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Go for Gold At These St. Charles, IL Races

On your marks, get set, go! For all of you looking to compete this year, there are many different races throughout St. Charles where you can test your running, biking, and paddling abilities. Here are upcoming races around town where you can get the chance to compete and have some fun, and some fantastic local businesses that can help get you ready to set a new PR.

Looking for a list of all the races in St. Charles? Click here to download and print our 2024 St. Charles Races & Rides Calendar today!

Photos Courtesy of the Fox River Trail Runners

Join the Fox River Trail Runners in celebrating the 26th annual Great Western Half-Marathon & 10k! These races begin and end at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, with the route taking you down the beautiful Great Western Trail. All registered runners will receive a commemorative medal, and there will be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards issued to a variety of different age groups. But that's not all - a portion of the registration fees will also go to supporting charity partners including the Tri City Family Services, Suicide Prevention Services, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness - Kane South, DeKalb, and Kendall Counties.

Walk MS: St. Charles - May 11th, 2024

Photos Courtesy of Walk MS

On May 11th, take part in a walk that goes towards helping end MS forever - Walk MS: St. Charles. Starting at Pottawatomie Park at 10am, you can choose to walk either a 1 mile or a 3 mile accessible route, either on your own or with a team. This is a great opportunity to get involved and raise money for a great cause, and they provide plenty of resources to ensure that you can become a fundraising powerhouse! If you raise at least $100, you'll receive an exclusive t-shirt to show off all your hard work that will be mailed to you. Don't forget to bring your pup, too! This walk is dog-friendly, but they must be leashed.

Help & Hope 5k - May 11th, 2024

Photos Courtesy of Second Act/Scene Two

Join Second Act/Scene Two, for the Help & Hope 5k Run/Walk. This race is on May 11th starting at 8am at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, and is a great chance to get outdoors, and participate in a race for a fantastic cause. This race benefits Second Act/Scene Two - a non-profit organization who provides our community with high quality professional mental health counseling and social work services at reduced cost to those in need. All participants in the race will receive a Help & Hope 5k Water Bottle, too!

Photos Courtesy of the Fox Valley Park District

Experience the thrill of water competition with this community tradition that dates back to the 1960's. The Mid-American Kayak & Canoe Race caters to paddlers of all skill levels and offers two distances to chose from, a 10 mile race starting in St. Charles and a 6 mile race beginning in Batavia and ending in Aurora, traveling down the Fox River. There will be a post-race celebration at McCullough Park near the Prisco Community Center in Aurora, complete with an awards ceremony and lunch.

Photos Courtesy of Dick Pond Athletics 

Taking place at the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, this event offers three different races - an individual 5k and 10k race, along with a fun relay, too, that supports the St. Charles Parks Foundation. The course follows a 3-mile loop on grass and dirt trails, with two loops for the 10k. Families can compete in the parent/child relay, where a parent and child team up and race together, and their total time is calculated by combining the finish times. Don't miss the chance to win awards for top finishers in all the races, and raffle items that are given away while the race is in progress!

Photos Courtesy of Project Mobility

Head over to James O. Breen Community Park and get involved with an incredible cycling event for a great cause! There are three different rides to choose from, including a 1.6 mile trail ride, a 10 mile family trail ride, a 29 mile ride, a 46 mile ride, a 62 mile ride, and a virtual ride. This event is a fundraiser for Project Mobility, which provides adaptive cycling opportunities to individuals with disabilities, including children, adults, and service members. Don't leave after the race because participants will have access to their beer garden (21+), live entertainment, unlimited access to the food tent, and much more!

Freedom 4 Run - July 4th, 2024

Photos Courtesy of Lazarus House

What better way to start your Fourth of July celebrations than by participating in the Freedom 4 Run on the Great Western Trail? The event starts at the picturesque LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve and offers two races: a competitive 4 mile run and a scenic 2 mile walk. Participants of the 4 mile run have the chance to win awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in various age groups, and all registered runners/walkers will receive a t-shirt. Plus, all proceeds from the race go towards supporting Lazarus House, a non-profit organization that helps men, women, and children who are homeless or at the risk of homelessness.

Tour De Cure: Chicagoland - August 10th, 2024

Photos Courtesy of Tour De Cure

The Tour De Cure is the only cycling event that supports all individuals living with diabetes, and it's coming to St. Charles this year! This event has been taking place for over 30 years, and is organized by the American Diabetes Association. Starting at Pottawatomie Park, there are 5 race options that participants can chose from - 5 miles, 23 miles, 30 miles, 63 miles, and virtually. To participate, individuals must raise $250, and they can utilize the personal fundraising toolkit provided by the organizers. There are recognition gifts available based on the amount raised, making this a great opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause.

Fox Valley Marathon - September 22nd, 2024

Photos Courtesy of Fox Valley Marathon

The marathon is a significant milestone for runners. It's a challenging feat to complete the 26.2 mile race, being the ultimate test of endurance. If you've been training for this, make sure to circle the Fox Valley Marathon on your calendar - a Boston Marathon Qualifier. Starting and finishing in St. Charles, the route takes you along the Fox River, down to North Aurora and back up. Finishers will receive medals with top spots awarded in different age groups. For those looking for shorter distances or can't make it on race day, there is also a 5k, half-marathon, and virtual races available to compete in.

What's Your Favorite Way to Explore the Trails?

  • Biking

  • Running

  • Hiking

  • Other

Hops for Hope 5K & Brewfest - October 5th, 2024

Photos Courtesy of Project Mobility

Who said running and beer don't go together? At Hops for Hope 5k & Brewfest - a beer 5k that starts at Mt. St. Mary Park and St. Charles' Brewfest, they pair together perfectly, and for a good cause, too! This isn't just any 5k - this is a 5k where there's six beer stops along the way. Once you've finished, you'll get 18 samples of beer and get to listen to some live music after at the Brewfest. Craft Urban will be there serving up some delicious food, and there will be raffles including a Adaptive Bike Giveaway presentation there, as well. This event is hosted by and benefits Project Mobility - a non-profit whose who provides the services, resources, and equipment needed to promote better health, independence, and the freedom of mobility though adaptive cycling.

St. Charles Turkey Trot - November 23rd, 2024

Photos Courtesy of All Community Events

Before indulging in your Thanksgiving feast, take part in the tradition of getting a little exercise in beforehand at the St. Charles Turkey Trot! Taking place Thanksgiving morning at St. Charles North High School, you'll travel down a 5k route completely on paved streets and trails. Runners will get their choice of a long sleeve t-shirt or performance quarter zip and can savor delicious Kuiper's donuts at the finish line. Proceeds from this race goes to support Big Hearts of Fox Valley, who offers assistance to over 16,000 children from our area who are dealing with financial hardships.

Pollyanna Charity Rides

Photos Courtesy of Pollyanna Brewing Co.

Once the warm weather hits, Pollyanna Brewing and Sammy's Bikes team up for a charity bike ride every Wednesday night at 6pm. The rides begin in April (weather permitting) and typically run through October, and offers an opportunity to support a local charity while enjoying a scenic ride. The distance will vary between 8 to 10 miles, and the charity will change on a monthly basis. For a $15 donation, you'll get to take the leisurely ride and get a free draft beer or beer cocktail when you get back to the taproom. Don't miss out - follow Sammy's Bikes and Pollyanna Brewing for updates on upcoming rides!


Businesses to Help You Reach the Finish Line

Photos Courtesy of The Bike Rack

If you need a new bike for one of these upcoming races, a great bet is to stop by The Bike Rack. Not only do they have a large selection of high-quality bikes - only carrying the very best products they can stand behind, but their professional staff can help you with your search, and will offer any cycling advice that you may need. You can feel confident with your purchase, as they can help you properly fit your bike based on your body and riding style to make sure you experience comfort and safety on your upcoming rides.

Ask any runner around and they'll probably tell you that Dick Pond Athletics is one of the best places to go for all things running, being that it is the oldest running shoe store in America. Their experienced staff will work with you in order to make sure that you have the perfect shoe for your foot shape, that in turn will ensure that you stay injury free while training and competing, for the big race. Need some motivation to train? They also offer weekly fun runs throughout the week where you can train with others around you to help keep you motivated.

Sammy's Bikes serves all types of riders - whether you are beginner, veteran, or somewhere in between. If you're looking to purchase a bike to start training for one of the upcoming bike races, need a repair, or looking for a riding accessory, this shop can help with it all. Once you've picked out your new two-wheeler, you'll already be conveniently located by the Fox River Trail to head for a scenic ride by the water.

Photos Courtesy of Core Nutrition

It's no secret that if you want to perform well, you have to eat well. Core Nutrition can positively contribute to your training for all of these races, by providing you nutrients you need and in a delicious way. They offer nutritious shakes, teas, and more so that you refuel better, and can keep your body in tip top shape.

It's important to make sure that you start the day off right by having a hearty breakfast - especially if you are getting prepared for one of the above races. Click here to find some great spots in St. Charles where you can fuel up in the morning to ensure you have a successful day of training.


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