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