Saturday, August 7, 2021 • Indianapolis, IN • Course Map
Filled with nearly 4,000 acres of forest lands and wide-open meadows, in addition to several lakes, ponds and a reservoir that lies at its center, Indianapolis’s Eagle Creek Park hosts the 9th annual running of the Eagle Creek Trail Marathon, Half Marathon & Quarter Marathon this summer.
Runners make their way along 6.55 miles of the more than 10 miles of hiking and walking trails that wind through the park, which originally became a public park after it was donated to Purdue University by J.K. Lilly of the pharmaceutical conglomerate Eli Lilly & Company.
After serving for years as a nature preserve and refuge from the city for Lilly — he housed his personal library in what is now the park’s nature center — the park today is open for the public to enjoy its beaches, marina and nature trails.
From the starting line at the part of the park known as Eagle’s Crest, a 70-acre recreational area with a retreat house that lies along the park’s northwestern corner, runners head out on what is roughly a U-shaped race course with two loop sections at the top of each side of the “U.”
Terrain to expect. Runners can expect a combination of single-track trails, old dirt park roads and double-track trails, which may be made of dirt or gravel surfaces, depending on which part of the park you’re in.
The first mile or so of the course is mostly downhill and covered with tree shade, organizers note, as runners head from the starting line toward the reservoir.
The next stretch brings runners closer to the reservoir as it heads upward onto a ridge that parallels the lake, and features numerous changes in elevation as well as plenty of rocks, sticks and possible debris along the trail, especially depending on what the weather’s been like in the days leading up to the race.
The next few miles unfold along the trails that wind toward 56th Street, where runners will meet up with the bridge that will take them east across the reservoir to the other side of the lake.
See the “Big Bear.” On the way, they’ll run through a combination of grassy trails, single-track dirt trails and even a stretch of paved bike paths, and runners will also see the old steel statue known as “Big Bear,” erected years ago around what is now the mile 3 section of the race.
Once runners cross the lake over the causeway bridge at 56th Street, they’ll then head over to a stretch of paved bike path, which will lead to the eastern side of the park. Here, runners will trek along a combination of roads and trails — they’ll cross over paved roads in some sections — and then up to some more sections of tree-covered trails.
Those lead up to the loop road around Lilly Lake, which runners will follow all the way around to bring them back to the section they just ran — and then of course retrace their steps all the way back to Eagle’s Crest for the race finish line.
Race Weather & Climate
Located near the center of the state, about 180 miles southeast of Chicago, Indianapolis typically sees mild to warm (and occasionally quite hot) weather in August, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 45°F (in 1986) and as high as 100°F (in 1988).
On race day (Aug. 7), the average low is 65ºF and the average high is 84ºF.
- 2020 Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2019 Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon Results
- 7:30 AM – full marathon, wave 1
- 7:35 AM – half marathon, wave 1
- 7:40 AM – quarter marathon
- $62 and up for the half marathon
- $82 and up for the full marathon
- $49 and up for the quarter marathon
To reserve your spot in the 2021 running of Indianapolis’s Eagle Creek Trail Full, Half or Quarter Marathon race, visit the event website below.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.
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