40-mile relay to help Parks and Recreation

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

The Charleston Parks and Recreation Department is getting ready to put on their 40 Mile Relay, taking place Saturday with registration beginning at 9 a.m.

Teams pay a registration fee for the relay and all funds go to the parks and recreation department to help fund the programs they run all year, according to Diane Ratliff, tourism and special events.

Ratliff said the teams that sign up are able to split the 40 miles between their teams, consisting of one to four runners.

Ratliff said there are some people who do choose to run all 40 miles by themselves.

“We do have some supermen/women who chose to run all 40 miles by their selves, but most people choose to share the fun with up to four runners per team,” Ratliff said.

The course begins at Carl Sandburg Elementary School and run around the block until they begin running south down University Drive and along County Road 500 North.

Runners then follow the road South until they reach Lincoln Highway and follow until they reach the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site.

Runners will continue following this course until they reach the finish line at Carl Sandburg, running through towns such as Janesville, Lerna, Newby, and back through Charleston.

The course also runs behind the Coles County Memorial Airport.

Ratliff said the date for runners and teams to register has passed, but people are welcome to line the course and cheer on those who are running.

There are no water stations along the course, but there are some areas where they will be running water for participants to fill up their water bottles, according to the relay’s website.

The website also says that participants are required to provide their own snacks and water for the race, but some snacks will be provided at the starting line.

Ratliff said there has been a steady increase of runners who have registered each year that the relay has been in action.

“We have had a steady increase of registration each year, we would love to see it grow to about 30 teams in the future,” Ratliff said.

Runners and teams are allowed to have a support vehicle as long as they are no larger than a 15-passenger van or SUV.

There are different “legs” of the relay that participants can decide what they would like to run. The length of each leg ranges from 2.79 miles to 5.87 miles with varying levels of difficulty.


Mackenzie Freund can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].