The Windmill Trail Challenge

The first ever Windmill Trail Challenge is in the books. Read our recap here.

There’s a rumor out there in the trail running community that we don’t have any legitimate trail races here in the Midwest, let alone the Chicago area. You’re about to find out that rumor isn’t true.



  • Sunday, November 11th 2018 (rain or shine, hot or cold)
  • Registration at Shelter #4 (see below)
  • Race/Run start 9:00 am
  • 5K/10K race awards shortly after conclusion of each race


  • Fabyan Forest Preserve, Crissey Ave/Rt 25, Geneva, IL
  • The preserve is located on Crissey Ave/Rt 25, south of Main St/Rt 38 and north of Fabyan Parkway. The event will be on the EAST side of Crissey Ave/Rt 25, while parking will be on both the east and west sides of Crissey Ave/Rt 25.


  • 5K (1 loop) and 10K (2 loops) timed race/run


Course is mostly single-track dirt trail winding through woods, with portions of wider dirt trail, grass and asphalt. Expect trail conditions – uneven ground, exposed roots, small stones, etc. There are FOUR shallow creek crossings of ankle and lower calf depths. See course map and description for more details.


The only water station will be at the 5K mark for the 10K runners; otherwise, there will be NO water on the course. Participants should plan on being self-sufficient with hydration, using a hydration backpack, hand-held bottle or fuel belt. Water will be available at the finish for all participants.


  • Registration will be limited at 150 participants
  • Early registration until Oct 10, 2018 (or until event limit has been reached) …. $25
  • Oct 10 – Nov 10, 2018 (available only if event limit has not been reached) …. $30
  • Race Day (available only if event limit has not been reached) …. $35


  • PARKING FOR THIS EVENT IS VERY LIMITED. We strongly recommend car pooling, getting dropped off, or arriving early.
  • There is one small parking lot (30-40 capacity – arrive early!) and one restroom at the east-side preserve near Shelter #4.
  • Additional parking and two restrooms are available at the west-side portion of the preserve, but you will need to cross Crissey Ave/Rt 25 to get to the start/finish area. **PLEASE USE CAUTION AND YIELD TO VEHICLES WHEN CROSSING THE ROAD.**


Water and snacks will be available at Shelter #4 (start/finish).


Proceeds from this event will go to the Boys & Girls Club of Elgin. An additional donation to B&GCE can be made when registering and/or at race site.


Dick Pond Athletics. Merchandise will be available for purchase at race site.


MILE 1/4

There’s room to run initially but you’ll want to get into a good position early before turning off onto single-track trail at the approximate ¼-mile mark. In the next ¾-mile, you’ll meander through majestic woods, cross an ankle-deep creek, climb a short hill and pass a creepy cemetery (a sign of things to come??).

MILE 2/5

Shortly into the second mile, the trail widens out a bit, giving the opportunity to make a pass or two before what is probably the best part of the course. Traversing flat and winding trail, you’ll cross the ankle-deep creek THREE more times – keep an eye open for an errant golf ball while skirting the golf course between the second and third crossing, and look for an old tire swing at the fourth crossing!! Just after the fourth creek crossing and a short uphill, you have the choice to go over or around the log pile (going over is the quicker route!!). And be sure to look for the iron wheel of an old cart shortly before breaking out of the woods.

MILE 3/6

The early portion of this mile provides another opportunity to pass, take advantage of it before a hard left turn back onto the single-track trail. If the days before the race are rainy, this is the soggiest portion of the course. It is short-lived, though, as you break out onto a wider trail. Cross the wooden bridge, turn left for the final 100 yards of single-track trail, and then break out into the open for the final ¼-mile push to the finish.

NOTE: You will be running over trails with exposed tree roots, stones, and uneven ground – if this frightens you, go find another asphalt road race to sign up for. You will be crossing through an ankle-deep creek FOUR times – if it has been raining a lot in the day before the race, it may be a little deeper (lower calf??) but all four crossings require only 3-5 steps to get across. Shorten up your stride, watch your foot placement, and you will get through this. And you’ll be happy you did!

  • 5K = 1 loop, 10K = 2 loops … each loop is approximately 3.1 miles (or “3-ish miles”)
  • The course will be marked with streamers tied to clothespins attached to bushes and branches adjacent to the trail, signs and/or environment-friendly spray paint markings on the ground.
  • It is your responsibility to know the course and stay on it.
  • There are NO water stations out on the course, other than one near the start/finish for the 10K runners. Runners must carry their own water while out on the course.
  • LEAVE NO TRACE other than your footprints on the course! Please do NOT drop any clothing, water/fluid bottles, nutrition pouches/foils, candy/gum wrappers, or any other type of trash/debris. The forest and the critters who live within it appreciate your cooperation.


Packet pick-up will be at Dick Pond Athletics, 303 N 2nd St., St Charles, IL from 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm on Saturday, Nov 10th. Packet can also be picked up at Shelter #4 (start/finish) on race day from 7:30 am – 9:00 am.



  • Custom-designed Hoorag® headband – wear it as a headband, ponytail scrunchie, face mask, neck gaiter, ear warmer, pirate rag, or Sahara-style head cover-up!
  • Awards for 5K/10K Overall M/F and 5K/10K Age Groups M/F (under 14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, over 60). Note: race officials may break an individual 10-yr age group into two 5-yr groups if registration merits this.


Bring your spouse, kids, siblings, parents and friends to the event! Volunteers are needed for Saturday packet pick-up, Sunday morning packet pick-up/registration, parking/street crossing, course marshals, and finish line help. All volunteers will receive a Hoorag® headband and the gratitude of race officials and participants. Contact Glen at Dick Pond Athletics @ 630-665-3316.