A new 26.2 mile marathon foot race will begin on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 6:oo a.m. in Nauvoo, Illinois, and will finish, in the town of Carthage, Illinois.
In addition, a half marathon and marathon relay run are also planned to coincide with the marathon. The relay event offers the option of two, three, four, or five person teams. The course will be U.S. Track and Field certified.
U.S. Olympic marathoner, and BYU graduate, Jared Ward, who finished sixth in the 2016 RIO Olympics, will be a special guest at the weekend’s events. Runners will get a chance to meet him at the race registration day on Friday, May 26th. The public is welcome at the marathon registration and expo, and will also be able to greet Jared and get an autograph.
The inaugural running of “The Road to Carthage Marathon” will begin in front of the Nauvoo LDS temple. Participants will run through the streets of “Old Nauvoo,” for the first two miles of the race, and then run south on Illinois highway 96. The view on highway 96 is a scenic one, and in the late spring, is full of tall trees in bloom along the banks of the Mississippi river.
The half marathon will end, at 13.1. miles into the course, in Hamilton, Illinois.
After running through Old Nauvoo, the runners will continue 11 miles along the Mississippi river. The full marathon, and marathon relay runners will change course. They will then turn east, and continue across rural Hancock county, Illinois. The last mile and a half of the course, will be run through the town of Carthage, and the race will finish in front of the historic Carthage Jail.
This marathon course will cross the original back roads, taken by two brothers and their companions, who rode on horseback in 1844. It’s the road taken by Joseph and Hyrum Smith, who were requested to present themselves at the Carthage Jail on June 25, 1844. They were killed there on June 27, 1844, by a mob of men with painted faces who stormed the jail. The “Road to Carthage Marathon” was established to honor and keep in memory the lives of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
The night before the marathon, a special keynote address is being planned by LDS church history expert, Glenn Rawson. Glenn is the host and producer of the video programs, “The Joseph Smith papers,” and “History of the Saints.” He will be speaking about the final days of Joseph and Hyrum Smith’s lives.
Special guests who will be Nauvoo and Carthage for the weekend, are the musical trio, GENTRI, and motivational speaker, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger.
GENTRI, is a musical trio of tenors whose ballads and inspirational songs are full of rich harmony. They will be performing at two shows on Saturday afternoon, at the Carthage Legacy Theatre. The first show begins at 2:00 p.m. and the second is at 7:00 p.m. GENTRI will also be singing a special musical number at Glenn Rawson’s fireside on Friday night, May 26th.
Rudy became a household name when his story as a Notre Dame football player in 1975, was told in the feature film, Rudy. Rudy will give a short inspirational message to the runners at the starting line, and he will be firing the starters pistol to begin the race. He will also give out awards in Carthage at the end of the race.
Families who plan to visit the city of Nauvoo for the Memorial Day weekend, beginning on May 26, 2017, will be able to enjoy a variety of events. Not only will folks be able to watch the marathon run on Saturday, but the whole city of Nauvoo, will begin their summer tourist season that same weekend. There are tours planned for all of the LDS historic sites in Old Nauvoo, and the Young Performing LDS missionaries will also begin their summer series of shows.
Proceeds for this event go to “History of the Saints.org” and the local Food pantries in Hancock county.
Runners can register and find full details at www.carthagemarathon.com.