With the Fourth of July falling at the end of a work week, this could be the busiest Friday for running in a long time. While it hasn’t quite reached the level of Thanksgiving Day races, Independence Day is one of the most popular days for both local races and fun runs.
Between Chicago and the suburbs there are more than ten events perfect for getting the family running before everyone grabs a burger and sits down for a firework show. There are even options for families who will be spending their holiday at a lake house in Wisconsin or Michigan.
Some of the year’s most popular races return in 2014 like the 4 on the 4th in Elmhurst and the Firecracker 5K in Warrenville. There will also be races in Aurora, Barrington, Beecher, Northbrook, Riverside, St. Charles, Tinley Park and Wilmette. In Evanston the 4th of July Kids Fun Run returns for its second year as the only race completely focused on getting the kids active on Independence Day. While it’s not a timed race, there will be a clock at the finish after kids 12 and under finish the half mile course. It will be held at Ackerman Park and registration will remain open until 12:30. Vacationers leaving the Chicagoland area will have options in both northern Wisconsin and western Michigan, which you can find on our calendar.
While there is no doubt the running paths will be crowded, anyone looking to get to one of the area running stores may have to make special plans. The Runner’s Soul will close both its locations for the day as it partners with the 4 on the 4th, as will all of The Runner’s Edge locations for the Wilmette Park District 4th of July Fun Run. Also closed will be the Naperville Running Company stores. Fleet Feet Sports and Universal Solestores will be open, but with shortened hours. Fleet Feet will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. while Universal Sole will open at its regular time of 10 a.m. but will close at 2 p.m.
For more information and a full race calendar, click here.