October 29, 2017
Start location: Robert Allerton Park
City/State: Monticello, IL
Start time: 9:00 am Distances & Categories:
The run (that we fondly just call “Allerton”) is a 5.7 mile trail run (and 2 mile untimed walk) held on the estate of Robert Allerton Park in Monticello, IL. It is always the last Sunday in October, which obviously occasionally falls on Halloween. The time of year at Allerton is beautiful as the trail is through fall-colored forests and past the unique gardens and statuary of Allerton Park.
It is a trail race, which means that runners may find hidden roots, ruts, sharp turns, and other obstacles. The race course follows the river which has proven quite challenging over the years. When the river is high we have to re-route lest we change the race to a duathalon. Still, no matter the rainfall, the trail on the river side is often quite muddy. It can be slippery and certainly splattery. We look at this as a positive feature. Afterall, it’s a trail run. We take great care with preparing the trail to prevent injuries. The day before the race, we have a crew walk the course, clearing it of the large (3 inch!) green walnut balls, branches and marking roots with orange powder.
In addition to paying the park for its use, we donate proceeds back. They are quite gracious in support and ask how we would like our donations used. They have used our donation towards a railing at a dangerous spot, trail erosion control, recycle bins, water fountain bottle filling station, and more. We feel quite lucky and blessed that the park allows us to bring 1,200+(?) people into it with 600 pounding the trails.
The race ends in the meadow. Family and friends gather while a local radio station provides music. We have a post run brunch that is largely supported by the food items brought by YOU, the race participants and our sponsors. We have an awards ceremony with many age group awards and also many prize drawings.
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