THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Race Start Times - 2021
220 Mile Race Star (Solo & Relay) - 8 AM on October 21st (72 Hour Cut-Off)
100 Mile, 100K Start - 7 AM on October 23rd (30-hour cutoff for 100 Mile and 15 hours for 100K)
50 Mile, 50K Start - 8 AM on October 23rd
1/2 and Full Marathon - 8:30 AM on October 23rd
5K and 10K - 9 AM on October 23rd (Palos Park Woods) and October 24th (Northbrook)
1st Annual Outerbelt Ultra Marathons
UPDATE We did our best but COVID beat us for 2020. We were working to push forward with the race and even tried to move the race start/finish to Palos Woods but unfortunately the increasing virus numbers and an understandably cautious Forest Preserve policy did not align. We are working with Ultrasignup to update the date to October 23, 2021 and will be offering refund or transfer options to any registrants.
Local time: 3:09 AM
Race Description: There’s a city loop trail that goes all the way around Chicago that you’d never believe. This giant system of parks, trails, and natural attractions is truly something spectacular.
Chicago is known for many things -- skyline-perfecting architecture, waistline-expanding cuisine, the most revolting booze known to man. Natural beauty is not necessarily one of those things. However, a massive greenbelt of spectacular nature was right here all along.
In the summer of 2019, a group of intrepid local hikers discovered a way to hike around the entire Chicago metro area in one go. It’s called the Chicago Outerbelt, an uninterrupted 220-mile nature trail that pieces together existing forest preserves and parkland into one continuous loop. With highlights along the trail ranging from scenic lakes and rustic campsites to forested woodlands and lakefront beaches, let no one ever tell you again that there’s no such thing as nature in Chicago. You just gotta know where to find it.
Simply put, the Chicago Outerbelt is a trail that connects some of the best nature surrounding our city. Our route will extend from Downtown’s Buckingham Fountain to the south suburbs, west to the Des Plaines River Trail, up north to Lake County, and finally back south along the Chicago lakefront. Primarily it consists of municipal properties pieced together for the first time -- like the Cook County Forest Preserve District, Chicago Park District, and Lake County Forest Preserves. With some sections traversing secluded wilderness, and others right near urban populations, the result is a running and hiking experience you won’t find anywhere besides Chicago.
Along the Outerbelt, you’ll see a vast cross-section of wildlife including deer, herons, egrets, eagles, hawks, frogs, toads, and fish. The only dangers you’re likely to encounter are some poison ivy, a few bug bites, and maybe a little sunburn.
Sooo...we're going to run it! The main event will be the full 220-mile Outerbelt Trail distance starting on Thursday with options for a team relay or a solo push and a 72-hour cut-off. There will be various ultra distances that will start on Saturday morning to highlight the diversity of the trail system around Chicago and even some shorter distances in cities along the trail. Thanks so much and look forward to exploring the great outdoors that surround Chicago with you all!
- Jemal Swoboda, Race Director