Free State Trail Run Marathon, Half Marathon, 100K & 40-Mile

Saturday, October 28, 2023 • Lawrence, KS • Course Map

The Free State Trail half-marathon, marathon, 40-mile and 1/4 marathon races begin and end in Clinton Lake State Park, which is located 25 miles east of Topeka in this college town that’s home to the University of Kansas.

Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of college life, this trail half-marathon will allow runners to get up close and personal with nature.

Runners of the half-marathon will race one large loop through the Clinton Lake North Shore Trails. Bring your trail shoes and prepare yourself for a rocky ride. This technical course is full of tree roots, stream crossings, rocky trails, and rolling hills.

Wildlife sightings are extremely common and run the gamut from squirrels and snakes to deer and ducks. Mud can become an issue if the area receives rain in the days leading up to the event.

Runners jump right into the fun from the starting line heading out on the white trail, which is considered to me more difficult than the blue trail. The trail takes runners eastward, curving around a large campground area.

Once they make a half-circle around the area, runners hop on the blue trail and work their way westward. They will pass by the start/finish area and continue along past the area known as Swim Beach. Eventually they will make their way to Lands End and curve south around the lake.

Racers will continue along the blue trail and run alongside portions of Lake Henry, a smaller lake located within the park. Runners cross over pavement for the first time, where cones and volunteers will keep runners safe from road traffic.

A bit further south, racers will pass near the Visitor Center area and then begin to make their way to Sanders Mound. There is a turnaround at the top of Sanders Mound and then it is time to start making the journey back to the finish line.

After an aid station is an Army Corps of Engineers Area, a point of interest before jumping back on the white trail. Past Lake Henry, there is a large new section of trail to conquer before making a very similar path back to the finish line.

Once runners reach the Swim Beach area, they know it is almost time to celebrate a new victory. A post-race meal, showers, and a finisher’s medal will all be waiting at the finish line.

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled along the banks of the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers in the northeastern part of the state, about 40 miles west of Kansas City, Mo., Lawrence typically sees mild weather in the fall.

On race day (Oct. 28), the average low is 46ºF and the average high is 68ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Free State Trail Run Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 8:00 AM – 100K, 40-mile
  • 9:00 AM – marathon, half marathon


  • $70 – $85 for the half marathon
  • $90 – $100 for the full marathon
  • $110 – $140 for the 40 mile
  • $120 – $150 for the 100K


To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Lawrence’s Free State Trail Run 100K, 40-Miler, Marathon or Half Marathon, register online at here.


Ever run in the Free State Trail Run? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: October, Kansas

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