Sunday, May 2, 2021 • St. Charles, IL • Course Map
Note: A virtual option is available for this event. Registration details are included below.
Set to mark its 24th anniversary — and its 14th annual running with the 13.1-mile half marathon distance — in the late spring of 2021, 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.
The event’s start and finish line lies 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, runners follow the winding park road along the Great Western Trail, a mostly flat, asphalt course, with support stations and forest views 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.
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, a month that has brought record temperatures here as low as 28 degrees (in 2004) and as high as 92 degrees (in 2006).
On race day (May 2), the average low is 44°F and the average high is 66°F.
- 2019 Great Western Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Great Western Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Great Western Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Great Western Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Great Western Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Great Western Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Great Western Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Great Western Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Great Western Half Marathon Results
- $60 – $100 for the in-person half marathon
- $35 for the virtual half marathon
To reserve your spot in the late spring 2021 running of St. Charles’s Great Western Half Marathon, register online at RaceRoster.com here.
Official Race Website
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