Join us Saturday, September 14th for the I&M Canal Trail Relay, a one day, 65 mile running relay utilizing the scenic and historic Illinois & Michigan Canal Trail. Register today!
Location and Start Time
The I&M Canal Trail Relay will start at the Brandon Road Trail head near Joliet, IL at the intersection of Route 6 and Brandon Rd and finish at the Lock 16 Visitor’s Center in LaSalle, IL, which is just a short distance from beautiful Starved Rock State Park. Teams will start in 30-minute waves beginning at 6:30 AM. This is needed to manage parking at exchange zones. Start times will be assigned after teams are registered.
The I&M Canal Trail is mostly crushed limestone and flat. Some sections are a mix of gravel, dirt and grass. The entire route is on the I&M Canal Trail except for a short on-road section near the finish line. Teams finalize their rosters and who will run which legs after registering.
Trail conditions vary depending on the weather. If it’s raining or rained recently, the trail may be soft, wet or muddy in places.
Important! Two legs include water crossings that may require wading through shallow water depending on recent rainfalls. Those crossings will be identified in the race packet that teams receive after registering.
Course Map & Exchange Zones
A detailed map with driving instructions to the exchange zones will be provided after teams register. Teams will be given a slap bracelet to pass between runners at exchange zones.
For five-person teams, runners will run three legs each. For example, runner 1 will run legs 1, 6 and 11. For seven-person teams, runners will run two legs each. For example, runner 1 will run legs 1 and 8. A volunteer will be recording runners arriving and departing at each exchange zone for correct bib sequence.
For detailed section-by-section descriptions with distances per runner, see the linked PDFs below.
To ensure completion before dark, teams must average 11:15 minutes per mile or faster. We will project your team pace based on the estimated 10K times that teams provide after registration. While predicting your pace for the relay is inexact, runners doing 3 legs with a 5-person team should probably be able to run a 10 minute pace for a 10k to average 11:15 during the relay. For runners doing 2 legs on a 7-person team, you should probably be able to run an 11-minute pace for a 10K to average 11:15 during the relay.
Note that some runners can average slower than 11:15 if others are faster. The team average needs to be 11:15 per mile or faster, not necessarily each runner. Teams lagging behind pace estimates and at risk of not finishing prior to darkness may be asked to skip a leg or multiple legs.
Running with Less Than 5 or 7 people
Teams are allowed to register with less than a full roster. The missing legs must be run by the same runner back-to-back. For example, if runner 2 is missing from a 5-person team, those legs must be run by either runner 1 or runner 3, and that same runner must run the missing legs as well as his/her legs each time, back-to-back
Injury/Team Member Attrition During Race
In the case of injury during the race, the same rules apply as described above for teams with less than a full roster if the team wants to be eligible for an award. Otherwise, legs which would have been run by the injured runner can be run by any other registered team member(s), but the team loses award eligibility. Runners not registered with the team may not join during the race.
Food & Drink
Teams should bring a complete supply of food and drinks for the entire day. Water and light snacks will only be available for runners at a few exchange zones. Food vendors and beverages will be available at the finish area.
Bathrooms will be available at the start, finish, and every exchange zone.
Divisions & Award Categories
Mixed Teams: Five-person teams must have at least two runners of each gender. Seven-person teams must have at least three runners of each gender.
Time Adjusted Division (Handicap): For this Division, finish time will be adjusted based on age and gender. See the detailed per mile time deductions here.