The half marathon course is a certified USATF course:  IL-23027-NM

Start will be in front of Cary-Grove High School,  2208 Three Oaks Road , Cary, IL., 60013. 

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. 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 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 or Deferrals!

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 will offer 25 VIP entries that benefit the scholarship fund. 

A specially designed quarter zip running shirt with a logo from the Art Scholarship winner of 2023 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.

McHenry County Duo Challenge 


March Madness Half Marathon

MARCH 17, 2024  8:35 a.m Start 

Registration opens December 31st at 6:00 am


Pace Team (new for 2024)
Need some extra support in your goal to finish the March Madness Half Marathon? Are you looking to run a personal best? For the first time, our race will include a Pace Team to help you meet your performance goal. The Pace Team pacers will be spaced out at the starting line for these popular half marathon finish times. Just look for the signs, join your group, and let the pacers guide you to the finish line.

1:35 (7:15/mile average)
1:40 (7:38/mile average)
1:45 (8:00/mile average)
1:50 (8:23/mile average)
1:55 (8:46/mile average)
2:00 (9:09/mile average)
2:10 (9:55/mile average)
2:20 (10:41/mile average)

Packet Pickup: 
Packet pickup will be available on Saturday, March 16th from 10 AM – 4PM at The Running Depot in Crystal Lake – . Packet pickup will  also be available 6:30–8:00 AM at Cary-Grove High School parking lot 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. 

Cary Grove High School parking lot will hold 575 cars with additional parking at Cary Grove park.   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 indoor access at Cary Grove High School for 2024. Consumption of alcoholic beverages on school or park grounds is prohibited! Portable facilities will be available in the parking lot of the school.

Age Divisions / Results:
14 & Under, 15-19,  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. 

Awards will be given for overall winners and 2nd through 10th place top males and females.   Age group awards  will  be 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​.
​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​

Prior  Race information

Spring tradition of a generation.