fbpx Fall Color 5K Run and Walk | The Morton Arboretum

Fall Color 5K Run and Walk

A runner races through the arboretum during fall

Schedule and location

Saturday and Sunday,  October 3 and 4

7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.*

*Start time must be selected during registration. The last start time is 12 pm. East Side roads will be closed during this time.

Start/Finish: Visitor Center area
The run takes place on the East Side roads.

Register Now

Run a socially distant race at The Morton Arboretum on Saturday or Sunday, October 3 or 4, or virtually anywhere. No matter when or where you run you will be supporting the Arboretum's work to plant and protect trees. 


Socially Distant 5K

How Does it Work? 

  1. Select a start time when you register for the socially distant 5K.
  2. Pick up your race bib at Dick Pond Athletics in Lisle or at the Arboretum on race day.
  3. On race day, arrive no more than 30 minutes prior to your start time. Every 15 minutes 25 people will begin at the start line. Runners will form a queue, spaced 6 feet away from the people in front of them, and wear a mask until they cross the start line.
  4. Run or walk the 5K course on the spacious, vehicle-free East Side roads.
  5. Cross the finish line, pick up a Boxed Water, and then enjoy the day to explore other parts of the Arboretum grounds. 
  6. View your race results online.


How will we ensure everyone's safety?  

  • There will be limited touch points.
  • Staff and volunteers on-site will wear masks and gloves at all times.
  • There will be no on-site registration. Participants must pre-register before arriving.
  • There will not be any course water stations or recovery food. Boxed Water will be available at the start and finish lines.
  • No one will be allowed to gather in groups, and there will be no post-race party. 
  • Race packets will be mailed directly to participants the week following the race.
  • The Arboretum is operating at limited capacity; spectators are required to reserve timed-entry member passes or guest tickets prior to visiting. 
  • Everyone will be required to wear a mask when in the core race area  (Visitor Center, Arbor Court, and Tram Road) and in every building.
  • Everyone will be required to maintain 6 feet distance from others.
  • Gear check will be unavailable,


What's included with the registration cost?

  • Men's or women's technical T-shirt
  • Race packet, including T-shirt and coupons, mailed to you after the race
  • Race bib with timing strip
  • Access to run or walk the 5K course without vehicle traffic
  • Boxed Water at the start and finish line


Virtual 5K

How does it work? 

  1. Register for the Virtual 5K.
  2. Run a 5K anywhere at anytime; be sure to time yourself.
  3. Upload your final time on the Virtual Race Result Page prior to October 5, 2020.
  4. Race packets, including a technical T-shirt, will be mailed to you the week of October 5.


Can I run my Virtual 5K at the Arboretum? 

Yes you can run the Virtual 5K at The Arboretum, but you must reserve a timed-entry pass or ticket prior to visiting. Virtual Runners are not allowed to run on the course during the Socially Distant 5K on October 3 and 4, from 7 am - 1 pm. 

Members can reserve their free, timed-entry pass on the Arboretum's ticket website. Nonmembers will receive an email with instructions for reserving a free timed-entry pass after registering for the Virtual 5K.

Please note, if you choose the Virtual 5K you will not be able to run or walk on the East Side roads during the scheduled Socially Distant 5K. Running is not permitted on any trails at the Arboretum and runners must stay on the roads. Runners or walkers are encouraged to go the opposite direction of vehicles and stay on the right side of the road.


What's included with the registration cost?

  • Men's or women's technical T-shirt
  • Race packet, including T-shirt and coupons, mailed to your home after the race
  • Free timed-entry pass to run at The Morton Arboretum before October 3


Refund Policy

The Morton Arboretum is committed to providing a safe 5K Run for all participants. If circumstances related to COVID-19 change and a socially distant on-site run is no longer possible, your registration will automatically be transferred to the virtual race option and you will be notified immediately. Registration for the 5K, like all ticket purchases at The Morton Arboretum, is nonrefundable, including in the event of an exclusively virtual event.


Other Race Details

AWARDS: Due to COVID-19, no medals or prizes will be awarded this year.

GEAR CHECK: Due to COVID-19, gear check will not be available.

PARKING: Free parking is available on-site at The Morton Arboretum. Participants will be directed to parking locations within walking distance of the start/finish line.

PROHIBITED: Motorized vehicles, bicycles, roller skates, and pets are prohibited on the race course. 

RESTROOMS: Portable restrooms will be available near the start line and will be sanitized regularly. Restrooms are available inside the Visitor Center and West Pavilion building. Masks are required in these buildings.

RESULTS: Race results will be available immediately online after you cross the finish line. There will not be a race results station on-site this year.

SPECTATORS: Due to COVID-19, spectators are not allowed to gather around the start/finish line or the race core area. Visitors that would like to attend during the race are required to reserve a timed-entry pass prior to arriving at the Arboretum. 

STROLLERS: Due to COVID-19, strollers are prohibited during the race.

T-SHIRTS: T-shirts and race packets will be mailed to all participants the week of October 5. You should receive your packet no later than October 15. If there are any delays or changes to the packet mailing schedule, participants will be notified by email.

WATER STATIONS: No water stations will be available along the course. Boxed Water will be available near the start/finish line.

WEATHER AND EMERGENCIES: The race will take place rain or shine. In the case of emergency, participants will be notified by 6:00 a.m. on race morning via email or text with event updates. Notifications will also be posted on the website and The Morton Arboretum's Facebook page.

Fees and admission

$37 Members

$42 Guests




Contact races@mortonarb.org with any questions.


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