Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, March 14, 2013

BTN will kick off the start of the Big Ten Men?s Basketball Tournament, back in Chicago for the first time since 2007, by announcing registration opens today for the second-annual BTN Big 10K and 5K on July 27, 2013 in downtown Chicago. This year, the race, which will be nationally televised on BTN, will benefit Special Olympics. Fleet Feet Sports - Chicago is again partnering with BTN to put on both races.

[ SIGN UP: Register for the race via this link. ]

The inaugural event held last summer sold out in just 64 days, fueled by the passionate fan base of the Big Ten in addition to a lakefront race course featuring cheerleaders, mascots and waterslides. Also popular were the race shirts designed in each school?s colors in a runner-friendly wicking fabric. This year?s event is expected to be similarly popular, so runners are encouraged to sign up early.

?We had so much fun creating an event that truly brought Big Ten fans together,? said BTN Vice President of Marketing Erin Harvego. ?This race is going to be even better. We?ll have a lot of exciting additions and surprises in store for runners.?

The event again will feature a post-race FanFest and Tailgate party, which will include music, football-themed games and activities, appearances by former Big Ten athletes, tents hosted by all 12 Chicago Big Ten Alumni Associations and food and beverage concessions. Each race finisher 21 and older will also receive a free beer from Goose Island.

The 10K will include participation by top area runners as well as many former varsity athletes from Big Ten schools. Fans are encouraged to show their school spirit with festive costumes and school-inspired accessories to compete for a variety of prizes.

In honor of registration opening today, Giordano?s Famous Stuffed Pizza is offering a coupon for a signature deep-dish pizza to the first 1,000 runners who sign up for the race Thursday, March 14 through Sunday, March 17.

Registration for adults is $45 for the 10K and $35 for the 5K. For children 12 and under, registration is $45 for the 10K and $25 for the 5K. Those who register before July 1 are guaranteed the official race shirt in their favorite school?s colors.

For all information on the BTN Big 10K, the FanFest & Tailgate Party, and a sneak peak at the school-specific race shirts, go to: