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Marathon Causes Traffic Headaches

CHAMPAIGN-- Champaign Resident Sharon Kuck says, "I believe we're here on the 24th mile and it's really fun to watch them go through and we know when the fastest ones go through we try to run out and see that happen."

Residents living along the Illinois Marathon course, now in it's 5th year, say they've learned to adjust around the affected traffic patterns. Race organizers say most of the feedback regarding the race course and road closures is positive, adding they actually hear very few complaints from residents.

Rick Atterberry of the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency says, "We really rarely do. We certainly haven't this year but we generally hear from these people who do tend to get land locked. They make a party out of it. They sit in their front yard and they applaud the runners as they go by. They're very supportive of the effort because when it comes down to it it's really just a few hours out of the weekend."

Amy Weber of Champaign says, "We've been doing our little party every year that the Marathon's been going on." She joins some of her friends on race day to cheer on the runners. "We go next door and drink mimosas and eat donuts."

Though she admits she sometimes has a lot to do on raceday, Sharon Kuck says she also enjoys the race, and looks forward to supporting the runners whenever possible. "Sometimes we purposely work in the yard, if we're really pressed to accomplish things, so we can see them go by."

But organizers say if you must get around town during the race, there will be a few opportunities. According to Atterberry, "We always have uniformed officers at the busier intersections of the main streets and we ask the motorists to pay attention to them. They'll pulse the traffic, they'll wait for a gap in the runners and then let enough cars through until the next runners come by."

Adam Rife reporting