Saturday, April 22, 2023 • Yankton, SD • Course Map
Here in this southeastern corner of South Dakota, life revolves around the Missouri River that flows along the southern edge of town, so perhaps it is only fitting that this race gets its name from the waterway that brings commerce, people and goods from the rest of the country to this small Plains city.
Part of a day filled with events that include a 5K & bike ride in addition to the half marathon race (and a full marathon and relay until 2018), the River Rat Race follows a route that starts and finishes at Yankton’s Riverside Park, which looks across the Missouri over into Nebraska, just across the river.
From there, runners in the half marathon follow an out-and-back course along the first several miles of the full marathon route, which runs between Riverside Park and Lewis and Clark Lake, which lies just a few miles to the west.
Named for the famed explorers who visited Yankton back during their famous expedition in 1804, the lake also serves as the turnaround point for those running the half, where they then make the turn and head back along the exact route they’ve just run, back to Riverside Park for the half marathon finish.
Run mostly on paved surfaces, the race takes runners along some beautifully scenic stretches of Yankton’s riverwalk paths, which lie just west of the park and just south of the city’s downtown.
The only significant hills runners encounter occur at between the mile 2 and 3 markers on the way out (and the mile 10 and 11 markers on the way in), along the stretch just after runners have passed the campus of Yankton’s Mt. Marty College, along Highway 52 (West 8th Street).
Throughout the race route, runners will pass through mostly wide-open spaces — from the expansive waters of the Missouri flowing by the riverwalk to the rural fields runners pass by along the middle stretches of the race, in between the park and the turnaround point at Lewis and Clark Lake.
The course offers a great way to soak up the charms of this small South Dakota city — known as the “River City” — where legendary NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw spent his high school years.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along the Missouri River here in the southeastern corner of South Dakota, about 160 miles northwest of Omaha, Neb., Yankton typically sees very cold winters but usually milder weather in the spring, as April has brought record temperatures here as low as 2 degrees (in 1975) and as high as 95 degrees (in 1980).
On race day (April 22), the average low is 37ºF and the average high is 63ºF.
- 2022 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 2019 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 2018 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 2017 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 2016 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 2015 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 2014 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 2013 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 2012 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 2011 River Rat Half Marathon Results
- 8:15 AM – half marathon, 10K
- 8:30 AM – 5K
- $45 – $60 for the half marathon
- $35 – $45 for the 10K
- $25 – $35 for the 5K
To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Yankton’s River Rat Half Marathon, 10K or 5K race, register online at the official race website below.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the River Rat Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.