Sign up for the Race for the River 5K

Registration is open for the Race for the River 5K!

Sign up and support the river now!

Join Fiends of the Chicago River on Saturday, September 21 for the inaugural Race for the River 5K and Family Festival!

The festive 5K run/walk starts and ends at River Park in the Ravenswood and Albany Park neighborhoods of Chicago and is open to all ages and abilities. The 5K course is flat, scenic, and a great opportunity for both beginners and experienced runners. If you are not up for running, sign up for our more leisurely guided nature walks around River and Ronan Parks, paddling and water science experiments. Immediately after, join us for an after-party festival in River Park to enjoy river-centric activities, drinks and snacks, and connect with community organizations. Register now.

Do not miss this unique opportunity to explore the North Shore Channel trail and recent river edge improvements that expand the health and climate resiliency of the Chicago-Calumet River system and support equitable, open access for all.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Support Friends, become a sponsor of this unique nature-centric run and experience! By sponsoring our Race for the River 5K, you make a direct impact on the health of the 156-mile Chicago-Calumet River system and support clean water, heathy habitats, and public access for everyone no matter where they live. Your sponsorship stays local supporting jobs, local businesses, and public health. Download our sponsorship package here.

Captain a Spirit Team

Share your kindness, fun, and cheer for the river and its wildlife by serving as a Spirit Team Captain. Recruit and lead a Spirit Team of up to eight people to fundraise at least $1,600 by September 30, 2024. Spirit Team captains must be at least 21 years old as of September 21, 2024.

5K, Nature Walks, and Festival Details

The race will begin in River Park. The path will follow the North Shore Trail north to Bernard Stone Park and circle back to end at River Park. Click here for more details about the day’s events including race wave logistics, transportation/parking, and nature walks.

  • Step off time for the race is 8:30 a.m. and course closes at 10:30 a.m.
  • Guided nature walks will begin at 8:45 a.m. at River Park and will explore River and Ronan Parks.
  • The after party festival will be from 9-11 a.m. and will include tabling stations with community partners, a beer garden, and a pay-what-you-can Youth Fun Run.

For more information, please contact Becky Lyons, director of equity and engagement, at