Race for the River 5K & Family Festival

Saturday, September 21

Race start: 8:30 a.m.

River Park, 5100 N Francisco Ave, Chicago


Register your River Spirit Team 

For a team of up to eight river revelers

Fundraising minimum: $1,600 


Register Here 

Race Registration: $45 per person      

Day-of Race Registration: $50 per person

Race Alternative - Guided Nature Walk: $25 per person


Sponsor the Race

Volunteer for the Race

Race FAQs


Celebrate the river’s renaissance by traversing this river trail with hundreds of fellow runners and revelers at the Race for the River 5K. Based at River Park, join Friends of the Chicago River in exploring 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.  

Run, walk or roll into your morning at either the timed 5K along the North Shore Channel or, instead of the race, take a guided nature walk around River and Ronan Parks. Then stick around for the family festival for drinks, snacks, learning and fun with Friends and community partners. Pet and family friendly.

All registrations include entry into the family fest, a commemorative shirt, and free beverage ticket. Proceeds benefit Friends of the Chicago River in working to protect and restore the Chicago-Calumet River system for all people, water, and wildlife. 

Following the race or walk, join us for the family festival to engage in fun river-centric activities, enjoy drinks and snacks, and connect with community organizations. Family- and pet-friendly, all are welcome. Local community groups are welcome to table or support the event. Please reach out to Maggie Walker, Events Coordinator, at mwalker@chicagoriver.org.


Packet pick up and race day registration starts at 7:00 a.m.

Race day registration will close by 7:45 a.m. or earlier if sold out

Race starts at 8:30 a.m.

Guided nature walks start at 8:45 a.m.

Family Festival from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Check out more details on our FAQ page here. 


Register your River Spirit Team

Friends invites you to lead a River Spirit Team of up to eight participating people to raise funds for their race in support of Friends, improving water quality, and increasing equitable trail access. Spirit teams are responsible for fundraising $1,600 on behalf of Friends by September 30, 2024. We appreciate your energy, your support, and your good spirit. River Spirit Teams will win awards for the highest fundraising team and the most spirited! Run with us to improve river health and equitable trail access.


Sponsor the Race

Friends of the Chicago River is deeply grateful to the 2024 Race for the River 5K sponsors and partners who make this event and so much more of our critical work possible. We could not do it without their financial contributions and support of our work to protect and restore the Chicago-Calumet River system for all people, water, and wildlife. Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors and partners. If you are interested in learning more about how to be a sponsor please contact Becky Lyons, Director of Equity and Engagement, at blyons@chicagoriver.org.