Chicago ‘fun runs’ offer chance for activity, money for charity


Night Nation Run, Bubble Run, Warrior Dash and the Color Run (clockwise from the top right), which are four of Chicago’s “fun runs.” Each image was taken from the runs’ respective website and usage is protected by Section 107 of the Copyright Act, also known as Fair Use.

Abigail Slimmon, Sports Editor

To most, running isn’t considered fun or something to look forward to, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Fun runs are held frequently all over the city, encouraging Chicagoans to get outside, stay active and even help raise money for charity. As the weather gets warmer and the school year nears the end, consider signing up for one of these runs with friends or family.


Night Nation Run

May 17, Soldier Field

Runners get their blood pumping at this music running festival with a pre-show featuring mostly EDM performances and can buy glow paint and other light-up merchandise around the main stage. At 8 p.m., the 5k starts and runners enjoy views of the city with neon light shows and music around them while they run along the lakefront. As runners get closer to the after-party the music gets louder and louder. The workout doesn’t end after running 3.2 miles. Participants dance and sing along to  DJs as confetti rains down.

Nolan Issa participated last year with a big group of his friends.

“Last year’s Night Nation Run was awesome because it was a fun way to get out with friends and do something new and fun,” Nolan said. “The music after party was a great motivator for us to power through the 5K to get there.”

The Night Nation Run raises money for Stand Up To Cancer.


Bubble Run

May 25, Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet

The Bubble Run is a family-friendly 5k with rolling starts every 60-90 seconds, making the race easier to run due to less congestion throughout the course. Music blasting along the course encourages participants not just to run but to dance, too. Throughout the 5k, runners make their way through mountains of colorful bubbles. Food trucks and more foam machines greet runners at the end of the run.

The Bubble Run has not yet selected a Chicagoland charity to support. Suggest a charity here.


Warrior Dash

July 13, Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet

Crawling through mud. Leaping over fire. Climbing up 20-foot towers. The Warrior Dash is an obstacle race you don’t want to miss. Participants can register for 1 mile including five to eight obstacles for $39, a 5k including 12 obstacles for $59, or a 10k with 20-26 obstacles for $70. Runners can expect crazy outfits, challenging obstacles and competitive spirit.

The Warrior Dash raises money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


The Color Run

June 15, Soldier Field

The Color Run is a 5k with the goal of both bringing people together and brightening their lives through color. The event is untimed to reduce the level of competitiveness. Runners are encouraged to wear white because at each kilometer mark they’ll be completely covered in colored powder. The end of the race brings photo opportunities, live music and food vendors.

“I did it a few years ago and it was great,” Ashley Hannah said. “The color makes the running a ton easier.”

The Color Run raises money for Back On My Feet.