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Help Keep The Lead: Virtual B1G 5K/10K

The annual race in Chicago is going virtual this year, and the Spartans lead the pack in registrants!

Big Life, Big Stage, Big Ten
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Since the registration opened up three weeks ago for the ninth annual “BTN Big 10k” on July 26, our Michigan State Spartans now sit in the lead by a comfortable seven point margin over Michigan on the leaderboard! Illinois has won or placed second every year since the race started, but has lost their natural advantage with the new virtual format so far.


Currently the Spartans represent 19-percent of registrants to date. The ninth annual 5k/10k has been held in Chicago traditionally, but due to the pandemic is being held as a virtual race this year. What is a virtual race you may ask? Per the BTN website:

BTN is going VIRTUAL for the 9th annual BTN Big 10K ! That means you can participate in a 5k or 10k race from wherever you live! Test your fitness, enjoy a race experience and represent your favorite Big Ten school while giving back to some great charities!
All ages and fitness levels are welcome! Run or walk inside, outside or on a treadmill.
Once you complete your race, come back to our website to submit your times and print your finisher’s certificate. You can do this race anytime between July 26 and August 1. Please note all times are to be self-reported on the honor system. No age-group or gender awards will be handed out. We’re walking/running to show our Big Ten Pride!
As always, participants in the VIRTUAL BTN Big 10K will receive a school-specific race shirt, bib and finisher’s certificate. This year BTN will also be giving participants a Big Ten-branded running buff/headband representing all 14 schools. Big Ten fans will also have access to a VIRTUAL BTN Big 10K Spotify playlist which includes school fight songs and other music that you can play while training or racing.

You can register here.

There is a $20 fee to register, but you get cool school swag in exchange for it. In addition, the race offers the option for your fee to go directly to any of three great charities. BTN partners with Feeding America, Special Olympics Chicago, and Alive Rescue. Even if you do not want to race yourself, you can donate in connection with the event to any of these charities by visiting the race’s giving page here.

Let us know in the comments if you have already registered, or if you end up signing up!