Chicago—hands down—has some of the craziest and best races that are ideal for runners and marathoners who do not take themselves too seriously. While international races are great, it’s fun to have such wonderful events closer to home. Whether you are looking for a change of pace or are not up to marathon speed but still want to enjoy a fun race, here are Chicago’s best races that you can participate in:
Cupid’s Undie Run
The cold is worth dealing with to participate in the crazy fun Cupid’s Undie Run. Not only do you get to run around and experience Chicago in next to nothing, but you also do so in support of a worthy cause—to raise funds for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
Hustle Up the Hancock
Every year, approximately 4,000 runners take part in this race to raise money and awareness for programs and research dedicated to lung disease. Runners have to contend with 94 flights of stairs but many do it with a smile and a spring in their step.
Shamrock Shuffle 8K
The Shamrock Shuffle is a unique course and a continued Chicago tradition that occurs every year during the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The Shuffle is high energy and fun, and it’s surrounded by the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.
Rather than settle for a traditional run in the street of Chicago, why not try something different from a neighborhood run through Ravenswood, which is one of the oldest and most famous neighborhoods in Chicago? At the end of the race, runners also get a pancake breakfast, which is a bonus.
Southwest Half Marathon
The Southwest Marathon is all-inclusive as it encourages all runners to participate, from world-famous runners to physically challenged athletes. People from all corners of the world attend this half marathon.
United Run for the Zoo
For lovers of animals, taking part in the United Run for the Zoo is a no-brainer. The marathon raises money so that the Lincoln Park Zoo can remain open and free to everyone through the year.
What could be better than a race that is topped up with German beer? The Octoberfest 5K is another famous themed race that encourages runners to show up in their finest Bavarian-themed consumes.
Santa Hustle Chicago 5k
Thousands of Santa enthusiasts and elf imposters dress up in their best Christmas gear to race through Chicago. The course is also characterized by candy, cookies, and music to get runners and spectators in a festive mood.
Chicago Monster Dash
This Halloween themed race is perfect for starting the holiday season on a fun but healthy note. At the end, wards are given for the best costume.
Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon
This annual race features live rock bands that entertain runners at every mile along the course. The streets are typically lined with spectators and dancers cheering on runners.