Illinois Marathon update: Saturday events are on

UPDATE on 4/27 at 8:39 a.m.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Despite uncertainties on Friday about whether the Illinois Marathon Weekend events would continue, participants were off to the races early Saturday morning.

Update at 11:30 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The 10K, half marathon and marathon are officially a go for Saturday, Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend officials announced.

Meg Treat, the race weekend’s PR Director, said race organizers were able to pull together enough law enforcement to ensure a safe and secure event. This came after steps were taken by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Police in conjunction with the Cities of Urbana and Champaign.

Protestors speak out on 17-hour-long U of I demonstration

“Since early this afternoon, our Race Operations Center team has been working tirelessly to arrive at this outcome,” Treat said. “We’ve been in constant communication with our partners in the public sector and law enforcement. We’ve explored a variety of ways to still bring this event to fruition – from course rerouting, time adjustments, manpower from other agencies across the state, and so many more.”

“We are thrilled to welcome you all to the starting line tomorrow morning, and we’ll be waiting for you at the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium as you make your triumphant arrival at the finish line,” Treat added.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend race officials have provided an update on the status on Saturday’s events.

“As of 9 p.m. on Apr. 26, key variables that would determine our decision about tomorrow’s races have not changed. Law enforcement is still focused on the demonstration on campus,” officials said in an email to WCIA. “We will provide another update as soon as possible, and we are aiming to inform our runners about our final decision by tomorrow at 5 a.m.”

The protest that threw the 10K, half-marathon and marathon into question is still ongoing, and it has already disrupted plans for the Race Weekend with the cancelation of the 5K Friday night. Police officers needed for the race route were instead diverted to the scene of the protest.

Unity West Elementary holds impromptu 5k

Race officials added that they understand the disappointment in the 5K’s cancellation, but said that in social media comments, they do not tolerate defamatory, offensive, profane or discriminatory comments, as well as comments that call someone names or otherwise troll or abuse them.

“We respect that runners in our community have had different life experiences and may have a different perspective than you,” officials said.” We welcome different viewpoints, but we do not tolerate hate.”

Race social media managers reserve the right to delete comments at their discretion and block users.

The University of Illinois is working to convince protestors to leave voluntarily, but did warn of legal and disciplinary consequences if they don’t. UIUC Chancellor Robert Jones said in a Massmail the demonstration Friday “has escalated beyond a peaceful expression of opinion.” One protestor was arrested Friday morning and another was arrested in the evening.

University of Illinois Police asked several nearby law enforcement agencies for support, including Illinois State Police.

This is a developing story

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to