Illinois’ cross country teams moved onto a new cross country course during the 2003 season at the University of Illinois Arboretum. The course, located on the southeast side of the University of Illinois campus, is Illinois’ permanent home site. The course is kept neatly groomed and takes the runners through the Arboretum’s beautiful landscape. The new location takes the place of Illinois’ former home, the University of Illinois Orange and Blue Golf Course.
Designed by Sasaki Associates, Inc. in 1990, the original master plan for the Arboretum called for 26 major regions including a Woodland Habitat, a Savannah Habitat, and a Prairie Habitat. The area comprises 160 acres and features the Hartley Selections Garden, a Welcome Garden, and the Idea Garden, a set of six plots tended by the Master Gardeners of the Champaign County Extension Unit.
The Arboretum course plays host annually to the Illini Challenge and Illini Open. The women’s 5,000 meter race consists of two loops around the course, while the men’s 8,000 meter race is made up of three loops. The spectator-friendly set-up allows fans to follow the runners throughout the race. The facility will also serve as the site for the 2011 Big Ten Cross Country Championships.
Course Maps and Videos
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