While the Chicago Marathon is the much bigger event in Illinois, the Peoria Marathon is quickly growing in popularity.
The second annual race was a huge success in its first year, as tons of locals came out to compete as well as watch the event from beginning to end. Ansel Wachter was the 2013 winner in a time of two hours, 54 minutes and 29 seconds, interestingly in his first ever marathon, according to the Peoria Journal Star.
Runners should expect an even more competitive atmosphere this time out as the race gets bigger with more experienced challengers.
No matter what, this should be a fun event for everyone in the area to enjoy. Here is a look at all of the vital information for the upcoming race.
Where: Peoria, Illinois
Date: May 18
Start Time: 7 a.m. CT
Prizes: First: $500, Second: $300, Third: $200
As you can see from the event's official route, the marathon starts by going Southwest on Adams Street before curling around for long straightaways up and down Monroe Street.
The race then continues with a long lap around Bradley University that lasts until the 16th mile, when it goes straight up North Street. After surrounding the northern part of the city, the course then travels south near the Glen Oak Zoo before going straight down Madison Avenue.
At the closing stretch, the runners go down Main Street before finishing right around Water Street.
Though the Peoria Marathon is the main event on Sunday, there are other events that everyone has an opportunity to compete in. The Run River City Races feature a half marathon, 5K and a youth run that goes for 1.2 miles.
Additionally, competitors can even compete in a marathon relay as part of a four-person group.
Each of these creates an interesting race for all of the competitors. Of course, just finishing an event is a major accomplishment for anyone that starts.
The good news is that the event should go off without a hitch after organizers got some good practice at last year's race.
Adam White, co-owner of Running Central, explained the preparations, saying that the past experience will make things easier. According to CIProud.com, White stated, "The first year we were shooting for a moving target; didn't really know what to anticipate."
Still, the race is for the runners, and those people will have plenty to look forward to on Sunday. The course features great views of the city as it goes through downtown. The mostly flat course also allows an easy 26.2 miles, or at least as easy as you will find in a race of this length.
To make things even easier on the participants, the weather is set to be very nice on the day of the event. Weather.com is calling for a high of 69 degrees and mostly sunny skies with only a 10 percent chance of rain.
Very little will prevent the runners from having a great time, with the obvious exception of very sore muscles from the difficult workout. The good news is that once you cross the finish line, there is enough of a sense of pride to make you feel better.
Unlike other marathons around the world, there will be little national publicity at Peoria. There will be little to no media coverage, and the winner's name will not be stated on national news. However, every participant and viewer should have a fantastic time at the local event.
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