Goalmine Half Marathon Race Review


The inaugural Goalmine Half Marathon took place on Oct 28 in beautiful Eagle Ridge resort and Spa in Galena, IL. Since all major and small running races were canceled due to Covid 19 pandemic, many runners (myself included) have struggled to adapt to the new normal. I truly miss racing but I mostly missed the running community. Galena is 2.5 hrs drive from the city which makes for a perfect getaway for urbanites like myself. 

This boutique race is a new concept looking to offer runners a safe and unique race experience. The Goalmine half marathon was limited to 25-participants. This was a two day mid week adventure. The price includes race entry, goody bag, all meals (dinner, breakfast, lunch and nutrition snacks), and hotel accommodations at the Eagle Ridge resort and Spa. This event was  all inclusive, well organized, and a truly memorable experience.  

The meals:

The meals were indoors with proper social distance and an impeccable protocol followed by everyone in the race and the resort staff. 

Saturday dinner included assorted cocktails and a three course meal. Followed by a pep talk from the talented Dr. Michele Kerulis (sport psychologist) I am so glad she talk about “finding your reasons during difficult times” I definitely had to remind myself more than once why I was running a half marathon in the Galena territory! 

 Wednesday morning we all gather ready to tackle the course, there was coffee and pastries for runners and volunteers to enjoy. 

The final meal was a celebratory lunch and medal presentation. We were all happy to have finished the race and enjoyed each other’s company before heading back home to Chicago. 

Swag bag included:

  • Custom Finisher’s Medal
  • Official GoalMine’s Boutique Long Sleeve Race Shirt
  • Two Masks
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Other Great Goodies like Nuun and granola bars. 

The Course:

The run went around the beautiful golf course at Eagle Ridge. Two different loops to make for 13.1 miles of the half marathon distance (13.5 if you missed a sign and run extra) It was a challenging hilly course with breathtaking views. The course was very well marked with red arrow signs at each turn. Running in Galena during autumn is a unique experience to say the least. The colors in the trees are changing making it vibrant and crisp. The weather was perfect for running, mid 30’s and sunny. There were 4 water stations with small water bottles and Gatorade for everyone to grab. Volunteers went around in golf cart to keep proper social distance. 

This was definitely a new and exciting experience for me. I convinced my two quarantine running buddies to join me. I am very grateful to have them there for the fun. It was a much needed time away from the City before the new restrictions take place. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there. Races might be canceled but running with your friends with proper social distance protocol is not. Keep on running. 

Thank you to Goalmine boutique events for inviting me to experience this inaugural event. I look forward doing this again in the spring!  

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Erika has been an endurance athlete for over 20 years. She fell in love with running in her 20’s in graduate school, working full time and being a single mother. Running became time for reflection. She has run over 30 marathons and countless triathlons; qualified for 70.3 World championships. To qualify for Kona is her next goal! She loves being a mom to a wonderful young lady and a fur puppy (cocker spaniel). Travel and exploring new places to train around the world is a passion. She is a licensed clinical counselor who specializes in the treatment of anxiety, depression and trauma. She spent 15 years in academia and has recently taken a role as a clinical director to focus on her clinical work. Erika believes in the therapeutic benefits of endurance training for people who struggle with mental health illness and stress. She is patiently waiting until we can all travel and race safely again, until then she recommends staying active, healthy. and consistent.


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