Course & Directions

The course is anywhere you choose to run or walk outdoors.

The course maps below show the routes we have used the past 2 years for the 5K and the 1 Mile options. Anyone participating in the 2021 virtual race is welcome to use them. They are both located in the forest preserve adjacent to Midtown. You can run or walk alone or with one other person, in the interest of social distancing. The 5K course is certified (USATF Certificate IL18026NM) for the correct distance of 3.1 miles. It starts and finishes in the parking lot at Midtown Athletic Club at 1760 N Hicks Road in Palatine. To start, participants will turn right out of the small Midtown lot just off Hicks Rd, make another quick right onto the sidewalk heading west, pass the tennis courts on the sidewalk, then enter Deer Grove East with a right turn and then veer to the left onto the loop, follow the red loop  clockwise for about 2.8 miles and return to the sidewalk along Hicks road by turning left again onto the path heading towards Hick, left onto the sidewalk to cross the bridge and follow the sidewalk in front of the tennis courts that border Hicks road before turning left again into the driveway at Midtown and left into the small parking lot to the finish line. Click here for a printable version of the course map.


The 1 mile course (not certified) will start at Midtown Athletic Club, turn right out of the small parking lot, another quick right onto the sidewalk heading west, follow the sidewalk west and turn to the right on the path, then veer left as you enter the loop in a clockwise direction, just like the 5K. There will be no turnaround cone so it will be up to you to use your Garmin or estimate a 1/2 mile by time. When you reach about 1/2 mile, you will turn around and head back the way you came. When you get back to the path leading up to Hicks Road, turn right and then left back onto the sidewalk heading east to return to Midtown, turn left into the parking lot and left again to the finish. Approximate works!

There will be no course marshals to direct you as well as no signage. The good part is that you can just go out and complete your distance with no prior arrangements, without worrying about being late, as long as it is during daylight hours to comply with Cook County forest preserve rules. Use a Garmin to measure your distance or just run or walk by time.