Lincoln Memorial Half Marathon Recap

An absolutely gorgeous day greeted around 900 participants in the 45th Lincoln Memorial Half Marathon.  This event just seems to be getting bigger and more popular every year.  With an effective advertising campaign and a scenic but challenging course this race is a premier event in the Midwest.

Participants from 17 different states competed in this year’s edition which acknowledges all the hard work the organizers put in prior to the race.  The day began sunny and crisp and finished sunny and warm with a somewhat chilly breeze.  A perfect day for a run.  Spectators and volunteers lined the entire course.  The city of Springfield was very hospitable.  Also, kudos go out to Sherry Day who not only sang a beautiful National Anthem but then went on to complete a Half Marathon.

[Race day photos] [Videos] [Results]

The Lincoln Half is very challenging for those of you who have not participated.  In like a lamb and out like a lion.  The inexperienced runner will burn his Sport Beans over the first, more flat, 6.5 miles.  The race traverses the relatively flat, downtown streets before heading to Washington Park. 

Lincoln Memorial Half Marathon 2008Shortly after exiting the Park runners are greeted by a leg burning steep climb on the other side of Jefferson Street near Camp Lincoln.  Many faces were twisted in pain and loud breathing was heard while ascending this monster.  Some people were even forced to walk.  See the video.  Unfortunately for the runners this is only the beginning as many more steep climbs lie ahead.

The race then heads east toward Oak Ridge Cemetery and Lincoln Park with another few miles of unrelenting, undulating terrain.  With only 1-2 miles remaining the race levels off for the final kick to St. John’s Hospital and finish.  A truly challenging course.

From the gun Normal speedster and consistent crusher Brian Glass destroyed the field.  By mile 3 he had a sizeable gap and never relinquished the lead.  A Hardybreed “hell ya” goes out to Abigail Stiles who not only won the female division but placed in the top 10 overall.  Great job, Abigail.  Bill Owens was the first male Springfield runner to cross the line in 7th and Joy Guardia was the first female runner to cross the line in 54th position.

Great running Springfieldians!

The finish line was mayhem with a large crowd cheering on finishers.  It was great to see so many spectators turn out for this awesome event.   If you were competing and didn’t speed up at the finish you were either deaf, blind, or dying.  There was a constant cheer from spectators to lead people to the finish.   Accommodations pre- and post-race at the Prairie Heart Institute were tremendous.  Runners and walkers were well taken care of during registration and at the post-race ceremony.  A thank you goes out to the all the organizers, sponsors, and volunteers who made this event very successful.  Hopefully you will be able to make it next year as the goal is 2009 participates in 2009.

Jason