Fox River Trail Runners - P.O. Box 371, Geneva, IL 60134

Great Western Half Marathon (and 10K!)

Half Marathon and 10K on the Great Western Trail

Sunday May 2, 2021
Out-and-back course, Leroy Oakes Forest Preserve, St Charles, IL

The Fox River Trail Runners thank everyone who came out for the 24th annual Great Western Half Marathon and inaugural 10k! If you enjoyed the race, you’ll really enjoy our club. Join us; we’d love to run with you again!

The results are in!
10K results
Half Marathon results

Photos are in!
See them on Flickr


Join us for the 24th annual Great Western Half Marathon, and NEW THIS YEAR a 10K! The race is hosted by the Fox River Trail Runners and was a RRCA Championship race in 2017. Any participant donations above and beyond registration fees will be given to Special Olympics, Illinois. The GWHM is one of the premier events on the 2021 FRTR Race Circuit.

So many people are ready to get out and race, registration is almost full! We have fewer than 40 spots left. If you want to register, do it now or you may be locked out! If you want to race, we strongly encourage you to register now!

Already Registered? Read this important information

Thank you all for registering for the 24th Great Western Half Marathon and 10k. Please take the time to review this, as there are some changes and important information pertaining to race day!

First, the Fox River Trail Runners want to take the time to thank the Forest Preserve and LeRoy Oakes for allowing us to continue to have the race on the trail. With that being said, we have had to make some very important changes to the race this year, to adhere to guidelines set for by both the Forest Preserve and the State of Illinois due to Covid-19. In order for us to be able to bring an in person race, it is imperative that all participants follow the changes we have made.

First, packet pick up. We have moved packet pick up to be outside and a drive up, still located at Dick Pond’s in St. Charles. This will be on Saturday, May 1 from 8 am – 3 pm. Please bring your ID as you have in years past. If you are unable to make packet pick up on Saturday, we will have race day packet pickup from 5:30 am – 8 am, at LeRoy Oakes.

Second, arrival and departure to LeRoy Oakes must be by buses provided from St. Charles North High School. There will be no parking allowed at LeRoy Oakes for runners or spectators. We are limited to groups of no more than 50. There are also no spectators allowed at LeRoy Oakes this year. Again, due to our group limits, we cannot have additional people at the start and finish. We understand how difficult this is to hear, trust us, we are upset by it too! There are lots of spots along the trail that you can have your friends and family come to cheer you on! We will be posting the certified course on the website within the week and will also be sending it out to you via email.

The start will look a little different this year than in years past. Because of our group limits, we will not be starting everyone at the same time. Groups of 50 runners or less will arrive at LeRoy Oakes, based on the times you picked for your initial bus. If you did not pick a bus time, we will assign one to you. When you arrive at LeRoy Oakes, you will have a little time to get your bib, if needed, check your gear, warm up, but then we are asking that you do not wait around, that you start immediately when ready – we will not be assigning official starting corrals – when you arrive at Leroy Oakes and are ready – head over to the start corral and….start!. This is an in motion start which should avoid having groups of people lingering at the start and to keep runners going smoothly in and out of the race area.

Bus times for your arrival at LeRoy Oakes will be sent out to you in a separate email. We have divided everyone up, based on what time you picked initially for your bus, on when you will arrive. Please, be on time for your bus slot. If you miss your bus, you will have to wait until there is room on a bus for you. We will not be accommodating bus time change requests. If any are sent, they will not be answered. With the number of runners, and the restrictions we are under, we understand that this is not ideal, but this is the best solution we have to keep the race running smoothly and to adhere to our limits of 50 in a group at a time.

Just as you started right as you were ready, when you finish your race, we ask that you grab your food and water, and head directly to a bus to be taken back to St. Charles High School. We will not be offering after race stretching and massages as we have in years past and we will not have a race village. Again, with our restrictions on number of people, we are not able to offer that this year. Buses will be running continually to take runners back to the high school after they finish.

We will have food and water available to you at the finish. It will be self-service. Volunteers will be there to help you as needed! Our volunteers are wonderful and will do all they can to help you if you need anything.

If you missed the update on our website, we are not having age group awards this year. Due to Covid, we were not sure what registration would look like, so we decided to not have them. We will re-evaluate the decision for 2022. We will be having overall First, Second and Third place for male and female for both races. Due to the way we are having runners start, we will not be presenting any awards on the day of the race. All award winners will be contacted and they will be able to pick up their award at Dick Pond’s the week following the race.

We will have water and Gatorade on the course and Hammer Gels around mile 7. Again, this will all be self service. We will have volunteers there to help fill cups, but runners have to get their own cup at each stop.

Please be on the lookout for a separate email letting you know of your bus time. Those will be coming out this week sometime. Bus times will start at 530am and the last bus will be 8am.

Social Distancing must be adhered to while at the start/finish of the race. Masks must be worn at all times, except for while running.

I understand this is a lot of information to take in. Please, feel free to reach out with any questions to myself at or Julie at We will do our best to answer all your questions.

Thank you so much and we are looking forward to seeing you on race day!

Start Location and Course

Great Western Trail @ LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve
37W700 Dean St, St. Charles, IL 60175

2021 Great Western Half Marathon Course

2021 Great Western Half Marathon Course

Click the map above for an interactive view of the Great Western Half Marathon course.


PDF of the half marathon course

Click the image above to download a PDF of the Great Western Half Marathon course.


PDF of the 10K course

Click the image above to download a PDF of the Great Western 10k course.


The course is USATF Certified. The race is run on the scenic Great Western Trail, which is mostly flat, consisting of asphalt and crushed limestone screenings. The Great Western Trail is a public trail system. Although we have taken many steps to inform the public of the races, the trail is still open to the public, so there will be bikes and others on the path that morning. Please stay to the right side of the path and always leave space to the left for passing runners and runners coming from the other direction. At most, please run two abreast, and always be respectful of other path users.

Mile points will be marked along the course so participants can keep track of splits. Water and Gatorade will be available at water stations along the course. Energy gels will be given around mile 7.

No Strollers, dogs, walkers, roller-skaters, or bikes are allowed in the race. For safety reasons, the use of headphones or other electronic devices during the race is strongly discouraged.

Runners cannot be accompanied or assisted by bicyclists and will be disqualified if this occurs. This practice is unfair and dangerous to other runners.

Please listen to volunteers directing you through turns and tight spots on the course.


The race is limited to 400 entries to ensure a safe and enjoyable race experience. Registration will close when either this limit is reached or at 11:59:59PM CDT on Friday, April 30, 2021, whichever comes first. There is NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION.

Training Program

Train for the 2021 Great Western Half Marathon with the Fox River Trail Runners (FRTR) and their certified Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) coaches. A 11-week half marathon training program geared to beginner and intermediate levels is available. Training begins Monday, February 15, and the first long run is scheduled for Saturday, February 20. Training ends the week before the race.
Group runs will be every Saturday, 7:00 AM, at Fabyan East Forest Preserve unless otherwise specified by FRTR or your assigned coach.

To enroll in the training program, select the Training Plan option during registration.

Pace Groups

We will have pace groups for both the Half Marathon and 10K distances.


The race starts and finishes at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St Charles which is accessible from I-88 or I-90. Do not park at the Preserve; we provide shuttles between St Charles North High School and the Preserve.


Parking for ALL race participants will be at St. Charles North High School. St. Charles North High School is located at:

Parking for ALL race participants will be at St. Charles North High School, 255 Red Gate Road in St. Charles. MAP

Free shuttle buses will be provided to transport participants. Bus departure times will be 5:45, 6:00 & 6:15 a.m. with additional times added as needed. If you miss your selected time, transportation to start is on your own. Spectators may or may not be allowed pending CDC guidelines at the time of the race. We will keep you updated on this issue.

Buses will begin transporting finishers from LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve to St. Charles North High School starting at 8:45 AM. and will continue through the morning.

Please note there is very limited on-site parking for participants at LeRoy Oakes. Race participant drop-offs will be permitted at LeRoy Oakes.

Packet Pickup

Early packet pickup will be available on May 1st from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM at Dick Pond’s in St Charles. Pickup at the store is drive-thru. You must wear a face mask and social distance.

For non-Fox River Trail Runner Members, registered participants must pick up their own race bib and will be asked for a photo ID.
Fox River Trail Runner members may have another FRTR Member pick up your bib on your behalf. Members must send an email to prior to pick-up and include your name, Membership Number and the name and number of the Member picking up your bib.

Interested in joining FRTR?

Race day packet pick-up will be available from 5:45 to 6:45 AM at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve.

Gear check drop-off and pick up will be located at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. You must use the bag given to you at packet pick up to secure your gear. Please use the gear check tag attached to your bib and attach to your bag.

Performance Race Shirt/Medals

All race finishers will receive a commemorative medal to wear.

2021 Finishers Medal

2021 Finisher’s Medal

Race Services

There will be Emergency Medical Technicians and ambulance available. In addition event will be staffed by Race Guards.


There will be plenty of water, electrolyte drink, other refreshments for participants near the finish line


Awards for both races will be presented to the top three overall Male and Female winners.

There will be no age group awards for the races in 2021.

Race Results

The race will be chip timed. Results will also be posted on the FRTR web page on race day sometime later in that evening.


Volunteers are always needed, appreciated and rewarded. Please sign up to register as a volunteer and select an assignment.

Course Records

Half Marathon

Sex Name City Time Year
Male Chris Wehrman Chicago 01:10:42 2005
Female Dorothy Gach Morton Grove 01:23:23 2005
Age Name City Time Year
M00-14 Stephan Jurgens Batavia 01:30:04 2005
M15-19 Stephan Jurgens Batavia 01:13:29 2010
M20-24 Brad Holehan Aurora 01:12:50 2010
M25-29 Chris Wehrman Chicago 01:10:42 2005
M30-34 Nathan McPherson Elmhurst 01:15:11 2015
M35-39 David McCollam Sycamore 01:11:32 2017
M40-44 Mark Konicek W Dundee 01:15:35 2006
M45-49 John Collet Verona 01:17:44 2014
M50-54 Sam Cortes Orland Park 01:19:51 2005
M55-59 Sam Cortes Orland Park 01:19:23 2006
M60-64 Bob Walsh Crystal Lake 01:29:14 2006
M65-69 Luis Hinojosa Elgin 01:35:46 2015
M70-74 Bob Pates Chicago 01:46:42 2005
M75-79 Dick Lamermayer Aurora 02:14:51 2006
M80-84 Bob McKeague Villa Park 01:52:56 2006
Age Name City Time Year
F00-14 Allison Tippett St. Charles 01:52:46 2015
F15-19 Jenna Wolfrum Streamwood 01:35:45 2017
F20-24 Meaghan Ciochon Elgin 01:27:38 2015
F25-29 Jennifer Sagat Chicago 01:30:29 2010
F30-34 Dorothy Gach Morton Grove 01:23:23 2005
F35-39 Michele Idstein Crystal Lake 01:31:32 2006
F40-44 Kristy Howland Elmhurst 01:31:42 2006
F45-49 Elena Shemyakina Geneva 01:30:47 2007
F50-54 Elena Shemyakina Geneva 01:28:05 2014
F55-59 Elena Shemyakina Geneva 01:34:36 2017
F60-64 Elena Shemyakina Geneva 01:39:27 2021
F65-69 Doris Schertz Lombard 01:57:32 2006
F70-74 Barbara Kummerer River Forest 02:43:03 2006
F80-84 SR Kathlene McDonough Evanston 02:58:40 2005



Coming soon!

Previous Results and Photos

Great Western Half Marathon Photos
2021 Overall
2020 Cancelled Cancelled
2019 Overall J3 Timing / Flickr
2018 Overall J3 Timing
2017 Overall J3 Timing
2016 Overall Gameface
2015 Overall Flickr / Gameface
2014 Overall Flickr
2013 Age Group PBC Sports Photography
2012 Age Group Flickr
2011 Age Group / Overall Brightroom
2010 Age Group / Overall Brightroom
2009 Age Group / Overall Brightroom
2008 Age Group
2007 Age Group
2006 Age Group
2005 Age Group

Pre-2005 Results and Photos

Great Western 30K 8K 5K
2004 Age Group / Overall Age Group
2003 Age Group Age Group
2002 Age Group Age Group
2001 Age Group Age Group
2000 Age Group Age Group
1999 Age Group
1998 Age Group

Great Western Half Marathon



Dick Pond Athletics

They're off for the Great Western Half Marathon

Crossing the La Fox Bridge during the Great Western Half Marathon