PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – An event that honors Peoria’s history as the “whiskey capital of the world” is making it’s return.
This weekend, hundreds of runners will fill Peoria streets near the riverfront museum for the Whiskeydaddle races.
Like many large events in 2020, the annual Whiskeydaddle races in Peoria were unable to take place because of COVID-19.
“No one likes seeing events being canceled. So last year in 2020 when we had to postpone the event, it stung,” said Adam White, race director of Whiskeydaddle Races
Whiskeydaddle runners are now able to lace their shoes back up. Saturday and Sunday, the event that features a 5k, half marathon, relay, and full marathon will return.
“It’s really exciting to be able to bring the event back here in 2021, see the community coming out and supporting it, people getting excited to get out and run over the weekend,” White said.
White said Whiskeydaddle is expected to bring about1,600 people from across the country to Peoria. A third-time participant said the races are inspirational for him.
“You find yourself running with other people that you don’t really know in other walks of life, you don’t know how they got there or why they’re there, but you find yourself encouraging everyone around you,” said Rob Ogborn, a participant in Whiskeydaddle Races,
Leaders with Discover Peoria said the event’s economic impact could be between $250,000-$300,000. They said it’s also a time to put the city’s history on display.
“Learning about the history what a whiskeydaddler is and how they used to do the whiskey runs when we were the whiskey city back in the day,” said Josh Albrecht, chief marketing officer for Discover Peoria.
Albrecht said the Whiskeydaddle Races give Peoria a chance to show what it’s all about.
“Really getting an opportunity to showcase the community, and showcase our values and beliefs as a community in investing in sports and health,” Albrecht said.
The Whiskeydaddle marathon is U.S. Track and Field certified. This means runners are able to use the event to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
The race will begin at 7:30 am and should conclude at approximately 1:30 pm.
The Marathon and Marathon Relay will start at the Riverfront Museum facing north on
Washington and Main Street and will finish at the intersection of Liberty and Commercial.
Peoria Police said parking is not permitted along the race route. Parking enforcement officers as well as relief
officers will be directed to clear the race route of any vehicles parked along the route prior to the race.
Police said those traveling in the downtown area, should plan extra time to reach their destinations
and be aware of increased pedestrian traffic.