Inaugural River City Marathon To Be Held In May

PEORIA — Running Central Race Management has organized what is expected to be the largest running event ever in the City of Peoria. 

Consisting of five different races, the inaugural River City Marathon will be held May 19. 

“This race will probably be the largest organized event that the city has ever seen,” said Running Central Race Management Co-Owner Brad Henz, who is also the head coach of a training program for runners called F.A.S.T. (Fun And Smart Training). “This is primarily due to the amount of land/area that we cover and the coordination it will take with the city, police, AMT and fire departments.”

The River City Marathon races include a 5K, a 25K, a 26.2-mile marathon, a four-person marathon relay and a 1.2-mile kids run.

The course for the River City Marathon will wind through many of Peoria’s historic districts and neighborhoods. It will use portions of the Steamboat Classic course and will begin and end in Downtown Peoria near the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

“The course winds around downtown for the first six miles and touches on parts of the Steamboat course,” said Henz. “It will lead runners up to Bradley University and West Peoria, before heading up toward War Memorial Drive. It will then bring runners back toward the zoo and work its way back into the downtown area to finish on the riverfront. It has a few rolling hills and at least one good climb, but also has a good downhill section and is overall a great tour of the city.”

Running Central Race Management, a Peoria-based company dedicated to providing quality running events to the running community, has organized several running events in the greater Peoria area, such as the Main Street Mile, Screaming Pumpkin, Detweiller at Dark, Resolution Run and Trot for Tots.

“At RC Race Management, we put on all types of race events, and they have all been dress rehearsals to help us prepare for the special weekend in May,” said Henz.

Running Central Owner Adam White developed the idea for the River City Marathon.

“Adam White, owner of Running Central, and co-owner of Running Central Race Management has been working on this idea for well over a year,” said Henz. “It finally came to fruition this fall and we announced it for spring of 2013.”

All of the proceeds raised through the River City Marathon will be donated to St. Jude Runs, a non-profit organization that raises funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate in Peoria, through races.

“We felt that St. Jude Runs was the perfect charity to partner with for the Run River City races,” said Henz.

Running Central Race Management plans to organize the River City Marathon on an annual basis.

“We plan on growing the event to include even more racing opportunities and to eventually make it a full weekend of festivities,” said Henz. 

Henz expects between 3,000-4,000 people to participate in the inaugural River City Marathon.

To register for any of the five races, visit