"It's great to see the community come out and support something."
Organizers of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon say they're just short of the support they need and are asking the community to get on their feet and volunteer. In about a month, thousands of people will take to the streets of Champaign-Urbana. It's all in hopes of making it to the finish line.
Jeannine Reese is someone you would call active. Besides taking martial arts, she's a runner helping other runners kick their goals into gear.
"It's just fun to see these people.They've been training, they have a goal, they want to reach that finish line, and you're there to help them. It's a cool feeling," says Reese.
She's part of a group called the Eastern Illinois Parrot Heads. They've been volunteering with the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon for 5 years and each year her dad's been by her side.
"We did a lot together to begin with and this is just an extension of what they taught me growing up. Be together, be out in the community doing things," says Reese.
Jeannine and her group have been in Urbana since the beginning handing out drinks to runners. However, this year, marathon organizers say what they need is people out on the course.
There are 3,000 volunteers who keep the race going. Co-director Jan Seeley says there's no way the race could go on without the course team.
"Imagine being in a marathon, maybe your first marathon. You are at mile 20 hitting a wall and there's that smiling volunteer that says, 'you know what? You got it. Keep going.' That's a joyful job," says Seeley.
For people who aren't sure they want to commit, Jeannine says, "Get off the fence and do it."
Training for course volunteers starts in just a couple of weeks. Jan Seeley says its important people sign up.