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Race into autumn with the 16th annual Fall Color 5K Run and Walk

Runners at the start of the 5k race
August 29, 2017

The Morton Arboretum is proud to announce its 16th annual Fall Color 5K Run and Walk and Kid’s Dash.  The event, which will takes place on Sunday, October 6, attracts more than 2,000 runners from Chicagoland and beyond who will enjoy the fall  temperatures and spectacular colors as they run or walk through the Arboretum’s tree-lined woods.

The 2019 5K event will take runners on a challenging USA Track & Field-certified course, winding through the Arboretum’s wooded east side. Certified by the Chicago Area Runners Association, the race will track participants using the ChronoTrack B-tagTM timing system. Each runner will receive a technical T-shirt, recovery food, water, and free admission to enjoy the 1,700-acre Arboretum for the remainder of the day.  

The 5K begins at 8 a.m. and the Kid’s Dash at 9:30 a.m. The day includes a post-race party, complete with awards in age and gender categories and live music from This End Up. To toast to their finish, runners 21 and older will  receive a complimentary Arbor Oak Amber Ale, a microbrew made using oak chips from the Arboretum’s own trees.

Designed for children ages 2 to 10, the Kid’s Dash is divided into three categories: 2 to 4 year olds will race for 50 yards, 5 and 6 year olds will run a quarter-mile, and 7 to 10 year olds will complete a half-mile.  In addition, every child participant will receive a T-shirt and participation ribbon. 

“The Fall Color 5K Run and Walk has grown every year and has become one of the most anticipated events of the season at the Arboretum,” said Jenelle Hardtke, Special Events Manager for The Morton Arboretum.  “Whether you are an avid, competitive runner or a walker, the beautiful fall scenery that is the backdrop for this race ensures that every participant finishes strong. ”  

Race registration is open now through October 5 at a cost of $40 for members and $45 for nonmembers. Registration for the Kid’s Dash is $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Admission to the Arboretum and the post-race party, as well as participant T-shirts, are included in registration. Participants are encouraged to explore the Arboretum's 1,700 acres, including the Children’s Garden and  the popular Troll Hunt, following the race.

Those who can’t participate but would like to support The Morton Arboretum’s vision of a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world are welcome to register in the Virtual Runner/Walker category. In exchange for a $25 donation, contributors will receive a race T-shirt and free admission to the Arboretum on race day.

Registration packets can be picked up on select dates at Dick Pond Athletics in Lisle prior to the race.  For an additional $10 fee, packets can be mailed or picked up onsite at the Arboretum on race day.    

The Morton Arboretum thanks 5K sponsors Dick Pond Athletics and Boxed Water Is Better.