‘Harvest Challenge’ 5K & Half-Marathon on Sept. 8

Photo of the Harvest ChallengeLebanon, Ill. — Choose your distance, a 5K run-walk or a half-marathon run, in McKendree University’s annual “Harvest Challenge” road race on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Lebanon, Ill.

Start time is 8 a.m., after a pre-race course and safety briefing at 7:40 a.m. The 5 kilometer (3.1 miles) and 13.1 mile courses begin on campus and travel through historic downtown Lebanon and the surrounding area. The 5K route then goes north to Horner Park and returns to the finish line on campus. The half-marathon winds through the scenic farmland of rural northern St. Clair and southern Madison Counties before returning to campus.

Walkers and strollers are welcome to participate in the 5K only. Medals will be awarded in five age categories to the top male and female competitors in both races, with trophies to the overall winners.

“There aren’t many half-marathons on this side of the river so our race is a training opportunity for runners who will compete in the Chicago Marathon in October,” said Kim Smallheer, assistant director of athletics at McKendree, who organizes the Harvest Challenge. Last year’s event drew more than 200 participants.

The fee is $14 for the 5K and $30 for the half-marathon, with an additional $5 charged to those who sign up on race day. Register in person on campus at the intramural gym inside the Melvin Price Convocation Center on Alton St.; or download and mail in the form on the website mckendree.edu/raceday. Online registration is also available (for a small fee) at active.com. Mailed entries must be postmarked by Sept. 6.

Long-sleeve T-shirts for the 5K participants and short-sleeve “performance” T-shirts for half-marathoners will be provided, as well as post-race refreshments, while supplies last.

For more information, call (618) 537-6420 or (618) 537-6941 or visit the website mckendree.edu/raceday.