Running Tours LeadWith its 18-mile-long Lakefront Trail, expanding river walk and roughly 5,700 parks, Chicago is already one of the most runner-friendly cities in the country. City Running Tours, as the name would imply, uses the city's many paths, sidewalks and trails to offer Chicago's active visitors a guided trot through town. If you're looking to see the city while, simultaneously, burning off last night's deep dish pizza, lace up and reserve your spot on the starting line.

The Basics

City Running Tours

If you're training for CrossFit Games and think City Running Tours can be your WOD, it can't. Sorry, but you're still going to need to get your burpees and box jumps in later. That said, if you've been chilling on the couch playing X-Box for the last couple months, it's going to be a struggle. During your route, you will run up stairs, over hills, and through some challenging terrain, but the pace is slow enough for any experienced runner to keep up. You will sweat, you will not hurl (hopefully).

Scheduled Running Tours

City Running Tours

The Scheduled Running Tours consist of three themed routes and begin at either 7:15 am or 8 am daily. For a detailed schedule of runs or to sign up, click here.

Chicago River and Navy Pier (Distance: 5K): The strength of Chicago was built on its river. As the pivot point connecting the Midwest to the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, Chicago grew into one of the most economically and culturally significant cities in the world. This route is stunning with photo opportunities at the mouth of the Chicago River, along the Lake Michigan shoreline, and in front of Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. 

Grant Park (Distance: 5K): Known as "Chicago's Front Yard," Grant Park is a scenic buffer that separates downtown Chicago from Lake Michigan's coastline. Many cities build all the way up to their water fronts, effectually running their skylines. Chicago, on the other hand, is set back, which makes for one of the most gorgeous downtown views in the world and - as a result - an incredibly beautiful running route.  

Chicago Tragic Events (Distance: 5K): This tour carves through the Loop's famed architecture and displays of public art, but the tone is a bit more somber. The focus is on Chicago's tragic events like the Great Chicago Fire (which wiped out four square miles of the city in 1871), the Eastland Disaster (a capsized boat that claimed more than 800 lives), and the Iroquois Theater Fire (a 1903 blaze that claimed 602 lives and changed building codes forever).

The Personal Running Tours

City Running Tours

City Running Tours also offers four featured routes or Personalized Running Tours that, when combined, equal 26.2 mile's worth of route, or the distance of a marathon. The City in a Garden route (5.62 miles) centers on Chicago's park system including Millennium Park, Grant Park, Lakeview East Park, and Museum Campus. Tower to Tower, a six mile jog through downtown Chicago, visits the city's four tallest buildings. The Run to Wrigley (6.48), which begins at Tribune Tower and ends at Wrigley Field, is a route that's decorated with some of the north side's biggest attractions, including a stop at Lincoln Park Zoo. And finally, the Devil in the White City is an eight mile run through the former home of the 1893 World's Fair, including stops at the Museum of Science & Industry, University of Chicago and the Japanese Garden. To sign up for a personal run, click here.

Help us keep the lights on by subscribing to Chicago Like a Local. For your efforts, we'll deliver awesome stories (like this one) to your inbox. Do we have a deal?