Illinois Marathon in Need of More Volunteers
By Jeff Bossert
Organizers of the Illinois Marathon say they are still short by about 100 volunteers for this weekend’s events in Champaign-Urbana.
Coordinator Mary Anderson said volunteers are encouraged at busier intersections, where police will also be on the scene to direct traffic.
Anderson said there is also a need for volunteers to support the runners as the end of the course draws closer, cheering them on and pointing them in the right direction.
She said she is not sure why there is a drop in volunteerism from a year ago.
“We have a lot of people that do this and come a great time and come back year after year – they have taken the territory of the safe intersection each year, and really look forward to it and they make an event out of it,” Anderson said. “I think that we lose some volunteers that become participants the next year. I think that’s certainly the one reason why we have to have these press releases at the last minute.”
Sixteen volunteers are needed for Friday’s 5K run - 50 for the marathon itself Saturday, and 30 helpers are sought for the course intersection team reserves.
Anderson said last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon have required additional police presence, but have not prompted a call for more volunteers.
There are volunteer meetings scheduled 6 pm on Monday, and 7pm on Tuesday at the U of I’s Activities and Recreation Center on Peabody Drive.