The half marathon course is a certified USATF course:  IL-14001-JW .  Start will be in front of Cary-Grove High School,  2208 Three Oaks Road , Cary, IL., 60013.
The Finish line (the last 0.1) will be modified for 2021 only, The finish area will be in Cary Grove park

The half marathon course has been dubbed the most challenging in Northern Illinois and an excellent training race for spring marathons. All miles will be accurately marked with a sign marker. Water and a performance drink will be provided at approximate 2.5 mile intervals and at the finish line Water and Gatorade cups will be placed on tables for participants to self serve. Gels will be distributed to runners during packet pickup . There will be Chronomix timed finish line. Washrooms on course at 3, 4, 5, 7, 9  and 10 miles.  Brick washrooms at conservation area will also be open. Strollers, scooters, bikes, roller blades or skates and dogs are not allowed on the course. Headphones are not recommended as roads are open to traffic. Course will close with a 3 hour time limit from the last corral at 11:35 AM. All runners that do not make the 8 mile mark by 10:35 AM (15 minute pace) will be turned early for their finish. We reserve the right to end the race early if bad weather threatens the safety of the runners.  No Refunds!

The Hillstriders Club will award scholarship money to three or more graduating seniors from a McHenry County high school in memory of Fritz Kauffman.  The March Madness Half Marathon will not offer VIP amenities for 2021.

A specially designed technical shirt with a logo from the Art Scholarship winner of 2020 will be provided to all pre-registered runners. Both Men's and Women's sizes will be available.  Finishing medals will be awarded to all runners that complete the course on race day.

March Madness Half Marathon

MARCH 14, 2021  7:40a.m Start 

Race Cost $65​​

2019 First Place Male
Andrew Kaehr

Packet pickup will be available on Saturday, March 13th from 10 AM – 4PM at the Holiday Inn – at Three Oaks Road and Route 31 Crystal Lake, IL. Packet pickup will  also be available 6:30–7:15 AM at Cary-Grove Park on race day morning. All runners should bring their Photo ID to packet pickup. A race participant may additionally pick up a friends packet if they have a photocopy or likeness of their friends Photo ID. Exceptions include young participants where a parent or guardian is present. For 2021 participants who will be picking up multiple race packets should email the Race director at by Thursday March 11th to avoid delays with pickup. 

Cary Grove park will hold 175 cars with additional parking at the school.   Overflow lot located 1/2 mile east at Cary Public Library on Three Oaks Road as well as limited street parking will be available on race day.  Maps will be provided at the school. Parking across the street from the school at the church is prohibited.


There will be no access to Cary Grove High School for 2021. Consumption of alcoholic beverages on school or park grounds is prohibited! Portable facilities will be available in the parking lot of the finish area.

Age Divisions / Results:
19 & Under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69       70-74,  75-79,  80 and over. Disputed race results will be resolved on race day by the race director. Decision of the race director is final.
There will be no award ceremony for 2021, A Table will be setup for participants to pick up their award or they will be mailed. 

​Course Records:

Male: 1990  Mark Plaatjes     1:05:48
In 1991 Mark Plaatjes won the Los Angeles Marathon in 2:10:29. In 1993, Plaatjes finished 6th in the Boston Marathon, qualifying for the U.S. Team at the World Championships. In August 1993, Plaatjes, in a time of 2:13:57 became the first American to win a gold medal in a long distance event at World Championships.

Female: 2019 Kristina Aubert 1:18:21
In 2015 Kristina Aubert qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials in the Marathon by running 1:14:56 at the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon. In 2018, Kristina Aubert qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials in the Marathon with her marathon debut at Grandma's Marathon in Duluth in 2:43:35​

​Trophies will be awarded to overall winners.  Plaques will be given to 2nd - 10th place top males and females.   Medals will be awarded to age group winners (3 deep).  Approximate time schedule for Half Marathon awards is 11 AM.

Cary is located on US Rt. 14 approximately 50 miles northwest of downtown Chicago.  Take US Rt. 14 west to First Street, North on First St. to Three Oaks Road. Cary-Grove High School.  2208 Three Oaks Road,  Cary IL  60013​.

2019 First Place Female
Kristina Aubert
New Course Record

2021 Registration is Closed

Prior  Race information

Getting Back to in-person racing