Literacy Half Marathon & 10K

Saturday, May 12, 2018 • Rockford, IL • Course Map

Just over 180 runners came out last spring to tackle the wooded hills, trails and park roads that crisscross through the plentiful forest preserve areas just outside Rockford for the Literacy Half Marathon, which expects as many or more runners at its 15th annual running this year.

Run as a benefit for the local nonprofit The Literacy Council, the race helps raise needed funds to improve literacy among Rockford-area adults and their families — over the past decade, runners and volunteers helped raise more than $100,000 that went directly toward the Literacy Council.

The out-and-back race starts and finishes at Vasa Park, which lies just outside Rockford southeast of the city on 42nd Street. From there, the course takes runners along a combination of tree-lined trails, paved roads and mountain biking paths through the Kishwaukee, Blackhawk Springs and Espenscheid Forest Preserves, with much of the course unfolding along the banks of the Kishwaukee River (especially the first few and last few miles of the race).

Race organizers’ motto for the event is “come for the half marathon, stay for the party,” and they don’t disappoint, past participants say — there’s a great post-race party with prizes and locally-brewed beer from Rockford’s local Carlyle Brewing Company.

And while you’re in town, take in some of the local sights in the town that’s often called the “Forest City,” thanks to the forest preserves that surround it.

There’s Rockford’s Anderson Japanese Gardens, which have often been called one of the top gardens of their kind anywhere in the United States, and the Burpee Museum of Natural History, located on a site overlooking the Rock River in downtown Rockford. Established in 1941, the museum is home to dinosaur exhibits, a specimen viewing lab and a children’s gallery.

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled along either side of the Rock River in northern Illinois, just miles from the border with Wisconsin and about 85 miles northwest of Chicago, Rockford typically sees mild to moderately warm weather in May, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 24°F (in 1966) and as high as 106°F (in 1934).

On race day (May 12), the average low is 47ºF and the average high is 70ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Literacy Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

8:00 AM


See race website


To reserve your spot in the 2018 running of Rockford’s Literacy Half Marathon, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Literacy Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: May, Illinois

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