Illinois Marathon & the Sousaphone 5K

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Two years ago, we, the members of the Marching Illini Sousaphone Section did the impossible – – we ran a 5K while carrying our sousaphones!  Some members of the section trained extensively; others did the race on a whim.  Regardless of the times we got, all of those who attempted the race, finished.  More importantly, we raised $2,500 dollars for charity.

Last year, we knew we needed to “up our game” and set a more ambitious fundraising goal of $5000. We had over 35 people run with sousaphones including our director, Professor Barry L. Houser, who agreed to run if we met our goal. We exceeded our goal and ended up raising over $5600!

This year, we are back at it again for our third annual Sousaphone 5K, which some may argue has officially achieved “tradition” status!  In order to do this, we have recruited an even larger group of brave current and former members of our section as well as members of other sections in the Marching Illini to tackle this year’s Illinois Marathon 5K on April 21st.  We will be sure to post more updates and a list of names as more people join us!

Once again, we are raising money to benefit the Crisis Nursery in Urbana, IL. As a band, we have a close connection with Crisis Nursery, as their Executive Director, Stephanie Record, is the Head Varsity Cheerleading Coach. We are extremely excited to support Crisis Nursery, as it is their mission to create an “Island of Safety” dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect by providing 24-hour emergency care for children and support to strengthen families in crisis. To learn more about their organization, check out:

Our very own Professor Barry L. Houser, Director of the Marching Illini, has bravely agreed to run as our celebrity guest for a second year in a row!  Professor Houser will only run the 5K with a sousaphone if we raise a minimum of $5,000 dollars.  So, open your wallets, pull out your checkbooks, or mine some bitcoins so that you can help us reach our goal!

We would love it if our fans could donate as much or as little as they feel comfortable doing, or even if they just want to come cheer us on the day of the race!  PLEASE, help us spread the word so that we can be as successful as possible!  Every social media “share” makes a difference!

If you are interested in joining us, or for more information, please feel free to reach out to us.  Be sure to follow @MISousaphones on Twitter and Instagram as well as liking our Marching Illini Sousaphones Facebook Page!

Here are a few links to articles about last year’s race, including one written by Runner’s World Magazine:

Runner’s World Magazine Article

News Gazette Article