Great River Road Run Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Saturday, October 13, 2018 • Nauvoo, IL • 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 6th annual running of the Great River Road Run Half Marathon & 5K, 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 half marathon, 10K and 5K are all open to runners and walkers, and the race will also host a 13.1-mile and 55-mile bike ride in 2018.

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 cool to mild weather in October, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 15°F (in 1972) and as high as 92°F (in 1953).

On the day of the race (Oct. 13), the average low is 49°F and the average high is 68°F.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Great River Road Run Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

8:05 AM


To reserve your spot in the 2018 running of Nauvoo’s Great River Road Run Half Marathon, 10K or 5K Run/Walk, register online at the official race website here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Great River Road Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments box below.

See more races in: October, Illinois

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