The Best Spring Races in Chicago

Spring is getting close and if you if you’re still rounding out your spring race calendar, here are some of the best races in Chicago! In my opinion.

the shamrock shuffle the green guys

The Shamrock Shuffle 8K

The Shamrock Shuffle is considered to be the official kick-off of the racing season, however, for some people, they never stop racing, and there are also races that happen prior to the Shuffle, but whatever. It generally attracts tens of thousands of runners for the 8K race through the streets of Chicago. The Shuffle is managed by the same crew who does the Chicago Marathon, so you can expect a very well-run expereince. And, if you’ve been around the running scene, you will likely run into a few friends without even trying.



Soldier Field 10 

I ran the Soldier Field 10 in 2011, and volunteered in 2012, and ran it in 2017. It was the first “long” race that I felt went well, I loved finishing on the 50-yard line of Soldier Field (and now you start there too). It was taken over by RAM Racing, and they have done a good job maintining the quality of a Fleet Feet Race. The course is an out-and-back on the Lakefront Path, but the start and finish on Soldier Field, overall quality, and the fact that there aren’t many 10-mile races make this a great option.


southwest half marathon palos heights

Southwest Half Marathon

The Southwest Half Marathon is held in the southwest suburbs of Chicago (specifically Palos Heights). This race holds a special place in my heart because it was my very first half marathon, the very first race I did as a “real” runner, I’ve watched numerous friends run it (see photo of Kelly above), and I’ve met the race director and he does a lot for the local running community down there. The course is not the most exciting (along Rt 83 mostly through the forest preserve), the field of runners isn’t huge (so you might be lonely if your pace is 12:00 or slower), but there is free parking, it’s a good community race, and there is a cash prize so they get some fasties, which is fun to watch on the out-and-back course.


good life race oak park

Photo from the Good Life Race Facebook page

Good Life Race 5K

I personally haven’t run the Good Life Race 5K, but it’s been around for a long time, it’s put on by the local running club (so they know a thing or two about a good race), and Erin is always talking it up. And it’s got “good” right there in the name … they wouldn’t lie to us.


What are some other great spring races in Chicago? 


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One Comment on “The Best Spring Races in Chicago”

  1. I’m a big fan of the Chicago Spring 13.1 (or 10K)! As long as that race continues to give out breakfast and potted flowers at its post-race party, I will continue to declare it the best spring race in the city. I really enjoyed the Good Life Race when I did it a few years ago! It hasn’t worked out with my schedule since, but they, too, had an excellent post-race party, which is apparently all it takes to impress me in the race department, haha.

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