Spring Marathons in IL and WI

AMITA St. Paddy’s Day Half Marathon

For runners, there aren’t four seasons, there are two…Fall marathon season and Spring marathon season. Many athletes select a goal race for each fall and spring season. If you haven’t yet selected your spring marathon, or if you’re thinking of adding a second to your race schedule, here are some coming up locally.

April 23rd – Spring Chance BQ.2 Marathon

Runners from over 30 states attend this race in an effort to earn a Boston qualifying time. Located in Geneva, this course loops 8 times, with first loop being slightly longer than the following 7. You hit two aid stations along the course and can easily track your pace with this controlled course. The field is capped at 300 runners and the field is extremely fast. This course has a time limit of 4:30. Over 50% of the runners over the past five years have earned a BQ on this course.

Editor’s Note: This is not a feel-good, commercialized, type of race. This race is fast and efficiently run, offering runners the most controlled environment that they can have, in an effort to earn a BQ. If you are looking for a serious event that is well done on every level, this is your race.

April 23 – Brew City Marathon

Newly added this year, All Community Events is adding the marathon distance to this classic race in Milwaukee, WI. I’ve ran the half before and have thoroughly enjoyed the scenic, well marked course and high energy of the start/finish line area. The course starts at McKinley Beach and travels north to Lincoln Park (yes, WI has one too) before looping back to the start line. The course travels through several park systems and communities.

Editor’s Note: As this is a new distance, I have no personal experience to share regarding the 26.2. However, I’ve run the half multiple times and always enjoy the different views and swag included in this race.

April 30 – Non Cancelled Marathon

Held in Oconomowoc (I can type it, just can’t say it), this race is put on by Silver Circle Sporting Events. There are multiple distances in this race so if you travel with friends who don’t want a full, they can take advantage of the half, 10K, or 5K. SCSE puts on great events that are efficiently run and incredibly low pressure. This is a looped course with 4 out and backs between Roosevelt Park & Valley Road on the Lake Country trail. It’s flat and fast, and a good chance to hit a PR or BQ.

Editor’s Note: I haven’t run this one so have no personal experience to share. I have run several SCSE races, including multiple marathons. The race company will do an excellent job of making sure runners are prepared and can navigate the course. With a looped course, you will also hit your drop bag four times, which allows you to control your nutrition easier than in a traditional course.

May 7 – Wisconsin Marathon

The marathon distance comes back in 2022 but has changed slightly. This course begins and ends at the lakefront in downtown Kenosha. This year the marathon course is 2 loops of the half marathon course, which is incredibly scenic and showcases the gems of Kenosha. It’s fairly flat and the RD’s do an excellent job of course marking. Crowd support is intense and live bands line portions of the course. A huge bonus is that you end with a giant cheese medal draped around your neck!

Editor’s Note: I’ve run this course multiple times and love it. You get to experience a little bit of everything from lakefront views to charming neighborhoods to adorable business distracts. If the wind gusts are strong, they come in hard on the lakefront portions so be prepared for that. Also, make sure to arrive early as parking can get difficult in downtown Kenosha. Runners use street parking, which fills quickly on race morning.

May 15 – Chicagoland Spring Marathon

All Community Events hosts this 26.2 in Schaumburg and runners are treated to a fun course that loops through neighborhoods, trails, and business districts. There are multiple aid stations throughout the course and runners can expect the high quality treatment that this race company provides every time. Parking is easy and free. The course is incredibly well marked and crowds are able to spectate easily throughout the event. It is mainly flat and does not loop so you have new scenery the entire time.

Editor’s Note: The challenge on this course is the last 2 miles. It’s hard pavement and if the sun is out, it pounds down on you, as there is no tree coverage for the end. Save a bit of mental strength for the home stretch on this one. It will be worth it when you get to the finish line and see the amazing spread of goodies that All Community Events has for runners.

Get out and hit that 26.2 this spring!




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Mandi has been running for over 25 years and has participated in the Chicago, Detroit, and Boston Marathons. Mandi regularly competes in regional events and enjoys being a part of several running groups including CARA and the Badgerland Striders. She is a co-host on the Ten Junk Miles podcast and looks forward to hosting the Chicago Athlete Podcast. An RRCA certified coach and Les Mills certified instructor, Mandi is also a coach with Chicago Athlete Coaching. Mandi is a local government attorney by weekday and race warrior by weekend.


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