ALTON - Considerable excitement exists about the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend tradition - the Great River Road Race - which returns on Saturday, November 27, 2021. The race is conducted each year by the Alton Road Runners Club in Alton. The 2020 race was a virtual run only because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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The race features a 10-mile run that starts at 10 a.m. in Downtown Alton. There is also a 5K run.

The 10-mile race is five miles out with the towering bluffs on one side and the mighty Mississippi River on the other side. The race begins and finishes in Downtown Alton, and there is always an enormous crowd to cheer on the runners.

Race Director Russ Colona said a few days ago that entries were a little slow, but he expected them to pick up as the race gets closer. Colona wanted to get the word out to the public the race returns on Thanksgiving weekend.

Colona stressed the race revenue funds the Alton Road Runners’ Kids Summer Running Series and the Runner of the Year Banquet.

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An interesting sidenote is one runner - Mike Brazier - who has completed all 62 Great River Road Runs. Brazier, 81, who lives near Chicago, always brings an entourage with him. Much of Mike’s family is always in attendance to cheer.

“Brazier normally goes out by himself and does 1 or 2 miles before the race actually starts,” Colona said. “I haven’t heard of anyone else doing the same race that many times in a row. It is a huge feat.”

Legendary Alton High School track and field and cross country coach Jim Wigger started the prestigious race in 1960.

Russ Colona’s wife, Kathy, and all the other race volunteers make the race successful year after year. Runners come from all over the Midwest and the U.S. for the race.

All the information can be found at:

Race day registration begins at 8 a.m. at Mac’s Time Out on Belle Street in Alton.

Read More:

Oct 24, 2017 | Entries being taken for Thanksgiving weekend Great River Road Run Oct 24, 2017

Nov 29, 2015 | Great River Road Race is special family tradition for directors Russ and Kathy Colona Nov 29, 2015

Nov 26, 2017 | Troy's Richter is the winner: Runners of all ages gather Downtown for annual Great River Road Run Nov 26, 2017

Nov 26, 2016 | 57th Annual Great River Road Run welcomes runners from around the country Nov 26, 2016

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