Summer didn’t seem to want to leave Chicagoland, but fall finally pushed its way into the area just in time for the 16th running of the Fall Color 5k at the Morton Arboretum.
Many people from the western suburbs and surrounding areas come to the Morton Arb every fall for this popular event, which usually coincides with the timing of the leaves changing color, making for a beautiful run through the east side of the campus. With the summer hanging around a little longer than usual, most of the trees were still very green, but that did not seem to put a damper onto the spirits of the participants who still enjoyed a fairly hilly run or walk.
The race starts off almost immediately going up Frost Hill, so if you are running for time or place, you need to be ready for it. The rolling hills continue until the big downhill at about the halfway point, which is a welcome relief, but also quite steep. The various up and downhills throughout the paths of the Arb and the many shortcuts off the full loop are the reasons why many area runners purchase yearly memberships to Morton, as it provides a great opportunity to get in some miles for half marathon or marathon training (without havening to worry about a lot of vehicular traffic).
The race ends right by the visitors’ center, where participants were able to enjoy a live band and, later on, head inside to their cafeteria to relax with friends for breakfast and coffee.
At the Fall Color 5K, there is something for everyone, as the event also includes popular Kid Dashes and free admission for spectators before the race starts, so that the whole family can enjoy all the things the Arboretum has to offer.
This family friendly event that offers a great competitive race field is the reason why this race has become a staple amongst area runners in the fall. In addition to the race itself, it helps to show anyone new to the Arb all that is has to offer for runners and non-runners alike and why it is a popular destination year-round.