Illinois > Great Western Half Marathon
St. Charles, IL • Sunday, May 5, 2013 • Course Map
Set to mark its 16th anniversary -- and its 9th annual running with the 13.1-mile half marathon distance -- in the late spring of 2013, the Great Western Half Marathon takes runners on a USATF-certified out-and-back course along the local trail that shares the same name, St. Charles's Great Western Trail.
Mostly flat, and with a mixture of paved surfaces and crushed limestone, the course runs along what was once a railroad and features a panorama of views along the way, from developed residential and commercial areas to wide open fields, marshes and wetland areas.
Formerly a 30K road race, the Great Western was changed to a half-marathon in 2005 by the local running club that organizes it each year, the Fox River Trail Runners club. Its starting and finish line areas lie at St. Charles's Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve, a 264-acre park that was once a working farm and now is home to plentiful hiking, biking and horseback riding trails among its acres and acres of woods, wetlands and prairie lands.
After taking off from the starting line at Leroy Oakes FP, runners follow the winding park road to the Great Western Trail, which takes them past West Side Park and parallels Illinois Route 64 for the next couple of miles (as well as the race's last couple of miles). Participants reach the turnaround point at about mile 6.55, where they begin their return trip back to the forest preserve along the trail route, no doubt passing many of their fellow race runners along the way.
The race, which is run in part to benefit the Special Olympics, is open to a maximum of 1,200 entrants to ensure that the trail doesn't get too crowded during the event and to allow every participant, volunteer and spectator an enjoyable race experience. It's also open to runners only, and they are expected to keep at least a 13-minute, 44-second pace in order to finish by the time the race course closes at 11:00 AM.
More than 830 runners crossed the finish line at the race's 2012 running.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled in the outer metro area suburbs almost due west of downtown Chicago, St. Charles enjoys early spring weather that tends to be mild to moderately cool and sometimes quite chilly. In May, monthly temperatures average between 69°F and 47°F, while rainfall amounts average around 3.8 inches for the month.
On the day of the race (May 5), the average high is 65°F and the average low is 44°F.
View the race route map for the Great Western Half Marathon
$50 for the half marathon, until 1,000 entrants have registered
$100 after 1,000 entries
To reserve your spot in the late spring 2013 running of St. Charles's Great Western Half Marathon, visit the event website.
Official Race Website
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