Saturday, May 16, 2015 • Joplin, MO • Course Map
Newly renamed as a tribute to the 161 people who lost their lives when the F5 Joplin tornado struck this southwest Missouri city in May 2011, the Joplin Memorial Half Marathon & 5K takes the place of the Boomtown Days Run, which had been run in June in previous years.
The race takes runners along a course with plenty of hills and long, steady ascents through the streets of Joplin, Mo. The race previously was part of this southwestern Missouri town’s annual Boomtown Days festival, which draws an estimated 40,000 attendees each year for live music concerts, fireworks, a car, truck and motorcycle show and more.
The out-and-back loop course for the race starts and finishes at the intersection of West 8th Street and South Joplin Avenue, and starts out by heading south along Joplin through the first mile to the intersection with 22nd Street.
Runners turn left on 22nd and then head east toward Joplin High School, where they’ll run straight through the heart of the campus, which suffered heavy damage from the tornado — which the school’s principal then described as “total devastation,” comparing to the impact of bombing of cities in World War II.
After that, the course then brings runners onto the residential streets of the neighborhoods south of the high school. There are some rolling hills here and there, but no major changes in elevation through this stretch of the race.
The rest of the course after this point contains a number of rolling hills as well as a stretch through Cunningham Park, which will take runners past a memorial for the more than 160 people who lost their lives in the tornado, many of them children.
The highest point in the course, at an elevation of about 1,073 feet above sea level, occurs right around the mile 7 marker, while the lowest point in the course occurs just before that between miles 6 and 7, where the course drops to about 1,000 feet.
The start and finish line lie within areas of Joplin’s downtown renovated just a few years ago before the tornado struck, beautified with new streetscapes, and along the course runners will pass by Shoal Creek and the Grand Falls waterfall, and cross over Short Creek between the 8th and 9th mile markers.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in the southwestern corner of Missouri, just miles from the borders with Kansas and Oklahoma, Joplin typically experiences moderate to warm weather conditions in May, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 30F (in 1960) and as high as 95F (in 1949).
On race day (May 16), the average low is 55ºF and the average high is 77ºF.
- 2014 Joplin Memorial Half Results
- 2013 Joplin Memorial Half Results
- 2012 Joplin Memorial Half Results
- 6:30 AM – half marathon
- 6:45 AM – 5K
Course Time Limit
- $55 for the half marathon, if registered by December 31, 2014
- $65 between January 1 – March 5, 2015
- $70 between March 6 – April 30
- $75 between May 1 – 13
- $80 at the race expo, if not sold out
To reserve your spot in the 2015 running of the Joplin Memorial Half Marathon, 5K, Walk of Silence or Kids’ Race, register online at Active.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Joplin Memorial Half? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.