5K9 Walk/Run Chicago
Sept. 22, Chicago
This national series for both people and pets comes to Chicago for the first time with a 5K run and 1-mile walk at Montrose Harbor. The mission of the race is to promote a healthy lifestyle while raising money for animal welfare organizations. Athletes are welcome to run the flat Lakefront course with or without their dogs, and a race-day expo will feature exhibitors for both runners and their pets. The event even offers free eight-week training plans for those interested in racing with their canine.
Magellan Ready to Run 20 Miler
Sept. 22, Chicago
Get ready to run that fall marathon at the Chicago Area Runner Association’s annual run on the Lakefront path. The point-to-point course offers timed pace groups, 10 aid stations, a gear check and transportation back to the start for all participants. The same hydration products and gels at the upcoming Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be along the course, and runners can enjoy free Stewart’s Coffee before and after the finish. A wave start organized by pace ensures the path won’t get too crowded, and all runners will receive a technical T-shirt and entry to the post-race finisher party.
Prairie State Marathon and Half Marathon
Oct. 12, Libertyville, Ill.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon may close in the dead of winter, but there’s still an option for Illinois runners looking for a Boston-qualifying marathon in October. Starting at the Independence Grove Forest Preserve, the fourth annual Prairie State Marathon and Half Marathon is mostly run on crushed limestone paths in the northern suburbs, and features a tour of the area’s prairies, forests, rivers and lakes. The course is USATF-certified too. All participants receive a hooded long-sleeve technical shirt, a finisher medal and professional event photography.