Mayor Rahm Emanuel will join the Chicago Park District and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citadel Ken Griffin to announce the Lakefront Chill 5K, a fun run to celebrate the completion of the Lakefront Trail Separation project. The fun run kicks off at Museum Campus Drive and Waldron Drive on Saturday, December 15 at 8:00 a.m.
“Finishing the Lakefront Trail Separation is a major celebration for thousands of people who use the trail every day, and in true Chicago spirit, we’ll be marking this accomplishment with the Lakefront Chill 5K,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I invite you to join me and hundreds of our fellow Chicagoans as we cut the ribbon on our world-class trail by running through the tape together.”
“I’m thrilled that Chicago’s residents and visitors can now more safely enjoy the Lakefront Trail,” said Griffin. “I look forward to joining the Mayor and fellow Chicagoans in celebrating the project’s completion.”
The Lakefront Chill 5K will bring together hundreds of runners, walkers and wheelchair pushers of every skill level. The 3.1 mile course runs from Museum Campus Drive, up the Lakefront Bike Path and back town the Lakefront Running Path and ending at the North Burnham Harbor Lot by Soldier Field.
“I can’t think of a better way to commemorate the completion of the Lakefront Trail Separation than to host a run,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent Michael Kelly. “In addition to celebrating this incredible gift to our city from Ken Griffin, the Lakefront Chill 5K demonstrates that Chicago is a city of runners, regardless of the season.”
Registration is FREE, and participants can sign up at http://bit.ly/LakefrontChill5K. Bib pickup is available onsite, and will include a timing tab. Participants will receive beanies and mittens, as well as water, snacks and hot chocolate.
Participants are encouraged to arrive at 7 a.m., and the race will begin at 8 a.m. Discounted parking is available in the Waldron Garage for $10. The course is wheelchair, stroller and dog friendly. Cyclists are encouraged to strap on their sneakers for the run.
The Lakefront Chill 5K is a celebration of the completed separation of Chicago’s entire 18-mile Lakefront Trail, which runs from Ardmore Avenue on the north to 71st Street on the south. The trail is now separated into two distinct paths for cyclists and pedestrians to alleviate areas of congestion. Initial funding was provided by the Chicago Park District. Completion of the project was made possible by a generous donation from Griffin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Citadel.
The Lakefront Trail a key component of Mayor Emanuel’s Building on Burnham Plan to invest in the Lakefront, the Chicago River, natural areas and recreational opportunities in neighborhoods across the city. Under this plan, 985 acres of parks have been acquired and 5.5 miles of waterfront access have been developed since 2011, with continued plans to acquire additional parkland and further develop the waterfront in the coming years.
The lakefront, which spans 26 miles across the city, has seen continued investments under Mayor Emanuel. To improve access to the lakefront, reconstruction of the 31st Street, 39th Street and 43rd Street Bridges are currently underway. Just two blocks south of Oakwood, CDOT is constructing a pedestrian and bike bridge at 41st Street over South Lake Shore Drive. In 2016, CDOT completed work on the architecturally striking new pedestrian and bike Bridge at 35th Street. Park assets like the 31st Street Beach Harbor and Steelworkers’ Park at 87th Street support continued investments on the south side.
Improvements to the lakefront extend across the city, with improvements to Leone Beach Park in Rogers Park, triathlon training amenities at Ohio Street Beach and the revitalization of North Avenue Beach with plans underway for a new Boardwalk and amenities. The historic Theater on the Lake was recently transformed from a summer programming site to a year-round performance and special events venue, and serves as the hub for the Chicago Park District’s citywide theater and cultural programs. As part of the Chicago Shoreline Protection Project completed in 2016, Fullerton Revetment stabilized the shoreline along TOTL. The $31.5 million Shoreline Protection Project included 1,700 feet of new revetment to manage overtopping wave flows, which created 5.8 acres of park space.
Chicago’s Lakefront Trail is one of the busiest in the United States. Used by cyclists, joggers and people enjoying the scenery, it is estimated that more than 100,000 people per day use the trail during summer weekends according to a recent study by the Active Transportation Alliance (ATA).