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$125 6:00AM CDT - 12:00PM CDT Price increases after August 26, 2024 at 11:59pm CDT
Open to ages 16 - 100.

Fun Team Relay (per person)

$80 6:00AM CDT - 12:00PM CDT Registration ends August 26, 2024 at 11:59pm CDT
Open to ages 16 - 100.

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at


Boone County History and Culture Center, Columbia, MO


The  Columbia Track Club Presents
The 65th running of the Heart of America Marathon - the 2nd oldest continuously running marathon in the US and
5th annual Fun Team Relay to be held on
Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2024, 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.
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
Marathon Pricing
February 14 – May 27 - $81.00 or less ($75.00 + $6.00 or less processing fee)
May 28 – July 4 - $102.20 or less ($95.00 + $7.20 or less processing fee)
July 5 – August 26 - $134.00 or less ($125.00 + $9.00 or less processing fee)
August 27  - August 31 (noon) - $159.50 or less ($150.00 + $9.50 or less processing fee)
Final pricing depends on the number of people registered in one transaction. 

Please register as early as possible to get the shirt you want. Shirt deadline to be announced later.
Fun Team Relay Pricing - Number of teams limited to 50
February 14 – May 27 - $54.50 or less ($50.00 + $4.50 or less processing fee) per person; 2 - 4 person team
May 29 – July 4 - $70.40 or less ($65.00 + $5.40 or less processing fee) per person; 2 - 4 person team
July 5 – August 26 - $86.30 or less ($80.00 + $6.30 or less processing fee) per person; 2 - 4 person team
NOTE: Each team member will register and pay separately. If you are a team captain, please instruct your team members to register no later than August 26.
No Fun Team Relay registrations accepted after August 26. Please have any relay team changes submitted no later than August 31.
Refund Policy:
No refunds. Please consider purchasing race insurance (covers Injury & Illness, Work Travel Conflict, Severe Weather, Seriously Illness Family, Layoffs/Termination, Mechanical Breakdown). Please check the option to add or decline insurance as you check out.
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. 
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 1 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 for updates and to send messages, or email the race directors at
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 Philips 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.
Course Certification:
The course is USATF certified - # MO21024MU
Map of course:
Course maps

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
  • 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 13 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
  • Last 4 miles (often in the heat and full sun)
  • 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 sports drink. 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 2024 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 starting at Pierpont General Store and all remaining aid stations.
#1 - Veteran's United - southernmost entrance from Providence (Mile 3.8)
#2 - Route K/Old Plank (Mile 7)
#3 - Smith Hatchery/Dothage Rd (Mile 9.7)
#4 - Cooper's Landing (nearing mile 12)
#5 - Bottom of Easley Hill (Mile 12.5)
#6 - Nashville Church/Sapp (Mile 15)
#7 - Burton & Hutchens - 8802 S Route N (Mile 16.5)
#8 - Pierpont General Store(Mile 18)
#9 - Shooting Star Trailhead (Mile 20)
#10 - Conservation Office (Mile 22)
#11 - In and out at Philips Lake (Mile 23)
#12 - Tolton High School (Mile 24.5)
#13 - 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:
Everyone is welcome to join in the celebration at the finish line at the Boone County History and Culture Center. More information to come!
Our Host:
The Boone County History and Culture Center will open all of their curated historic homes and the museum from 9 am – 12 pm for visitors and racers and other guests to take in the history of their interiors. It is all free admission. There is also the replica Easily store in the Village near the finish line. The original Easley store was located in Easley at the foot of Easley Hill along the marathon course. Please take the time to visit inside the History Center (it’s air conditioned!) and the historic houses. It is through their strong work, support, and generosity that we have this magnificent venue for HOA.  
Awards (24 total - no double dipping): 
Overall Awards 1st, 2nd and 3rd M/F
Masters >40 - Overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd M/F 
Super Masters >50 - 1st male and female
Grand Master >60 1st male and female
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 number of team members or gender. 
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 or 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 (9/1/24 - 9/3/24):
Book your group rate for Heart of America Marathon (last date to book at special $109 rate - 8/1/24)
Hotels and other Columbia information can be found at VisitCoMo.
Runners will have a choice of the following:
Unisex Bella + Canvas short sleeve (XS - 3XL) 
Women Bella + Canvas short sleeve (S - 2XL)
Unisex Bella Long Sleeve Lightweight Hoodie (XS - 2XL) - can purchase for an additional $15.90  ($15 + $0.90 processing fee) instead of short sleeve shirt. Also, may purchase in addition to short sleeve shirt for $26.50 ($25 + $1.50 processing fee)
color TBA based on availability
Contact 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.
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: 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.

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, please contact the race director at



Boone County History and Culture Center, Columbia, MO

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