The Battle for the Daddle

Whiskeydaddle is your premiere Midwest racing event. From a Boston-qualifying marathon to a downtown flat and fast 5k, there is a race distance for everyone! Furthermore, each of the races finishes at the Whiskeydaddle Festival on the Peoria Riverfront!

A Completely Not Made Up Origin Story

Whiskeydaddle describes the process of moving whiskey barrels from one location to another. It was coined in the 1840s when every distillery in Peoria employed a team of “whiskeydaddlers” who transported whiskey barrels to customers throughout the city.

The various distilleries were very proud of their whiskeydaddlers as they could be the difference between losing out on a sale – if your whiskeydaddlers stayed ahead of the competition, so did your company.

Each distillery had its own methods of hiring and training their whiskeydaddlers. While there were many methods of becoming a whiskeydaddler, there were four characteristics that every great one had in common: incredible strength, outstanding speed, impressive balance and awe-inspiring facial hair.

Every summer an annual Whiskeydaddle Festival was held as each distillery’s whiskeydaddlers faced off against each other in barrel-related competitions.

Eventually the job of the whiskeydaddler was phased out in the 1870s once the distilleries realized horses and wagons could do a better job. The last great whiskeydaddler was Richardiah Buttons Smithson who tragically died in 1883 while trying to fight the horse that took his job.

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Whiskeydaddle Events

The Barrrel - Marathon
The Bottle - Half Marathon
The Bootlegger - Marathon Relay
The Shot - 5K
The Skidoo - Kids' Race
Whiskeydaddle Festival


Come enjoy live music, sample great whiskey, spirits, and beer along with food and have the opportunity to participate in traditional Whiskeydaddle games.