Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Illinois half marathon and 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Illinois marathon challenge blog runner

A year ago, I finished the Gasparilla Ultra Challenge — a total of 30+ miles across 4 races. In 2015, I completed the Steel Challenge — a 5k and half marathon. I am also doing the Minnesota Nut House – Totally Nuts! challenge this summer and a DIY 2x Half Marathon series over Labor Day weekend with a friend who is crossing off two more states in her 50 States Quest.

I really like the challenge of challenge races (and let’s not kid ourselves, the extra medals are awesome). And I was excited to see the I-Half Challenge as part of the Illinois Marathon weekend. This will be my first time visiting the Champaign-Urbana area AND I’ll be crossing a state off my map!

The Illinois Marathon has a few different options for its I-Challenges: All include the 5K on Friday; and then the 10K, half marathon, full marathon, or marathon relay on Saturday. You receive:

  • Two shirts (5K shirt plus the 10K, half marathon, marathon, or marathon relay shirt)
  • Three medals (5K medal plus the 10K, half marathon, marathon, or marathon relay medal as well as an I-Challenge medal [different for each I-Challenge])
  • Bragging rights

Challenge events are unique to each race – some are back-to-back AND multi-day races (like Gasparilla) and others are two different mornings (like Pittsburgh’s). I liked the idea of doing a race in the evening before waking up to do a half, particularly on a Friday night and Saturday morning, with enough time to drive home and recover for an entire day. This race fell perfectly into my marathon training and will provide some good mental training for me too. My goal for training is to do something similar (evening run, followed by a morning run) — not every week, but tossing in a few here-and-there for practice in running on tired legs.

I don’t have any goals for the half marathon aside from having some fun, getting in my miles, and cheering on my fellow BibRave Pros who are completing the full. Also, I’m not currently registered for any other 5K races (yet) this year, so I might attempt to actually race the 5K. We’ll see…

Room for more Runners! The Illinois marathon weekend is coming up April 20-22. Want to join me in Champaign-Urbana? Use discount code: “bibravebonus” for $15 off all race weekend events (excluding the Youth Run).
*Note: discount code needs to be entered towards the end of the registration

If you want to compete in an I-Challenge, do not register for two races separately. Instead, register by choosing one of the I-Challenges:

  • Full I-Challenge = 5K + marathon
  • Marathon Relay I-Challenge = 5K + marathon relay
  • Half I-Challenge = 5K + half marathon
  • Mini i-Challenge = 5K + 10K

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  • Zebra Girl Runs

    So cool that you did the Gasparilla challenge. I’m a Tampa girl. Gasparilla bling is some of my favorite. I’ve done the challenges the past 2 years but skipped out this year because I was toast after the Disney marathon in January. Good luck on the Illinois races! I refuse to ever do a challenge that involves a marathon. The recovery from all 4 races at Gasparilla is enough for me!