in his age group at the 2015 Illinois Marathon. Laning, from Normal, IL, who beat Naqui to finish line by 20 seconds and also finished sixth in his age category, clocked in at 3:06:16, nine minutes before the race was announced officially canceled.

Runner Gregory Kempers
On his way to a time of 3:58:32, Gregory Kempers from Lincolnshire, IL, takes time to kick up his heels on his way to a 61st place finish in his age category.

Mario Garcia from Moline
Moline resident Mario Garcia runs to a second place finish in the 55-59 year-old age group. Garcia finished his race with an impressive time of 3:23:22.

Liz Coffey sixth at Illinois marathon
With less than two miles to go, Liz Coffey, from Chicago, IL, flashes a big smile with her thumbs up as runs along Country Lane on her way to a sixth place finish in her age group. Coffey stepped over the finish line at 3:22:27 in Memorial Stadium.

Want to see more photos? Visit the photo archive. Our gallery is searchable! Just enter your name and see if there is a photo of you from last year's race.

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