Illinois > Great River Road Run Half Marathon & 5K
Nauvoo, IL • Saturday, October 5, 2013 • Course Map
Long, flat stretches along the winding Mississippi River and the chance to run through a tiny town that nonetheless holds a major place in the hearts of Mormons and Latter Day Saints church members across the United States, are what await runners at the inaugural running of the all-new Great River Road Run Half Marathon & 5K, which are open to runners and walkers.
The race is set to take runners between the tiny towns of Hamilton and Nauvoo, Ill., the latter of which served as a place of refuge for the early Mormons under Joseph Smith back in the 1830s and 1840s, who settled the area after fleeing persecution across the river in Missouri. The town -- whose population swelled to some 12,000 souls by the mid-1840s -- today is home to just over 1,100 year-round residents, and many more visitors who come to see its historic sites such as the Brigham Young home and the Nauvoo LDS Temple, among others.
Though the Mormons were eventually forced to leave Nauvoo after Joseph Smith's death -- they migrated to the Great Salt Lake valley area in Utah -- many of the historic homes and sites are still standing today, and have earned Nauvoo a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. It's through this little-known part of American history that runners will trek through at the race, which starts at the marina parking lot next door to Wildcat Springs Park in Hamilton, and finishes more than 11 miles to the north in Nauvoo, at Nauvoo State Park.
Most of the race is very flat and fast thanks to its location along the Mississippi River banks, and most of the race's 13.1 miles unfold along Route 96, which features views of the river flowing by throughout. There are a few occasional minor hills, but otherwise the rest of the race is flat and run on paved surfaces throughout.
The scheduled starting time for the race is 8:30 AM for both the half marathon and the 5K -- the half marathon is open to runners and walkers, while the 5K is for walkers only (it's billed as the "5K Scenic Walk," and will feature an out-and-back course that starts and finishes back at the marina near Wildcat Springs Park in Hamilton).
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along a bend in the Mississippi River that divides Iowa and Illinois, about 190 miles northwest of St. Louis and roughly 270 miles southwest of Chicago, Nauvoo typically sees October temperatures that average between 46°F and 65°F, while rainfall totals average just under 2.8 inches for the month, making October the town's fourth-driest month of the year.
On the day of the race (Oct. 5), the average low is 51°F and the average high is 70°F.
View the race route map for the Great River Road Run Half Marathon
See race website
To reserve your spot in the mid-fall 2013 running of Nauvoo's Great River Road Run Half Marathon or 5K Run/Walk, print out and mail in the registration form at the official race website.
Official Race Website
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