McKendree Harvest Challenge Half Marathon & 5K

Saturday, September 12, 2015 • Lebanon, IL • Course Map

activeregisterOne of two races that take place here on the campus of Lebanon’s McKendree University, a private liberal arts college in southwestern Illinois that serves about 3,000 undergraduate and graduate students every year, the McKendree Harvest Challenge Half Marathon Run & 5K is is open to students, faculty and anyone from the surrounding community.

Also known as the “Bearcat Half Marathon” for the school’s athletic teams mascot, the half marathon is actually what the race organizers call a “super half,” in that its official course length is 13.25 miles rather than the customary 13.1 miles that most half marathons use.

From the starting line at the university’s Melvin Price Convocation Center on campus, the course follows an out-and-back route that takes runners through campus and out into the rolling and often hilly countryside just north of the campus and downtown Lebanon.

Runners first head out from the starting line area near the McKendree Fountain and head south along Alton Street, and turn left on West St. Louis Street and then again on Pearl Street, which begins a long stretch that takes runners northward along Pearl and Widicus Road before turning onto Old Lebanon-Troy Road just after passing the mile 3 marker.

Though there are some rolling hills in the race’s early going, the course hits its biggest hills about five miles later, as runners are making their way between the mile 8 and 9 markers along Lebanon Road.

The course features a mix of wide-open rural farmland and more tree-covered stretches along the country roads north of town, and runners hit the hilliest stretches of the race as they’re heading south along Stevenson Road for the start of the final three miles back into Lebanon and to campus for the finish, with what is probably the steepest hill of the race around the mile 10 marker.

Because the half marathon is limited to 3 hours, race organizers note that they encourage those interested in walking in the race to sign up for the 5K rather than the half marathon, as they’ll need to have all runners off the course by the 11:00 AM cutoff time.

Race Weather & Climate

Located in the southwestern part of Illinois, just across the Mississippi River from Missouri and roughly 28 miles from downtown St. Louis, Lebanon typically sees September temperatures that range between between 82°F and 56°F, while rainfall totals average just under 3 inches for the month.

On race day (Sept. 12), the average low is 57°F and the average high is 83°F.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the McKendree Harvest Challenge Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

8:00 AM


  • $33 for the half marathon, if registered before race day
  • $40 on the day of the race


To reserve your spot in the 2015 running of Lebanon’s McKendree Harvest Challenge Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at here.


Official Race Website


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

See more races in: September, Illinois

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