Registration opened Wednesday for the third-annual BTN Big 10K. It is one of the most exciting races in the city that brings together Big Ten fans, alumni and current students. The event is a celebration of the Big Ten community, as well as the upcoming Big Ten football season.
Last year, a record-breaking 13,000 runners participated from 43 states and five different countries, including the UK, Spain, Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands. It is safe to say we can now call the race a “global” event. The day’s excitement also included a marriage proposal on stage at the tailgate party. Everyone was feeling the Big Ten love!
We are expecting around 17,000 participants this year and are eager to see how fans from Maryland and Rutgers represent on race day. Both schools will officially join the Big Ten conference on July 1.
We realize there are dozens of other races in Chicago each summer but the BTN Big 10K is unique in that it celebrates the camaraderie and pride Big Ten fans share. I had the pleasure of talking to BTN Marketing Manager Keri Lockett earlier this week. She gave me the scoop surrounding this year’s event and what participants can expect.
Q: What is different this year from year’s past?
A: BTN is always thinking of creative ways to make the BTN Big 10K the most exciting Big Ten event around. This year we have updated the course so that the race finishes IN the FanFest and Tailgate party. Runners will run through the McCormick Place tunnel and wrap around into the Soldier Field South Parking lot where the 2014 tailgate party will be located. We have also updated the race shirt designs and will unveil all 14 of them later in March.
Q: What makes this race different than the hundreds of other races in Chicago?
A: What makes this race unique is that it is a celebration of the Big Ten. Big Ten fans are the most passionate fans out there. BTN celebrates this passion by bringing them all together in a festive environment to kick off the Big Ten football season.
Q: If you aren’t a runner, can you still participate?
A: YES! The BTN Big 10K is a hybrid running event for the most elite runners to compete AND an event for Big Ten fans who simply want to represent their show school pride. The 5K course is built to have runners, joggers, kids and walkers. You can even bring along your decked-out school-colored jogging stroller.
Q: Can Maryland and Rutgers fans participate?
A: YES! With Maryland and Rutgers officially becoming members the Big Ten conference on July 1, not only are they welcome to participate but we encourage them to come out and show off their school’s colors. The BTN Big 10K is a great way for these fan bases to be introduced into the Big Ten culture. We have designed school-specific Rutgers and Maryland race shirts, both alumni associations will be on-site and the Scarlet Knight and the Terrapin will be there high-fiving fans at the finish!
(Pictured: Market Manager Keri Lockett, Marketing Assistant Dan White and Marketing Coordinator Lauren Morris)