RACE DIRECTOR SAYS:
12 MAR 2017 Yikes! Our 5th annual is now less than 3 weeks away, and we can't wait! So many of our former race partners are back on board for 2017, volunteers are stepping up, medals and awards and supplies have all arrived. We should be in great shape by 31 March! The trails have never been in better shape for our races, and it really looks like the Sangamon will even cooperate more than usual! We've got a wedding party (and I mean a PARTY) joining us on Friday night for Trail-Glo! We've got Millikin cheerleaders and musical performers set for Saturday! All you have to do is sign up and join the fun (OH, and tell your friends and family to get in, too!) As of this writing, we still have some lodging in the park available (217-333-3287), and of course tent camping is allowed by reservation (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). T-shirt orders will soon wrap up so we have time to get all our sizes in place, and registration fees are going to go up just a tad after March 15.
3 JAN 2017 An exciting leap forward for the races! After years of cooperation, patience, and mutual hard work, UIUC/Allerton Park is making the Allerton Race Weekend an official Allerton event. Now, rather than just "renting" park access to an organization for the event, Allerton is hosting it. Financially, the picture doesn't change much. Make-A-Wish Illinois is still our primary beneficiary, but we benefit the park as well (just in a different form). Only now Allerton brings a bit more promotion, staff support, organization, etc. to the event. And they've already made their masterstroke first move: keeping yours truly as race director. The negotiations were not complicated. I made them promise that they would allow me to "keep it weird." Done. And our veteran volunteers were all on board, too. It's a total win-win that should keep the event rolling forward for just as long as you all want to come have fun with us out on the trails!
20 OCT 2016 We are SO charged up for our 5th annual event! We're working on new surprises and a couple of course improvements. It's going to be a magical weekend. MARCH 31, 2017 for Allerton Park Trail-Glo 5K, and APRIL 1, 2017 for the Half Marathon and 10K (and children's races)! Look for registration to open this month (Oct 2016) AND make sure you follow us on Facebook so you don't miss any news!
8 MAY 2016 We lucked out again! It was a little chilly Friday night and at the Saturday starting line, but the winds died down and all three events went off without a hitch. One of our most interesting challenges: the Sangamon rose up and over our footbridge overnight, just before the 5K. There was much scrambling as we improvised a detour for both the 5K and the HM, due to our "No Swimming" policy. We also improvised a detour out onto South Allerton Road to avoid a series of mudpits. Our runners and walkers finished up looking just a little cleaner and prettier as a result. We got some really gratifying feedback from so many participants this year. And race directors aren't really supposed to give feedback on the participants, but I will say that it was a blast working with and for this group. A very fun and light atmosphere all around! We're all in agreement that Allerton is the PERFECT venue for a spring race, and it seems like each year gets just a bit more magical. Our volunteers were really on their games this year, too, and most of them reported having a great time being part of the weekend festivities! All in all, together we raised $14,000 for Make-A-Wish Illinois, and we had a great time doing it. And, as ever, we learned even more about how to improve this event for 2017. And we can't wait!
4 JAN 2016 Happy New Year to all! Our beloved Allerton started 2016 underwater! The Sangamon rose up just about as high as it has ever been, flooding even the upper trails on the North side. It was pretty fascinating! You can see just a few pictures on our Facebook page if you're interested. We're also excited to see the rooms at Allerton booking up, in addition to tent camping! And registration is picking up. Looked like quite a few new year's resolutions, maybe! April is right around the corner. See you soon!
10 NOV 2015 Registration for race weekend 2016 opened in October, and it was our biggest early response ever! Also, LODGING IN THE PARK is new for 2016, and it's going to be amazing. Check out our "Directions/ Lodging" tab to learn more. If you're thinking Trail-Glo 5K Friday plus a Saturday race, you really should just get a room with us. We'll put a mint on the pillow. Or maybe a GU pack... We have some video footage of Allerton's 4 different buildings with guest rooms, which we'll share eventually. Tent camping will also be available again. That tent village last year was pretty awesome. AND we are working on surprises on the course, and as always keeping the Lost Garden theme a tightly-held secret! We've had a Greek goddess, a 5-pin juggler, and Darth Vader and friends in the past. What WILL it be for 2016? Please get some friends and family and SIGN UP NOW! Commit now so you have a winter goal, and because early registration is discounted! This year we break $50,000 total for Make-A-Wish Illinois. Be a part of it all!
27 SEP 2015 SURPRISES are on the way! We're making some pretty exciting arrangements for 2016, and we can't wait to announce some of them soon... The Trail-Glo 5K is just gonna get better and brighter, and the Saturday races... well we would say there's a surprise around every corner, but our courses have way too many corners. Still, some serious fun stuff awaits you! By the way, when we put together your race fees and donations, and figured up our expenses, it turns out we made $15,000 for Make-A-Wish in our 2015 weekend. This means we've raised $42,000 total for this amazing cause as we enter our fourth year! I hope you'll join us and be a part of the magic!
11 APR 2015 A beautiful night followed by a perfect day! I don't have the words. It is amazing to see the enthusiasm of runners and walkers combined with the enthusiasm of volunteers and spectators, all while we're raising funds for such a great cause. When we get through the weekend with THAT many smiles and 0 disasters, it's just indescribable. Thanks to everyone for the encouragement that was flowing in all directions, and the spirit of helpfulness that each and every volunteer applied to their tasks! From Annie (National Anthem/Medals, or Lady Annie, the Madrigal - we had two Annies) to Zach (check-in assistant), our 100+ volunteers covered the hundreds of tasks from A-Z that make a perfect race come together. The only volunteer who really let us down was Steve, the guy in charge of blow drying the muddy sections of the trail. We're not having him back next year. Over on our facebook page we'll continue to brag on our volunteers, and share photos and stories (send yours to email@example.com, please!!!!). Hey, mark your calendar for April 8-9, 2016, would ya? Pretty sure we'll be back for that, with new surprises, including - just maybe - lodging in the park in 2016! And now it's beer/nap time! Thanks to everyone for a perfect weekend!
28 MAR 2015 Hey, registration with T-shirt ENDS 4/3/15!
And online Registration ends 4/7/15!
Race Day Registration's not guaranteed!
We have formed an awesome volunteer team for Friday night Trail-Glo 5K and the Saturday races. From Delta Sigma Phi at Millikin University, to Alpha Chi Omega at Illinois State, to Lincoln's ChalleNGe, to Monticello High School, to Team Bonzo, to a fine collection of Monticello high energy folks, we've got you covered! We are ALL hyped and ready to put on three great races for Make-A-Wish!
5 MAR 2015 Wild times as race weekend draws near. We're still looking for race partners and Wish Warriors. Race planning is coming along well, though, and we are LOVING all three of the courses (5K, 10K, Half Marathon). We're excited about the kids' race in the FuDog garden, the lighting and atmosphere of the Trail-Glo 5K, and the nice surprises we have in store for runners and walkers on both days! We are also a little nervous... because we see a lot of new people watching the race, and we hear it being talked about more than ever before, but we are SO hopeful that folks will take advantage of the online registration discount and not wait long to register. Yes, we'll have race day registration, but we can only support a finite amount of same day entries, and we do NOT want to turn anyone away! It is going to be too fun for that kind of thing!
4 FEB 2015 It's all coming together. So many moving parts! Hey, a few notes: Staying at the Best Western? Book soon and DON'T book online. BW has blocked out rooms for YOU, and you want to call them and let them know you're with the race. You'll get a discount. PLUS, their online service will eventually show them as booked when the fact is they're holding a room for you! But you have to call 217-762-9436.
Camping is on, just email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot for $10/ tent!
Also, new for 2015: Wish Warriors! Click the logo in the upper left to learn more about teaming up to help Make-A-Wish just a little bit more! Grab some friends and be warriors together!
4 JAN 2015 Registration is taking off! We're way ahead of where we were at this time in 2013 and 2014. It's a great motivator to get such a positive response. And we're just as excited about a few things we're adding for 2015: CHIP TIMING will be a new feature for the HM and 10K this year, brought to us by Bill Dey and Second Wind Running Club. KIDS' RACE IN THE FU DOG should also prove to be a bit of fun. We're going to have race day signup right there in the Fu-Dog. Kids will get a race number and there'll be a prize or two. Bring your cameras! NEW FINISHER MEDALS - the designs have been a hit the last two years, and this year's medal is going to be the coolest yet! ENHANCED GLO on the Trail-Glo 5K Friday night. This was a fun and visually nifty run/walk in 2014. 2015 is going to be a doozy. Don't miss it! And hey, if you haven't registered yet, please consider doing so soon! Early registration is important in helping our planning, but it also helps YOU commit to your training!
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.