Illinois > Alton Half Marathon & 5K Run/Walk
Alton, IL • Saturday, March 24, 2012 • Course Map
The land known as the "Riverbend Region" of southwestern Missouri -- where the big, wide rivers of the Missouri, Illinois and the Mississippi come together -- is the setting for the inaugural running of the Alton Half Marathon, which makes its second annual running here along a course that hugs the riverbank of the Mississippi in the spring of 2012.
From the starting line at Alton's Riverfront Park -- which lies just a few blocks from the offices of the Alton Telegraph newspaper, the race's organizer and sponsor -- runners head out on an out-and-back course that keeps them in view of the waters of the Mississippi flowing by for nearly the entire race. With the exception of a stretch between the first and second mile markers, the route keeps runners near the water for most of the rest of the race.
Some of the race's most scenic views are expected in the early going, when runners cross the Clark Bridge over the river and head into Missouri. Once across the river, the route then turns onto Riverlands Way and brings runners around the edges of the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, a 3,700-acre wetlands area and natural preserve that is home to a wide range of rare migratory birds, waterfowl and raptors throughout the year.
Once runners reach the turnaround point along Riverlands Way before reaching the intersection with Red School Road, they then head back along the route they've just run, and back across the bridge into Illinois for the second half of the route. The next section unfolds as a long, out-and-back stretch, first out along Berm Highway and then back, after the turn at Lock and Dam Way, on the bike path along the levee, the Madison County Transit Confluence Trail.
Runners then meet back up with Boat Launch Road after crossing under the bridge, and then make their way back into Riverfront Park for the race finish. Walkers are welcome to take part in the race, organizers add, as long as they can maintain at least a 15-minute-per-mile pace; the course will close after 3 1/2 hours.
Weather & Climate
Nestled along a bend in the mighty Mississippi River here in the southwestern corner of Illinois, just over 20 miles north of downtown St. Louis, Mo., Alton typically sees mild to moderately cool and occasionally still quite cold weather in March, when the city's average monthly temperatures range between 55°F and 36°F. On the day of the race (March 24), the average high is 58°F and the average low is 39°F, while precipitation amounts average just under 3.2 inches for the month.
View the race route map for the Alton Half Marathon
$50 for the half marathon, if registered by January 31, 2012
$60 between February 1 - 29
$70 between March 1 - 23
$80 on the day of the race
To reserve your spot in the late spring/early summer 2012 running of Chicago's 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon or Karhu 5K race, register online at the event website.
Official Race Website
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