Over 1,700 runners packed into the Morton Arboretum on Sunday for the annual Fall Color 5K. Very few races can compare to a race at Morton, especially when the temps start to drop a little and signs of autumn start to creep into the area.
The course itself is not all that easy, but it can be fast if you plan it out ahead of time. There are a handful of uphills, including a big one right at the start, but there is a large downhill right in the middle and a few smaller ones leading to the finish. If you can work hard in the beginning of the race and still plan to speed up in the second half, you can power your way through to a good time.
The scenery, atmosphere and shade all help, too. The shade was not needed so much this weekend with all the clouds and rain, but the cool breeze, on course volunteers and friendly runners all help to make this event great.
The race site and course are filled with people — especially families — that are looking to enjoy a day at the Arboretum. The feeling of fun and support is in the air throughout the time you are there and desire to go out and just enjoy nature overcomes you, especially with all the kids running around wanting to do the same. The kids races are always packed and afterward they can still be seen running around enjoying the park, hedge maze and scarecrow displays while being chased by their — more visibly exhausted — parents.
The Fall Color 5K can best be described as a day in the park with a 5K sandwiched in the middle. It is a great kick-off to the fall season and a good excuse to add a little whipped cream to your pumpkin spice beverage of choice later in the day.
Photo courtesy of The Morton Arboretum.