Friday, April 15


Southern Illinois run builds tourism

Governor to run River to River          Send a link to a friend

[APRIL 15, 2005]  SOUTHERN ILLINOIS -- On Saturday, Gov. Rod Blagojevich will become the first governor to run in the River to River Relay, a major source of tourism and economic support in southern Illinois. The governor's team, the Blue Suede Running Shoes, will be one of 240 eight-person teams from around the world competing on the 80-mile course for the 18th annual race. Runners start at Pine Hills, on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River Valley, and follow country roads through the Shawnee National Forest and local villages to the finish at the Ohio River in Golconda.

Each runner will run three lengths of the 80-mile course, covering approximately 10 miles each. The River to River Relay is a southern Illinois tradition, drawing approximately 2,000 runners and hundreds of volunteers each year.

Gov. Blagojevich will take position No. 8 on his team, running the longest total distance, 10.95 miles, and covering the eighth, 16th and anchor length of the relay.

The River to River Relay serves as a major source of tourism and economic support for one of the most scenic regions of Illinois. Race coordinators rely heavily on local vendors for services and goods. Direct local revenue from last year's race was estimated to be nearly $500,000.

[News release from the governor's office]

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