April LundLuke PadeskyALTON - An Alton Thanksgiving tradition - the 10-mile Great River Road Race - is set for its 63rd edition on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, in Downtown Alton.

The race starts at 10 a.m. and finishes next to Ardent Mills in Alton, but reaches out five miles on the River Road and back on a flat course alongside the beauty of the Mississippi River.

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The Alton Road Runners Club hosts the race each year. The proceeds from the race pay for the Road Runners summer series of three races in June, July, and August for children, and also the Runners of the Year Banquet. Russ Colona, the race director, said the race is a such deep-rooted tradition for families.

Families put away the Thanksgiving turkey and on the Saturday after the holiday run it off in the 10-mile or 5K River Road races. Luke Padesky and April Lund came out as the winners in the 10-mile races in 2021, while Emil Schlueter and Alyssa Mann took the 5K titles in the 62nd annual Great River Road Run. Lund has entered again and she recorded a time of 58:43 last year to win. Jake Peal, Civic Memorial's cross country and track and field coach, was second last year in the 10-mile race.

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"People come from all over the country for the race," Colona said. "We have had entries from 26 different states. It is a traditional thing that former Alton High cross country and track and field coach Jim Wigger started 63 years ago this year."

One man Mike Brazier, from near Chicago, has competed in 62 of the River Road races and is expected to complete his 63rd this year, an incredible athletic feat for the record books.

Colona said the race was shut down for a year because of the COVID-19 Pandemic and numbers were somewhat down last year, so he is hoping for a significant boost this year. He stressed the Alton Road Runners' community programs for youth are dependent on race funds.

The price is $40 for the run and also a T-shirt is provided. On Thanksgiving Day, the price jumps to $50, Colona said. Some competitors pay the extra fee and just show up on the day of the race, he added. For entry information click here.

Read More:

Nov 27, 2022 | Great River Road Run Once Again Attracts Runners From All Over The Country

Nov 10, 2021 | Exitement Swells For Thanksgiving Tradition - The Great River Road Race - Set For November 27

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

Nov 28, 2022 | Padesky, Brannan Win 10-Mile Run In 63rd Edition Of Great River Road Run Race, Schlueter, Mann Take Wins In 5K Run

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