Hird and Herron Win 2013 Illinois Marathon
By Jim Meadows
Naperville’s Nick Hird won the 5th annual Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon on Saturday morning.
The 29-year-old ran the Champaign-Urbana route in two hours, 23 minutes and 56 seconds.
Oklahoma runner Camille Herron, whose website proclaims "Trains like a monk; lives like an animal," was the winner in the women's division. Her time was two hours, 45 minutes and 48 seconds.
Both winners set the second fastest times ever clocked in the five-year-old event, behind the 2012 Illinois Marathon winners, Jason Lokwatom (2:22:46) and Jackie Pirtle-Hall (2:43:52).
This year's race attracted 1,072 men and 749 women.
In other Illinois Marathon Events, 28-year-old Ryan Giuliano of Oakwood Hills, Illinois won the Men’s Half Marathon in 1:09:33. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Christina Johnson of Xenia, Ohio was the women’s winner at 1:18:41.
South Korean Paralympic medalist Gyudae Kim, who now lives in Champaign, won the Men’s Wheelchair Half Marathon with a time of 48:12. Paralympic medalist and former Illini, Amanda McGrory of Champaign, won the women’s division with a time of 50:47.
Canadian Paul Rochus, 19, won the men’s 10k race, with a time of 34:13.
“Wow I made the local paper!” Rochus tweeted after seeing his win reported by the News-Gazette.
Rachel Zubricky, 28, of Champaign was the women’s winner with a time of 40:16.
Events at the Illinois Marathon attracted around 21,000 entrants. There were 1,821 men and women competiting in the full marathon. The half-marathon attracted 6,193 men and women, the largest number of any single event.
This year's Illinois Marathon featured extra security measures in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
There were additional police and other personnel along the marathon route, and the public was prohibited from meeting athletes on the Memorial Stadium Field where the finish line was located, or in the area where athletes go to pick up their bags.
In another relfection of the Boston Marathon bombings, many Illinois Marathon participants wore black ribbons or other items, in tribute to the bombing victims.