5K, 10K, Half & Full Marathons

  • 5k races
    Name City Date Website
    Polar Dash 5k
    Don't let the cold keep you away from this 5k race!  Runners will start at Grant Park and make their way along the water front in this out and back course. Registration cost includes a Polar Dash Jacket and stained glass finisher's medal.  Race has a 1 hour time limit and begins at 10:15am.
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    Chicago 6 January 2018 Polar Dash
    Snowman Shuffle 5k
    Join runners at John A. Logan College for this cold 5k race.  Participants will have access to the pool, shower and sauna until noon after the race.  There will also be food, drink and door prizes too! Registration is $15 with a race shirt or $10 without a shirt.
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    Carterville 6 January 2018 Snowman Shuffle
    NorthShore Cupid’s Love Dash 5k
    Ready to brave the cold and run through the streets of Highland Park? Runners will be rewarded for their effort with a medal, hot chocolate and heart lollipops! Make sure to stop at Cupid's Candy Aid Station on course for a mid-run sweet treat. Race shirt guaranteed to those who register before February 5.
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    Highland Park 11 February 2018 NorthShore Cupid’s Love Dash 5k
    Manhattan Irish Fest Parade 5k
    This is the largest 5k in Will County and the only race in North America that starts a parade as well as follows the parade route! Runners will receive a long sleeve tech shirt with Irish Fest button.  Be sure to wear button to get access to the Irish Tent for the post race party! There will be Irish entertainment, corned beef sandwiches and a complimentary beer for runners over 21.
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    Manhattan 3 March 2018 Manhattan Irish Fest Parade 5k
    Shamrock Beer Run 5k
    Join runners at Arlington Heights for beer, running and more beer! Pre-race festivities start at noon and the 5k race begins at 2:00pm. Participants will receive a race shirt, souvenir beer glass, customized bib and finishers medal.  There will be 5 beer stops on course!
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    Chicago 3 March 2018 Shamrock Beer Run 5k
    Interplanetary 5K
    This stellar race will go through Central Illinois Community Solar System along the Riverfront Trail.  This fast, flat course starts and finishes at the Gateway Building at the Riverfront Museum. Participants can choose a race shirt or no race shirt when signing up.  Post race refreshment will be available.
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    Peoria 24 March 2018 Interplanetary 5K
    Springout Duo Dash 5k
    Bring your friend to this unique 5k race. Sign up with a friend or register a long be a paired with another runner. Your times will be combined for the official finish time.  Race starts and finished at Walker's Bluff Winery and will run past the vineyard itself. All participants will receive a medal.
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    Carterville 31 March 2018 Springout Duo Dash 5k
    Bunny Wabbit Run 5k
    This picturesque spring time race features rolling hills and beautiful views of open open prairies and forests of the Des Plaines River and Casey Trails.  A kid's easter egg hunt follows the race.  Catch the Easter Bunny for a free entry in next year's race! This family friendly event starts at Independence Grove Forest Preserves.
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    Libertyville 31 March 2018 Bunny Wabbit Run and Easter Egg Hunt
    Run for Hope 5k
    Join runners to help benefit the Home Sweet Home Ministries in this 5k race, sponsored by Fleet Feet Bloomington. Runners will begin and end at the Home Sweet Home Ministries Warehouse Operations Center and run on the Constitution Trail.  Participants will receive a race shirt and goody bag.  No headphones, strollers or dogs permitted.
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    Bloomington 31 March 2018 Run for Hope

    About 5k races

    A 5K is the shortest of the common running event distances, consisting of 3.1 miles (5 kilometers).  These events can either be competitive or social, depending on the particular event you are looking into running.  5Ks are the most popular of road running events because of their relatively short distance which allows not only the seasoned runners to run, but novice runners, joggers and newcomers as well.  5Ks are also something fun for families to do together.

    How did we choose the best 5k events in Illinois? 

    We checked what events runners looked for the most and we compared statistics on how many runners held interest in any given event. Feedback left by runners who participated in the course was also considered. Other factors included how long the course has been around, the bling and medals, what runners thought of them and how scenic the course is.

    What are the best 5Ks in the Chicago area?

    There are many to choose from here as the Chicago area is host to many 5k races throughout it's many cities and communities. Some of these are charity events for fundraising, some fun runs and others racing events but it all comes down to the runners.  Some of the notable 5k running events include Polar Dash 5k, Chicago 5k, Gospel Run and others.

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  • 10k races
    Name City Date Website
    Frozen Gnome 10k
    This very challenging, winter wonderland race that loops through Veteran Acres and Sterne’s Woods.   Race features the Gnome Depot Aid Station with coffee, hot food and heat to help warm you on this frosty run.  There will also be sports drinks available at unmanned aid stations on course. Frozen Gnome swag to be determined, but finishers will receive a medal.
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    Crystal Lakes 13 January 2018 Frozen Gnome 10k/50k
    Miles for Music 10k
    Show your support for the local high school music program at the Miles for Music 10k!  Preregistered runners are guaranteed a goodie time (TBD) if registered by March 3. Water will be available at the start/finish line and at the 1/2 mark on course.  Race begins at 9:30 am. Proceeds benefit the music department at the Lincoln Way East High School.
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    Frankfort 8 April 2018 Miles for Music
    Run for the Library 10k
    This race goes through the beautiful Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve and benefits local community programs.  Walkers are welcome to both the 5k and 10k. Post race food and beverages will be available for all participants. No strollers or pets are allowed at this race.  Race has an 8:00am start.
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    Mahomet 14 April 2018 Run for the Library
    Champion of the Trees 10k
    What better way to celebrate Arbor Day then to run the Morton Arboretum in this 10k race! Stick around for the great post race party including a complimentary post race beer, food, live music and photo booth.  Registration includes free admission to the Morton Arboretum and long sleeve tech race shirt.
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    Lisle 22 April 2018 Champion of the Trees 10k
    Run Thru the Hills 10k
    If you are looking for hills, then this is the race for you.  Run the rolling hills around Woods Creek Lake.  This popular race has been going strong since 1999 and is guaranteed to give you a challenge. Register by March 16 to guarantee race gear (TBD). Runners must maintain a 15 minute per mile pace and there is no age minimum.
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    Lake in the Hills 29 April 2018 Run Thru the Hills
    Kirby Derby 10k
    The proceeds of this family friendly race go to help the Wellness Trail maintained by the Kirby Foundation.   There is also a 5k and a free 1/4 mile kids run.  Strollers are permitted and the race begins at 8:00am.
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    Monticello 12 May 2018 Kirby Derby
    Run for the Zoo 10k
    You don't want to miss this unique race that on and around the Lincoln Park Zoo! Afterwards runners are invited to the post race party at zoo's Main Mall which includes food, free beer and entertainment. Participants will receive a tech shirt. Proceeds benefit the zoo. This family friendly event also features a children’s obstacle course called the Safari Stampede.
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    Chicago 3 June 2018 Run for the zoo
    Proud to Run 10k
    Proud to Run will be hosting their 37th annual race which is part of Chicago’s LGBTQ Pride Week.  Proceeds benefit the greater Chicago area LGBTQ community. Make sure to stick around after the race for door prizes, entertainment and more! Participants will receive a race t-shirt.
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    Chicago 23 June 2018 Proud to Run
    Chicago 10k
    Great swag, free race photos and an all around top notch race. What better way to see Chicago then in the Chicago 10k! Race begins at Grant Park at 8:00am and runners must maintain a 15:00/mile pace. Public transportation to get the race is highly recommended as there will be limited park available.
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    Chicago 24 June 2018 Chicago 10k
    Run Mag Mile 10k
    Run Chicago's Magnificent Mile in this 10k! Course highlights include Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, Water Tower Place, John Hancock Center and more.  This fast, flat race welcome beginners and competitive runners a like.  Runners will receive an official race apparel item (TBD) and finishers medal to those who earn them.  Free race photos will also be available to participants.
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    Chicago 8 September 2018 Run Mag Mile

    About 10k races

    A 10k is one of the most common running event distances, consisting of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers). These events can either be competitive or more for fun, depending on the particular one you are looking into. They are twice the distance of the 5k and still  relatively short in distance. Less runners tend to participate then the 5k, but these events still get a lot of not only seasoned runners, but novice runners and joggers in attendance.

    How did we choose the best 10k events in Illinois? 

    We checked what events runners looked for the most and we compared statistics on how many runners held interest in any given event. Feedback left by runners who participated in the course was also considered. Other factors included how long the course has been around, the bling and medals, what runners thought of them and how scenic the course is.

    What are the best 10Ks in Illinois?

    There are many 10K races to choose from in Illinois! Some of these are charity events for fundraising, some fun runs and others racing events but it all comes down to the runners.  Some of the notable 10k running events Frozen Gnome 10k, Chicago 10k and Run Mag Mile. These are just a few of the many available events.

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  • Half marathons
    Name City Date Website
    Polar Dash Half Marathon
    This race begins and ends at Arvey Field in Grant Park and runs along the coast of Lake Michigan. The awesome swag includes a stained glass finishers medal and a Polar Dash jacket! There will be 8 aid stations on course and a 3 1/2 hour time limit.  Race begins at 7:00am.
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    Chicago 6 January 2018 Polar Dash
    Fly with the Eagles Half Marathon
    Runners will "soar" through these 13.1 miles going through the beautiful Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge.  Preregister early to secure race sweatshirt. Free live tracking will be available of race day. Stop by Mackie's Pizza the day before for packet pickup and to grab a slice or two.  Race has a 3 hour time limit.
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    Carterville 10 February 2018 River to River Runners
    Allerton Trail Half Marathon
    Course highlights include the Sangamon River, forests, gardens, more than 100 outdoor sculptures and more! This run is held in the beautiful 1500 acre Robert Allerton Park.  The course itself is rolling double-track riverside trails. There will also be a brand new medal for this year's finishers. Race begins at 9:00am.
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    Monticello 1 January 1970 Allerton Trail Half Marathon
    Chi Town Half Marathon
    The course of this half marathon runs along the lake front! Participants will get a premium half zip pullover and personalized bib and finishers will receive a large finishers medal.  Participants will get a post race hot dog and beer.  Also, stick around for the live music!  There is a 3 hour 15 minute course limit and race begins at 7:00am.
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    Chicago 7 April 2018 Chi Town Half Marathon
    Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon
    Get a chance to run by historical spots all related to Abraham Lincoln, including the Old State Capitol, Lincoln's home, his final resting place and more.  Race begins at 7:30am with the anthem and a speech for Abraham Lincoln. There will be 6 aid stations on course, 3 with Gatorade and 1 with GU.  Post race food and drink will be available to participants, including free beer to runners over 21.  Runners must maintain a 16 minute per mile pace.
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    Springfield 7 April 2018 Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon
    Sly Fox Half Madness
    The Half Marathon features a mix of flat and rolling terrain through the streets and countryside of St. Charles.  There will be 5 aid stations on course. Runners will be treated to post race food and beer and receive a finishers medal and tech t-shirt. Race has a 3 hours time limit and starts at 7:00am.
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    St. Charles 27 April 2019 Sly Fox Half Madness
    Naperville Women's Half Marathon
    Ladies, this one is just for you! The 3rd annual Naperville Women's Half Marathon welcomes both walkers and runners.  Runners will get a special stadium start and finish at the North Central College Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.  Runners will receive a shirt, finishers medal, drawstring bag and access to the post race party with food, drink and music. Race begins at 7:00am.
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    Naperville 28 April 2019 Naperville Women's Half Marathon
    Great Western Half Marathon
    This race takes place on the mostly flat, scenic Great Western Trail and goes from Sycamore to St. Charles.  Proceeds benefit the Special Olympics of Illinois. The course is USATF certified and has a 3 hour time limit. Water, electrolyte drink and other refreshments will be available at the finish line. Gatorade and water will be on course. Participants will receive a tech shirt and finishers medal.
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    Sycamore 6 May 2018 Great Western Half Marathon
    Chicago Spring Half Marathon
    Runners will be treated to views of Chicago’s famed skyline and Lake Michigan as they run the Lakefront Path in this half marathon! Make sure to stick around after the race for a hot buffet breakfast, free beer, live music and even spring flowers at the finish line festival. Participants will also receive a tech shirt, finishers medal and free race photos.  Course has a 3 1/2 hour time limit.
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    Chicago 20 May 2018 Chicago Spring Half Marathon
    Galesburg Half Marathon
    What other half marathon will reward your efforts with great swag and a bottle of Dave's Gator Sauce? The Galesburg Half Marathon is a flat fast 13.1 that will take you through the shady streets of Galesburg. Besides a tech shirt, race tote bag and finishers medal, runners will be treated to a great post race party with food, music and more!
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    Galesburg 3 June 2018 Run Galesburg Run

    About Half marathons

    A Half Marathon event consists of running 13 miles (21 kilometers) and as the label suggests, is half of a standard Marathon which is a total of 26 miles. The popularity, participants of the half marathon distance and its events have significantly grown since the early 2000's and they continue to do so, with massive events popping up all over the states. The growth rate of participants for the half distance is currently higher than that of the full.

    How did we choose the best Half Marathon events in Illinois? 

    We checked what events runners looked for the most and we compared statistics on how many runners held interest in any given event. Feedback left by runners who participated in the course was also considered. Other factors included how long the course has been around, the bling and medals, what runners thought of them and how scenic the course is.

    What are the best Half Marathon events in Illinois?

    There are many popular half marathon events to choose from in Illinois.  Most are very flat and good for first timers and those looking to set a PR.  Some of these are charity events for fundraising, some are fun runs, and others are racing events but it all comes down to the runners.  A few of the more notable half marathons include the Fly with the Eagles Half Marathon, the Chicago Spring Half Marathon, and the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon.  These are just a few of the great half marathons Illinois has to offer.

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  • Marathons
    Name City Date Website
    Super Awesome Marathon
    This race is Day 5 in the Super Awesome Series. which is 5 races in 5 states in 5 days. Swag depends on how many races you participate in, but possible swag includes a dry-fit hat, pint glass, cooling towel, shirt and more. Aid stations will have a variety of drinks and snacks available.  The finish line will have a special recovery zone with foam rollers, massage sticks, BioFreeze and chocolate milk.  There is an 8 hour time limit.
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    Metropolis 8 April 2018 Super Awesome! Illinois Edition
    BQ.2 Marathon
    Called "America's #1 Boston Qualifier", get ready for this marathon! The course is on a paved trail next to the Fox River and has a net downhill with beautiful, scenic views.  In 2017, 57% of runners qualified for Boston.  This marathon has a shorter than average time limit of 4 hours 30 minutes. Post race massage will be available to participants.
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    Chicago 21 April 2018 BQ.2 Marathon
    Illinois Marathon
    Not only will runners get a finishers medal for the state's own marathon, but a finishers fleece blanket too!  All registered runners will receive a long sleeve half zip tech race shirt and drawstring bag. Race has a special stadium finish on the 50-yard line of Memorial Stadium. Course will be closed to traffic for those average a 13:45/mile pace or faster. Post race food will be available and additional food, drink and festivities will be at the 27th-Mile Celebrate Victory Bash.
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    Champaign 28 April 2018 Illinois Marathon
    Starved Rock Country Marathon
    Rolling hills, natural rock formations and views of the Illinois River are just some of what you will find on the course of this marathon! The course goes in and around Starved Rock State Park and is flat and fast. Finishers will receive a medal and all participants will receive a shirt. There will be 16 aid stations that will have Gatorade and 1 of the aid stations will have GU.
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    Ottawa 12 May 2018 Starved Rock Country Marathon
    Road to Carthage Marathon
    Runners will be getting a historic tour while running the Road to Carthage Marathon! Course highlights include Old Nauvoo, the Browning Gunsmith Shop, the Post Office, Brigham Young Home, views of the Mississippi River and more. Registration cost includes a long sleeve race shirt, one ticket to the "pasta feed", finishers medal and post race Party Pork Barbecue.  Runners must maintain a 14:53/mile pace or will be redirected to the half marathon finish line.
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    Nauvoo 25 May 2019 Road to Carthage Marathon
    Fox Valley Marathon
    This marathon is perfect for first timers with its gently rolling course and a 6 hours time limit. This Boston Qualifier marathon features a scenic course which includes bridges, river views, waterfalls, parks and more.  Runners will finish by the riverside and then have access to post race food and drink provided by Blue Goose.  Race begins at 7:00am.
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    St. Charles 16 September 2018 Fox Valley Marathon
    Quad Cities Marathon
    Looking for a fast course with beautiful river views?  Then check out the long running Quad Cities Marathon! This marathon crosses 3 bridges and 2 states! Race has a good 7 hour time limit and begins at 7:00am.  Register early to guarantee size for long sleeve tech race shirt.  A course tour will be on Saturday at 11:00am.  Post race massage, chiropractic care, food and drink will be available for all participants.
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    Moline 23 September 2018 Quad Cities Marathon
    Chicago Marathon
    This race is on many runners bucket lists and for good reason! This marathon is famous world wide and is perfect for setting  your next PR. The super fast and flat course starts and finishes in Grant Park and takes you through the great city of Chicago. After all your hard work, runners will be treated to food, drink, beer and a massage at the 27th Mile Post Race Party!  See website for details on how to qualify.  For those who do not qualify, may enter into the lottery.   Course has a 6 hour 30 minute time limit.
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    Chicago 7 October 2018 Chicago Marathon
    The Barrel Marathon
    This marathon is part of the Whiskeydaddle Races that start in downtown Peoria and finish at the Peoria riverfront.  The course is very flat with only one big hill to conquer, making this a good Boston Qualifier.  Participants will receive a long sleeve half zip race shirt, finishers medal, post race food and a ticket for 1 drink.  Make sure to stick around after for the post race entertainment as well!
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    Peoria 7 October 2018 Whiskeydaddle Races

    About Marathons

    Marathon events consist of 26 miles (42 kilometers) and the courses are typically laid out through roads. Starting in the Olympics in the early 1900's, marathons have quickly picked up in popularity and in 2017 there are currently more than 800 events being held, and that number is consistently growing.

    How did we choose the best Marathon events in Illinois? 

    We checked what events runners looked for the most and we compared statistics on how many runners held interest in any given event. Feedback left by runners who participated in the course was also considered. Other factors included how long the course has been around, the bling and medals, what runners thought of them and how scenic the course is.

    What are the best Marathon events in Illinois?

    There are several popular marathon events in Illinois.  The most well known marathon in Illinois is the Chicago Marathon, which is one of World Marathon Majors.  Other notable marathons in Illinois include the Illinois Marathon, Road to Carthage Marathon and Fox Valley Marathon.  Illinois has plenty of marathons to choose from, most being flat and fast, great for first timers or those looking for a PR or BQ.

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