News Local/State

Illinois Marathon Organizers Predict Race Will Go On

a radar image of Illinois weather.

A screengrab of the National Weather Service radar image of Illinois on Friday night, April 24, 2015. Image from

Organizers of the Illinois Marathon say they're optimistic Saturday's race will go on despite a forecast of rain and thunderstorms. Thousands of runners have signed up for the event.

Scott Friedlein is the Emergency Services Coordinator for the race. He says, "We run this race rain or shine. The only thing that would stop this event from occurring is dangerous weather which would be lightning or tornadic activity in the area."

According to the marathon website, the organizers are working with the National Weather Service to monitor and dangerous weather. 

If the race is cancelled or suspended, the site says the race will not be restarted and no refunds will be given.

University of Illinois atmospheric sciences professor Jeff Frame says the Champaign-Urbana area is on the northern edge of Saturday's predicted storm path.

"This is by no means a done deal that there will be storms tomorrow," he says. "But there is a chance of it and something we need to be looking out for as we head toward race time."

Frame says there may be lightning, along with wind and rain on Saturday. But, he doesn't expect any storms in the race area to be severe. 

For Friday night's 5K, Frame expects occasional rain but no significant storms until after midnight. 

In the event of dangerous storms, people who live along the course are being asked to put signs in their windows if they're willing to offer shelter during the race.