Moonlight Miles at Oak Ridge Cemetery


Moonlight Miles at Oak Ridge Cemetery

Sept. 12th, 2020

5K, Quarter Marathon & Half Marathon

Online Registration

2015 Moonlight Miles at Oak Ridge Cemetery Commercial

Attention:   Due to health & safety concerns for runners and volunteers in this time of Covid 19 the 2020 Moonlight Miles at Oak Ridge Cemetery is cancelled.  We are sorry for this development but we could not guarantee individual safety with the tight course and numerous times where you would be running face to face with less than 6 feet between you and the other runner.
We hope to see you in 2021. Stay well and take care of each other so we can run at night next year. 
New Shirts, New Awards, Full Moon, Finisher Medals, CoreLife Food, Pizza, Amazing/Unique Venue and Darkness come be a part of the Lincoln History by running by Abe’s Tomb in this historic cemetery.
Details at
Register Now below or register in person on Saturday from 3-6 at Lincoln Park Shelter #7 by the horseshoe pits, diagonal from Nelson Center.
Race begins at Lincoln Park but runs thru Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Bring a light source, you will need it even with the Full Moon


September 12th, 2020 

Based on your feedback and the opportunity to make the events better we moved the Moonlight events to September.  This new date will provide more darkness for all distances, avoid city conflicts, allow us to offer cheaper hotel rates near the start line and make for a bigger and better event.

We look forward to seeing you.

Registration is now open.  To be guaranteed a shirt you must register by 11:59pm on Sept. 6th.  On-line registration will close on Sept. 10th.

There will be registration at Race day packet pickup on Saturday, but you are not guaranteed a shirt.  In person registration is by cash or check only & costs are $47 for the 5K, $57 for the Quarter marathon (6.55 mi), & $77 for the Half marathon.

Save some cash and register early.

Looking for something different?

How about running through an historic, 160 year old cemetery at night on a fully supported, closed road course that you can run solo or with your friends and family.

The evening of Sept. 12th 2020 will be the 6th year of the Moonlight Miles at Oak Ridge Cemetery.  On that night, you will have the option to run a Half marathon, Quarter Marathon (6.55 mile) or 5k courses under a shining moon and in the shadow of Lincoln’s Tomb.

Details include a scenic yet challenging course, on course support, glow necklaces, custom race shirt, unique awards applicable to the venue, Finisher Medals, pizza and water/soda for all runners and of course, the moonlight and venue.

Come be part of history and the Lincoln lore, run in the moonshadow of Lincoln’s tomb and through over 160 years of history.  These unique night time road runs are being hosted as a fundraiser for the Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation projects and to provide runners the unique chance to run at night in the cemetery in a controlled, safe environment with safety and race personnel on site.  The Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Runners embark on their adventure from the Lincoln Park Shelter #7 and  enter the cemetery through the recently restored Original Entrance on 3rd Street where 150 years ago President Lincoln’s body passed en route to his final resting place in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Participants then navigate the course while passing through the beautiful yet haunting statuary and among the astounding history of the nation’s second most visited cemetery.  Racers must wind their way back to the finish area using the moon, a headlamp, route reflectors/arrows and course volunteers.

Changes for 2020

Based on your feedback, we have moved the 5k to start later in the evening (7:00pm) to allow  darkness to settle and give you a run in the cemetery at night.  Race team and safety staff are always close by, should you need them.

As these are now timed events with fastest times receiving awards, timing devices are permitted for all runners.  Headlamps or a lighting source are necessary for all runners.

The Half Marathon runners begin at 6:30 pm allowing one lap in twilight and one lap in darkness.

The Quarter Marathon (6.55-mile) racers start at 6:45pm. 

All 5k runners start at 7:00pm –This is also a Fun Run, so don’t feel pressure to run for time/awards.

Participants run the courses for the fastest time with overall awards going to the top 3 male and females. Awards will also be given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place male and female in the 20 and under age group, 21 – 30 age group, 31 – 40 age group, 41 – 50 age group, 51 – 60 age group, 61 – 70 age group and the 71 and older age group.

On-line registration is open until 48 hrs before the race date with links located at the top and bottom of this page. Keep an eye on the website,, FB and emails from for emerging details and the latest updates.

When registering in person, participants must sign a waiver to be allowed on the course.

Fees are at their lowest through June 30th:

   Through June. 30th                                          Jul.1st until Race Day             Race Day

5K    –                          $32                                               $42                                        $44

Quarter Marathon   $45                                               $55                                        $57

(1-6.55 mile loop)

Half Marathon          $65                                               $75                                         $77


Online Registration


Stuff We All Get (SWAG)

All participants in the 5k fun/run, Quarter Marathon (6.55 mile) and Half Marathon will receive on-course support, a gender specific race shirt, Finisher Medal and food & drink in the Lincoln Park Shelter #7 with music during/after the race.

 Half Marathon – Yellow arrows – 2 loops

The Half Marathon is a chip timed race beginning at 6:30 pm.   It consists of two loops of the 6.55 mile course and runners should expect a twilight loop and a total darkness loop.  Headlamps, flashlights or knuckle lights are required and must be worn while on the course along with the provided glow necklace.

The Half Marathon has a time cut off of 4 hours.  This means you must maintain an average pace of no less than 18:00 minutes per mile to finish by 10:30 p.m.

Quarter Marathon (6.55 mile) – Yellow arrows – 1 loop

 The Quarter Marathon (6.55 mile) race is one loop of the marathon course starting at 6:45 and is chip timed  Headlamps, flashlights or knuckle lights are required and must be worn while on the course along with the provided glow necklace.

5K (3.1 mi) – Orange arrows 

The 5k course consists of a scenic route that is beginner friendly and somewhat different than the 1/4 and 1/2 marathons.  It’ll be chip timed and start at 7:00 pm with all entrants receiving a finisher medal.

For safety reasons, any walkers are asked to line up behind the runners.

All participants must provide their own headlamp, flashlight or knuckle light and wear the race provided glow necklace at all times.

Course Rules

This event is managed by a Road Race of America ( RRCA) Certified Race Director and thus adheres to all RRCA rules. It is your responsibility to know all the rules relative to your race.  Please visit for more information.

All participants are expected to remain aware while on their course.   There will be several races occurring simultaneously so it is imperative that you watch course directions  for an enjoyable, successful night run.

Maps for both courses are available on the website.  There will be current maps displayed at packet pickup for your review and questions.

Timing devices/watches are permitted & cell phones can be carried for emergency purposes. However, NO earbuds or listening devices of any kind are allowed on the course for safety of the runners. 

Spectators or well-wishers are NOT permitted on the course.  No warming up or cooling down will be permitted on the actual race course.

Course Navigation  

It will be dark and the roads are curvy – however, you are expected to pay close attention to the markings, reflectors, signs and cones on  your course.  Please review the course maps before the event.

Run on the Left and Follow the Blue Reflectors on Your Left

All participants will follow the 600+ blue reflectors which will be placed on the left side of the course at approximately 3-4 foot high.  Except for areas where  a “Keep Right” sign is posted, you will run on the left side of the roads & all roads will be closed to traffic.  Orange Cones, yellow and orange high visibility route arrows and volunteers will be there, as well as the 3 inch blue reflectors, to direct you along your course.

Cones will block the roads/areas you are not to enter.  You run along the cones, never run through the cones.

Only follow orange (5K) or yellow arrows (1/4 & 1/2 marathon) for course direction.

Except for crossing in the grass at the Monument Ave. entrance, you should never leave the cemetery roads/sidewalk.  If you are in the grass or woods, you are lost; re-trace your steps back to the last place you were before losing your way/go back to the last directional color-coded arrow or blue reflector on the road or sidewalk.

Green route arrows on the roads mark rough spots on the course.  They are perpendicular in front of the rough spots, they are not directional arrows.

While every attempt has been made to mark the rough spots and lessen risky areas thru sweeping, blowing and shoveling, it is possible that not all rough spots or road debris has been identified.  All courses are dynamic and conditions ever changing & it is your responsibility to be able to maneuver around or past trouble areas while staying on the roads/sidewalks/course.

Due to the numerous races occurring simultaneously there will be no mile markers.  When you complete a lap, you have gone 6.55 miles for all but the 5k runners.

So, except where noted, your Mantra is Run on the Left & Follow the Blue Reflectors on Your Left.  Do not run through cones or Caution/Keep Out tape.  Run along reflectors,  cones and tape and never through. Follow arrows. Don’t go off the road unless directed; don’t go through gravesites.   

The Courses

5K Course

Quarter Marathon (6.55 Mile Loop)  (  Half Marathon = 2 loops)

Moonlight Miles Map

Overall Awards & Finisher Medals

Overall Awards will be given to the top 3 male and 3 female individuals in the Half Marathon & Quarter Marathon.

A finisher medal will be provided to all those participating in the Half Marathon, Quarter Marathon (6.55 mile) and 5k.

Award Ceremony Times

5k –  8:00pm

6.55 – 8:15pm

Half Marathon  – 9:00pm

Above are the proposed award ceremony times for all distances. These are approximate times and subject to many on-the-spot influences that may alter the proposed time.  Bottom line: Be flexible & have your food and drink while waiting.  Several races are occurring simultaneousy and we try to wait for all the runners in their race/distance to finish out of respect for their efforts.  As  we value both the fastest and slowest runners, awards will NOT be given out early nor mailed to individuals who cannot wait for the ceremony.

Packet Picket and Start Location

Race Day packet pickup and race headquarters are located at Shelter #7, near the horseshoe pits and diagonal from the Nelson Center and main Pavilion at 1601 N. 5th 62703.  The runs take place in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield Illinois. 1441 Monument, Springfield, IL 62702

Packet Pickup will be on Saturday Sept. 14th at Shelter #7  beginning at 3:00pm until 6:30pm.


Parking is available at the Nelson Recreation Center lot and along the park roads. When parking on the roads, please place half of the vehicle on the grass and half on the road. There is also parking at the picnic shelter which has restrooms.


Chip timing will be provided for all distances.


All participants are required to wear a headlamp, carry a flashlight or use a knuckle light while they run.  Glow stick necklaces, which must be worn during your race, will be provided to all runners for safety and identification purposes, however, they are not considered lighting devices.

You will be running or walking in a 160 year old cemetery with limited ambient lighting and darkness will be an issue for all runners.  Therefore, you will not be permitted to enter the course without a lighting device provided by you and the glow necklace provided by the event.  There is no exception to this rule.

Please do not make this event your First Run at Night.   The cemetery is very dark and unless you have some experience running at night it can be confusing.  Get a light and go run at night in the darkest place you can find and you will be ready to run in the Moon Shadow of Oak Ridge.

First Aid and Course Patrol:

First aid and course security will be provided on course until 10:30pm.  At that time, all remaining runners will be escorted to the park shelter.

Aid Stations:

Water and sports drink (HEED) will be provided at all aid stations.  Gels, pretzels and chips will be available for the longer distance runners.   The aid station locations can be accessed several times.


Restrooms are located at Shelter #7 at the start/finish area. An on course restroom is located in the parking lot at Lincoln’s Tomb.  Restrooms are also located inside Nelson Center.

Post Race Refreshments:

Post race food and drinks will be free to all half marathon, quarter marathon (6.55 mile) and 5k runners. You must present your bib to receive food and drink.  Food will be available until 10:30pm.

Race Policies

You must have and present a photo id to register in person and to pick up your packet. NO ID, NO RACE PACKET, NO EXCEPTIONS.

No listening devices of any type will be permitted on the course.  If you choose to sneak a listening device onto the course and it is discovered, your chip will be removed and you will be disqualified from the event.  This policy is not to interfere with your performance but is in place to ensure safety for you and all racers and event staff.  Accidents occur due to racers not hearing other racers or verbal instructions from others & safety for all racers, event staff and volunteers is our #1 priority.

No strollers or pets will be allowed on the courses, however, they are allowed in Lincoln Park and around the Start/Finish area.   Only racers and volunteers will be allowed in the cemetery.  All spectators can watch their runner cross the timing mats at the start/finish and are encouraged to hang out and make noise for the runners as they pass/finish.

Please check out the link below for Oak Ridge Cemetery Photographs

Moonlight Marathon Oak Ridge Cemetery Photo Gallery

“On May 14, 1856, an ordinance was passed forbidding the further establishment of burying grounds within the city of Springfield. A tract of land containing twenty-eight and one half acres, lying two miles north of the Capitol, was purchased by the City, for the establishment of a Cemetery, adequate to the necessities of the growing city, and sufficiently remote from the business center and every – day life to render a fitting abode to the dead.”  (Oak Ridge Cemetery Records)

Since 1865, the cemetery has grown to be the largest Municipal cemetery in the state of Illinois, encompassing 365 acres of beautiful rolling prairie land, thousands of hardwoods and conifers, and over 75,000 interments. Oak Ridge Cemetery has the distinction of being the second most visited cemetery in the nation, second only to Arlington National Cemetery.  Almost one million visitors enter these gates annually not only to pay respects to their deceased families and ancestors, but to also visit the final resting place and pay homage to our distinguished sixteenth President, Abraham Lincoln.  However, none of them have the opportunity to visit the cemetery at night…

Refund and Transfer Policy
There will be no refunds.  A transfer for the same person to the next year might be possible – it is at the discretion of the Race Director. This is on a case-by-case basis and the RD decision is final.  Please contact RD via email well in advance of race day if a request is needed.

All decisions by the Race Director are final.


We have a block of rooms at the Howard Johnson at 1701 J. David Jones Parkway in Springfield 62702 and the property is less than 5 minutes from race headquarters in Lincoln Park.  The phone number is 217-541-8762.

Please use this sponsor for your lodging needs.  They are very accommodating and the property is so close it’s a win – win for all.   The email is


Email with any additional questions.  Bring chairs, pop up tents, picnics and games to pass the time and serve as your headquarters and cheering station during the race.  Please have fun and enjoy the setting and your runner’s goals.  The runners love the encouragement and it makes the event so much more worth it for everyone.


Weather Contingency/Communication Plans – AS NEEDED


Since lightning is perhaps the most common and dangerous weather condition encountered by a Race Director, the recommendations by the NCAA and NSSL will be followed during events. Both agencies strongly recommend terminating activity when the lightning is six miles away since there is a strong probability that the next strike will be within a six mile radius of the previous strike to ground.

Flash to Bang Method

Since it is unsafe to begin an event if lightning if present, the race will be delayed until the lightning is passed and area is safe. The National Athletic Trainer’s Association recommends the flash to bang method for determining the distance strikes are near to your area.

This method states that one should begin counting on the lightning flash and one should stop counting when the associated clap of thunder is heard. Then divide the time to thunder (in seconds) by 5 to determine the distance (in miles) to the lightning flash. For example, an observer obtains a count of 30 seconds from the time he spots the flash to when the thunder is heard. Thus, that lightning flash was 6 miles from the observer. The 30 second flash to bang count is recommended as the shortest allowable time to consider resumption of activity. As the count approaches 30 all activities should be postponed and all persons should be seeking a safe location.

Another recommendation is that one uses the 30-30 rule which states that if an event is suspended due to the 30 second flash to bang method, one should wait at least 30 minutes from the sounds of the most recent thunder to resume activities.

Heavy Rains

While heavy rains are always a possibility, there is no standard on how much rain is too much rain; the RD must rely on instincts, racer skill levels, communications from course monitors, and law enforcement input to make the decision to as to when the course is no longer safe.

Heavy Winds/ Tornadoes

There is no set rule regarding on much wind is too much; the RD must work with the race staff, law enforcement and local weather to determine if the course if safe.

In the event of heavy winds the RD would secure all equipment from falls and communicate with all involved if a tornado warning has been issued. All parties should be instructed to move to a safe structure and take shelter. If a shelter is not available all parties are instructed to stay out of their cars and move into a shelter or lie flat on the ground in a ditch or depression and cover their heads or wear a helmet.

Extreme Heat

Many events are held in hot and humid conditions and it is the Rd’s responsibility to prepare for heat related issues. The best way to prepare is to follow these steps:

1) Alert athletes before event of the possibility of extreme heat

2) Provide adequate hydration options via water coolers, bottled water, sports drinks, wet towel, fruit and electrolyte capsules before during and after the event.

Communication Plan

All key personnel will be provided with relevant phone numbers, the Race Director will initiate calls and discuss options and final decisions with race and safety staff as they develop.

In addition, all spectators will be informed of the weather situation and decisions affecting the race by PA system and use of a bullhorn along the course for runners.

Trucks will be on course to remove runners and transport them back to the shelter if lightning is present.   Be smart and take the truck- a finish time is not worth the risk.

This procedure will be discussed at the volunteer briefing and pre-race meetings.

Donations & Your Racing

As you know, all Tri Harder and Tri Smarter events are fund raisers for local groups, teams, clubs, sites and authorities.  While these groups benefit from the races, we would like to extend the endurance athlete’s generosity to a few charities that we support that have a much bigger scope and need.

As we strive to change lives for our racers and their loved ones through endurance sports, let’s help change the lives of those with challenges much greater than ours;  please give to any/all of our charities listed below with a few extra key strokes while you’re registering for your event!  Any amount (over $5) is appreciated and badly needed.

Thank you!  Your concern and generosity is appreciated.

Alzheimer’s Association of Chicago (Springfield Walk to End Alzheimer’s)

Can DO Multiple Sclerosis

Zero: The End of Prostate Cancer

Research Foundation of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

USAT Triathlon of Colorado

Your concern and generosity is appreciated.


Tri Smarter is a  501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and your donation is tax-deductible within the guidelines of U.S. law.

To claim a donation as a deduction on your U.S. taxes, please keep your email donation receipt as your official record.

The Tri Smarter website is located at

Please send all training and racing questions to and we will get them answered to help you become a faster, stronger, safer and healthier endurance athlete.