In partnership with Body n’ Sole Sports, the program will provide running shoes to kids in need who are training for the 5K or youth run 

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend is returning for its 2024 event with a brand-new charitable program that will empower youth runners to take part in the race weekend festivities. The race has created and launched its new non-profit, Kicks for CU Kids. The organization aims to provide free running shoes and socks to youth in need who are participating in the 5K or Busey Bank Illinois Youth Run, allowing them to reach their goals confidently during race weekend.

Kicks for CU Kids was created to address an opportunity gap that exists for youth in the Champaign-Urbana area who are underrepresented in the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend. Youth from the greater Champaign-Urbana area will be provided with an essential tool to practice healthy lifestyles and active movement: properly fitted, high-quality running shoes and socks.

Local specialty running store Body n’ Sole Sports will be supplying both products and expertise to this new organization. Their partnership with Kicks for CU Kids includes hosting shoe fittings for youth and providing top-notch running shoes. With the help of generous supporters of the program, including Human Kinetics, Second Running Club, Serra Champaign, and The Michael Hogue Team/RE/Max, the program has already raised $7,500 to outfit kids in need with shoes and socks from Body n’ Sole.

This year’s recipient of the first Kicks for CU Kids grant was Stephens Family YMCA Girls on the Run of Champaign County (GOTR). The grant provided professionally fitted running shoes and running socks to two GOTR teams for the spring 2024 season, which included close to 30 girls from Stratton Academy of the Arts and Unity West Elementary School. Mike Lindemann, owner of Body n’ Sole, visited both teams to personally size each girl for their new running shoes. His expertise in fitting athletic footwear ensured that the girls receive shoes that not only provide comfort but also support their growing feet during their Girls on the Run journey.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support from Kicks for CU Kids and the dedication of Jan Seeley and Mike Lindemann,” said Robin Maier, Director of Girls on the Run of Champaign County. “This grant not only provides essential gear for these teams but also exemplifies the community’s commitment to fostering a healthy and active lifestyle for young girls. The new running shoes and socks will help these GOTR girls joyfully cross the 5K finish line with confidence!”

The Busey Bank Illinois Youth Run and the Christie Clinic Illinois 5K are just two of many events happening throughout the weekend. This year, Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend will also be bringing the marathon distance back, the first year the distance has been available since 2019. This not only reinstates the full race series available at Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend, but also is expected to bring an even larger crowd to the towns of Champaign-Urbana & Savoy, Ill.

“This was already going to be a unique year as we welcome back the marathon distance to the weekend, but the creation of this new program that is so needed in our community really adds something special,” said Jan Seeley, race director of the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend. “Proper shoes and socks for active play and sports like running can sometimes be a barrier to entry, as they can be costly investments for many families. With this program, I hope more kids will be empowered to move joyfully and to join us for all the fun during race weekend.”

Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend is one of the 100 largest running events in the nation, with nearly 10,000 finishers in 2023. With the reintroduction of the marathon distance, participation is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels. Since its inception, the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend has donated $1.734 million to charities in the community and generated an estimated $6 million in economic impact annually. Registration for 2024 Illinois Race Weekend is open. You can register online here.

For more information about Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend, visit and follow the event on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.


About Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend

The Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend is an annual running event that takes participants through the scenic streets of Champaign-Urbana & Savoy, Ill. It is one of the 100 largest races in the United States, drawing over 15,000 runners in past years. Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend is led by award-winning Race Director Jan Seeley. The event made a triumphant post-pandemic return and remains committed to fostering a happy, healthy community in central Illinois. The 2024 edition will take place on April 25-27, 2024, and will feature a 1-mile, 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, 4-person relay, youth run and multi-event challenges. To learn more about the Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend, visit


About Stephens Family YMCA Girls on the Run of Champaign County

Girls on the Run is a program offered by Stephens Family YMCA that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running. The program culminates in a celebratory 5K event, where the girls experience the thrill of accomplishment and discover they can achieve anything they set their minds to. For more information about Stephens Family YMCA Girls on the Run of Champaign County, visit