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2021 Heart of America Marathon & Fun Team Relay ::

  • Marathon:- Run 26.2 Miles
Monday, September 6, 2021
Start Time
6:00AM CDT
Entry Fee
Boone County History and Culture Center

_ The 2021 Heart of America Marathon & Fun Team Relay:

The  Columbia Track Club Presents
The 62nd running of the Heart of America Marathon - the 2nd oldest continuously running marathon in the US and
2nd annual Fun Team Relay to be held on
Labor Day, Monday, September 6, 2021, 6AM
Labor Day, since 1960 ♥ Columbia, Missouri

  • Continuously running since 1960 – Be a part of history
  • Home of the world-famous Easley Hill
  • Run the race with HEART! (heat, hills, and humidity included at no extra charge.)  
  • Please note:  6 hour time limit - Please do not ask us to extend the cutoff.

**Please note** - registration limits, activities, plans and so forth are all dependent on guidelines and restrictions imposed by Health and City officials. Therefore, the plans below are hoped for, but are also subject to change.

Location Address:
Boone County History and Culture Center (Nifong Park), 3801 Ponderosa St, Columbia, MO 65201

Starting Time:  
6:00 a.m. central daylight savings time (CDT), the first Monday in September

Fun Team Relay Pricing - Number of teams limited to 50

February 14 – July 4 - $125.00 per team

July 5 – July 31 - $150.00
August 1 – August 14 - $200.00

Teams must be registered by August 14.

No Fun Team Relay registrations accepted after August 14.

Marathon Pricing - Be aware that we do not currently have a registration limit in place for the marathon; circumstances could dictate a need to impose a limit at any given time (this happened in 2020).
February 14 – July 4 - $65.00 
July 5 – July 31 - $75.00
August 1 – August 14 - $85.00

August 15 – August 29 - $130.00
No marathon registrations accepted after August 29.


Refund Policy:

100% refund (registration fee only - not processing fees) if dropped by midnight  August 14. 50% refund (registration fee only - not processing fees) if dropped after midnight August 14. Registrants may also choose to donate or defer.

Fitness for Event/Medical:
No one should attempt this race without proper training and medical advice. Any runner must retire from the race at once if directed to do so by an event official or physician. A sweep vehicle will pick up runners who are not able to complete the marathon in the allotted time. THERE IS A SIX HOUR TIME LIMIT. The finish area will close at noon. Please do not ask us to extend the cutoff. This event is not recommended for participants under 16 years old.

There will be medical support on the course and at the finish line. Boone County Fire will stage just over half-way through the course at Nashville Baptist Church.

Chip Timing:
Chip timing is by Kinetic Timing.  Awards will be given based on gun times, while official results and records will be based on chip times.

Packet Pickup:
Sunday, September 5 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. at Boone County History and Culture Center (Nifong Park), 3801 Ponderosa St, Columbia, MO 65201. Race Day: 5:00 - 5:30 a.m. at the same location. No switching of shirt sizes at packet pick up. If we have extra sizes after the race, we might be able to swap your shirt.

Information Contact:
"Like" Heart of America on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/heartofamericamarathon for updates and to send messages, or email the race directors at [email protected]

Course Description:
26.2 miles starting at the Boone County History and Culture Center at Nifong Park,  running 11 miles down to the Katy Trail, (formerly the MKT Trail Line, now part of the U.S Rails-to Trails system) for 1.5 miles along the scenic Missouri River, past Cooper’s Landing and the historic community of Easley, from where Easley Hill (Route N) affectionately takes its name.  Picturesque rural landscape abounds along the winding uphill Route N. Passing the Pierpont General Store, a building which has stood since 1889, the course skirts Rock Bridge State Park before heading back toward Columbia, to Phillips Lake, then back to the Boone County History and Culture Center. **Please note, approximately 5.5 miles of the course is on well-maintained gravel roads/trail to include Smith Hatchery Rd, the Katy Trail,  East Bonne Femme Church Rd and South Gans Creek Rd. This is an open course. Runners must run single file on trafficked roads.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Before registering for the Historic Heart of America Marathon please make note of what others have said about this race below. This marathon has the reputation of being tough.

Most loved parts:

  • Easley Hill
  • Running on the Katy Trail along the Missouri River
  • Trail/Gravel Roads, (approx.. 5.5 miles gravel roads) rural feel
  • Community support
  • Running past Pierpont General Store and their aid station
  • Running past Cooper’s Landing and their aid station
  • Historic
  • Hometown feel
  • Low on frill
  • Challenging
  • Special awards instead of age group awards
  • Heat, hills and humidity

Most hated parts:

  • Easley Hill
  • Trail/Gravel roads, (approx.. 5.5 miles gravel roads) rural feel
  • Philips Lake turn around (“Why, just why??)
  • Roundabouts - 4 of ‘em, and no cutting across. You run 4 roundabouts.
  • 6 hr cut off - Firm.
  • Low on frill (“What? No Gu?” – “That’s right. Plan your own nutrition”)
  • The 14 Aid stations are not evenly spaced (check map and locations prior to race to plan)
  • Open course, traffic on Rt. K and Rt. N
  • Challenging
  • No age group awards
  • Heat, hills and humidity

Before registering, please note:

  1. 6 hour cut off – (marathon and relay)
  2. Approximately 5.5 miles of the course is on well-maintained gravel roads/trail
  3. There are roundabouts. The course goes around them in a clockwise fashion on the sidewalk.
  4. This is no frill. 14 Aid Stations (one more than 2020) are provided with water and/or Gatorade. No nutrition is provided.
  5. There is an out and back toward the end of the race at Philips Lake. It is unshaded and known to be a tough stretch. (specifically, miles 22-25)
  6. Pacing is not allowed. No bicycles pacing runners
  7. Open course with some narrow, winding roads (Route N). Runners must run single file.
  8. Non-race sanctioned drive alongs or ride alongs (bicycles) are not allowed.
  9. Wheelchair users should be aware that this course contains 5.5 miles of gravel road/trail, significant inclines, and declines, begins in the dark, is not a closed course and significant parts of the course are run on roads with no shoulders.

Fun Team Relay Information:
In 2019 we introduced the Fun Team Relay. Due to Covid-19, we were not able to have it in 2020. It is our plan to once again have the Fun Team Relay in 2021. In 202 we will have a limit of 50 teams. The relay course follows the same course as the marathon, therefore the same course information given above applies to the relay as well. Relay teams  may have 2 - 4 members who work together to complete the traditional marathon course. Relay legs are 3.8 miles (Start to Veterans United (VU) - southernmost entrance from Providence), 7.7 miles (VU to Cooper’s Landing), 6.9 miles (Cooper’s Landing to Pierpont General Store), and 7.8 miles (Pierpont General Store to Finish).

Aid Stations:

Aid stations will be stocked with water and ice. Sports drink will also be available at Cooper's Landing, Pierpont General Store, and Shooting Start Trailhead.

#1 - Veteran's United - southernmost entrance from Providence (Mile 3.8)

#2 - Rock Bridge Elementary (Mile 4) 

#3 - Route K/Old Plank (Mile 7)

#4 - Smith Hatchery/Dothage Rd (Mile 9.7)

#5 - Cooper's Landing (nearing mile 12)

#6 - Bottom of Easley Hill (Mile 12.5)

#7 - Nashville Church/Sapp (Mile 15)

#8 - Burton & Hutchens - 8802 S Route N (Mile 16.5)

#9 - Pierpont General Store(Mile 18)

#10 - Shooting Star Trailhead (Mile 20)

#11 - Conservation Office (Mile 22)

#12 - In and out at Philips Lake (Mile 23)

#13 - Tolton High School (Mile 24.5)

#14 - Nocona/near Aria Apartments (Mile 25).

Portable Toilets:
Toilet facilities will be located at the Start line, VU (Mile 3.8),  Rt K/Old Plank turnoff (mile 7) , Cooper's Landing (nearing Mile 12), Nashville Church/Sapp (Mile 15),  Pierpont General Store, Shooting Star Trailhead (Mile 20), Philips Lake (Mile 23) and the Finish area (park bathrooms).

Post-Race Gathering:

To be determined. We hope to bring back fun, spectators, activities, our Vendor Village, have an award ceremony and food/refreshment. More details to follow.



Overall Awards M/F 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be given, and Overall M/F 1st place Masters. 

Fun Team Relay
Overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be given. Whichever team crosses the line 1st, 2nd, and 3rd receives the award regardless of gender or number of team members. 

The Dave Schulte Award for Improved Performance
Will be awarded to the runners M/F who most improves his/her time from a previous personal best of under 5:00. Dave Schulte was a charter member of the Columbia Track Club and its first Secretary-Treasurer. Dave died of melanoma cancer in December, 1973. He was one of those persons who never had any thought of winning any race or even any age group award. His main objective was personal improvement and he strove mightily to achieve that in many CTC races. For many years he was in charge of results for the marathon and he was the first person to get an accurate measurement of the course with a bicycle and Jones Counter.

The Joe Schroeder Award

(New in 2019)! Entrants who will run HOA as their first marathon will be eligible to win this award. The male and female who, from the first-timer marathoner field, crosses the finish line first will be recipients of the Schroeder Award. Joe Schroeder ran his first marathon and was the winner of the first Heart of America Marathon in 1960.  Running the original course from Columbia to Fulton in his cross country shoes and putting tape over the spikes to cushion his feet against city concrete, Joe finished in an impressive 3:57. His longest run previously had been 6 miles.  Joe also ran the second HOA and oversaw timers for many years.  Joe was a life-long lover of athletics, and he and his wife, Darlene, were active volunteers in many aspects of the community. Joe and Darlene have four children who all continue to support the Heart of America Marathon.

The Average Joe Award
(New in 2021)! This award will be given to the M/F who comes closest to the median time, either above or below, or perhaps, having the exact time as the median. If there is a tie, the award goes to the slowest. The Average Joe Award is given in honor of Joe Duncan – Race Director of HOA for 47 years and an average runner! Joe’s first race of any kind, at age 32 was the 1966 HOA, the 7th Annual, with some 2 and a half weeks of “training.” Joe has been in 855 races all total. Joe ran 9 HOA, and never ran faster than the median. Joe notes that “median” is not “average”, but he thinks the “Average Joe Award” sounds better than the “Mediocre Joe Award”! Joe Duncan is listed in Road Race Management’s all time longest serving race directors and as of 2020, held the position of 3rd longest in that list.


Towne Place Suites by Marriott, 0.8 miles from the start/finish is offering group rates for Heart of America Marathon participants.

Address: 4400 Nocona Pkwy, Columbia, MO 65201, 573-817-0012 

Use this link to book at this hotel:

Book your group rate for Heart of America Marathon (last date to book at special $94 rate - 8/15/21)

Hotels and other Columbia information can be found at VisitCoMo.

Course Certification:
The course is USATF certified - # MO19024DG

Map of course:
Course maps


The T-Shirts are Jerzees, 100% polyester, model 21M, 5.3 oz, anti-microbial and odor control, seamless body, color “silver".

The Racerback Tanks are Bella+Canvas, 91% poly, 9% cotton, model B8800 3.7 oz,  easy, drapey fit, sideseamed, color “Marble” (ivory(ish).


Sign up to volunteer at JustServe. Enter our zip code (65201), scroll down, and hit the "show all" button. There are many ways to serve. Be a part of community and history!

Charity Partner:

The Heart of America Marathon is proud to join with Fisher House of Mid-Missouri as a charity partner! 

About Columbia Track Club 
Established in 1968, CTC is a not-for-profit organization that supports the competitive and recreational athlete. We are a member of the Missouri Valley Association of USA Track & Field, the governing body of track and field, racewalking and distance running. The Columbia Track Club was awarded the 1999 Governor’s Fitness and Health Leadership Platinum Organization Award, which recognized the club’s focus on youth and community involvement.

Summer Youth Program
This five-week program stresses personal improvement for kids ages 3 to 18. From June to July, more than 100 youth compete in running and walking events (ranging from 50-yard dash to 1-mile run) and field events.

CTC Colts
The Colts are a competitive running team for kids ages 6 to 14. This program, part of the Central Missouri Athletics Circuit, promotes healthy activity and opportunities through running for boys and girls. The team practices together once a week in the fall and runs cross-country.

CTC annually awards $1,000 scholarships to one male and female from a local high school. To be considered for the scholarships, students must be involved in either track & field or cross-country and be an active member of CTC where he/she has volunteered in various running/walking events. The scholarships are funded by club memberships, club-sponsored events and private donations.

Community Goodwill
In 2001, CTC donated a water fountain to the MKT trailhead at Scott Boulevard. In addition, CTC has given a helping hand to several hospitals and charitable organizations over the years. Fisher House has been a Charity Partner of the Heart of America Marathon since 2020.

If you would like to learn more or join Columbia Track Club for $20, click here

Request for accommodations related to disability, please email: [email protected] In order to assist us in making the appropriate arrangements for your accommodation, please make your request as far in advance of the event date as possible.

Other Info

2019 - 2020 Results at: runsignup.com


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