Cactus Classic

Cactus Classic Trail Race

Date and Time:     2023 is on!  March 11 with a start time of 8AM 
  Location:     Sand Ridge State Forest, near Manito, IL Google Map Pin to starting/Parking/Packet pickup location
Available Race Distances:  
-10K (actual distance is approximately 6.4 miles)
-HALF MARATHON (actual distance is approximately 13.4 miles)
-MARATHON (2 loops of the half marathon course)

Registration:    2023 registration is available on Ultrasignup!

Course Records as of the 2022 race:

10K – Mike Heffron – 41:12 (2016)
Half Marathon – Mike Heffron – 1:23:30 (2012)
Marathon – Jeff King – 3:20:49 (2016)
10K – Chloe Schmidt – 49:58 (2017)
Half Marathon – Nicole Benson – 1:41:20 (2018)
Marathon – Brooke Williams – 3:53:14 (2020)
– 2021 no event was held due to corona virus
– 2010 Official Results (broken link, repair pending)-


SWAG!   Those who register late or on race day are not guaranteed an item but some quantity will be available for purchase on race day.  10K and 13.1 participants can opt to receive a commemorative shirt with race logo,  and 26.2 participants can opt to receive a hooded sweatshirt.



10K Overall Male/Female for each distance   1st-3rd place Male/Female for 15 and under (Juniors)   1st-3rd place Male/Female for 16 to 39 (Open)   1st-3rd place Male/Female for 40 to 55 (Masters)   1st-3rd place Male/Female for 56 and up (Grand Masters)  
Half and Full Marathons   Overall Male/Female for each distance   FINISHERS MEDALS FOR ALL FINISHERS with special award for age group (same age grouping as 10K) winners   *due to the wide range of finish times,  awards will be handed out as runners cross the finish line.
Time Limits:    Given the challenging nature of the course and distance, Marathon-distance runners may be blocked from beginning their 2nd loop of the course if they have taken longer than 3.5hrs for the first loop or at the race directors discretion.

 Course Description:     (map below)This course runs through the pine forests of Sand Ridge State Forest.  It begins and ends at the “Oak Campground”.  The trail is has many flat runable section with several rolling sections.   The trails themselves consist of loose sandy soil for which the park is named.  Running these trails is similar to running on a beach.  This race is named for the variety of cactus which grows wild throughout the park.  Keep your eyes open and you should be able to spot them.         -10K Course: The course in green is run clockwise on the map below.  The first road crossing and aid station (#1 on the map) is at mile 2.1 on the GPS.   Road crossings are unassisted, use caution! The 2nd road crossing is mile 3.44 on the GPS.  The 3rd road crossing and 2nd aid station (#4 on the map) is at mile 4.4 on the GPS.  The 4th and last road crossing is at mile 5.75 and the finish line is at mile 6.4 -Half/Marathon Course: The course is shown in blue below.  It will begin with the 10K course and split off shortly after the first aid station.  The first aid station is at 2.1 miles (#1) and the split off is at 2.35 miles. Road crossings are unassisted so use caution.  Aid station (#2) at mile 5 is unmanned and consists of water only.  Aid Station (#3) is at approximately 9 miles. The next aid station it at the 11.4 mile mark (#4) which is shared with the 10K course. The remainder of the course will be shared between with the 10K distance.

-NOTE: Please note the distances between aid stations (above).  Most people who chose to run the half marathon may find that they need to carry a handheld water bottle or a water pack of some sort.  Please judge for yourself, keep the weather in mind, and plan accordingly!