Events

Firefly Race Series

Introducing a new series of running events at The Morton Arboretum.

Content Detail

The new Firefly Race Series offers a variety of invigorating races on the grounds of The Morton Arboretum. The 2024 season kicks off with a 3K fun run around Meadow Lake and a competitive 10K course along the rolling terrain of the Arboretum’s East Side.

Participants also have the option to run one or both distances virtually, at a time and location of their choosing.

 

Register for one race, or bundle both 2024 Firefly races to save on registration costs and embark on a two-day endurance challenge. Embrace the thrill of the run and the beauty of the spring season—it’s a weekend of challenge, fun, and adventure you don’t want to miss!

Firefly 3K and 10K Challenge

Register for just one race, or bundle the Firefly 3K and Firefly 10K to save on registration—and compete in our first-ever endurance series!

Take on the Firefly Challenge to enjoy the following benefits:

  • $15 registration discount for on-site races
  • $10 registration discount for virtual races
  • Firefly Race Series finisher sticker for all finishers

Please note that the Firefly Challenge only applies to registration for both on-site races or both virtual races. This discount is only available through Tuesday, April 23.

Pricing
On-site: $95 member, $105 guest ($15 discount)
Virtual: $80 member, $90 ($10 discount)

Virtual Participation

Runners can participate in any Firefly Race Series race virtually by completing the race distance at a location and date of their choosing.

Virtual participants may also complete their distances on-site during the two weeks preceding the race. During this period, virtual runners will enjoy free admission to the Arboretum and may complete their distances on the course.

Highlights include:

  • Virtual participants will receive a free general admission ticket to the Arboretum to complete their distances anytime between Friday, April 26 and Friday, May 3
  • Virtual participants will receive their race packets and apparel via mail, free of charge

Virtual participants will record their times via the Arboretum’s RunSignUp platform.

Registration for virtual races ends Tuesday, April 23, at 11:59 p.m. All virtual participants will receive their race packets and apparel via mail, free of charge. Virtual participants will not be eligible for awards.

No matter when or where you run, you will be supporting the Arboretum’s vision of a greener, healthier, more beautiful world where people and trees thrive together.

Spectator Admission

For races that take place outside of regular Arboretum hours, special admission is required for spectators. In addition to after-hours admission to the Arboretum, spectator admission may include access to postrace party events and perks such as complementary food and beverages. Race participants may add special admission for spectators to their purchase during online checkout.

Admission Wristbands

Admission wristbands for spectators will be included with your race packet. Spectators are not required to be accompanied by a Firefly race participant, and may enter the Arboretum by showing the wristband at the gatehouse.

Pricing and Benefits

Spectator admission pricing and benefits vary by race. Firefly 3K spectators must purchase spectator admission to visit the Arboretum after hours on Friday, May 3; Firefly 10K spectators must purchase general Arboretum admission or arrive before 9:00 a.m. to receive free admission on Saturday, May 4. See the Firefly 3K and Firefly 10K event pages for more information about spectator admission and pricing.

Race Packet Pickup and Mailing

Your race packet includes a Chronotrack race bib, safety pins, race apparel (if purchased) and spectator admission wristbands (if purchased).

Free pickup of your race packet prior to race day is available at Dick Pond Athletics in Lisle. Stop by during regular store hours, Friday, April 26, through Friday, May 4.

You can choose to receive your packet by mail for an additional fee of $15, or in person on race day for an additional fee of $10.

Virtual participants will receive their race packets and apparel via mail, free of charge.

Participants may only request race packet mailing through Wednesday, April 24 at 8:00 a.m.

Race Details and Policies

Accordion List

  • Awards will be given to the top three Firefly 10K overall male, female, and nonbinary finishers, as well as the top three male, female, and nonbinary finishers in the following age groups: 14 and under; 15 to 19; 20 to 24; 25 to 29; 30 to 34; 35 to 39; 40 to 44; 45 to 49; 50 to 54; 55 to 59; 60 to 64; 65 to 69; 70 to 74; 75 to 79; 80 and older. Overall male, female, and nonbinary winners do not qualify for a medal in their age bracket. The top three overall winners in the male, female, and nonbinary categories are determined by gun time. Age division winners are determined by chip time.

    Firefly 3K participants will not receive awards.

    Firefly 10K awards can be picked up starting at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, at the Packet Pickup Tent.

  • Children who are being pushed in strollers do not require race registration. For children who will be participating in the race, a registration fee and a waiver signed by an adult are required.

    Please note that race apparel is only offered in unisex adult sizing; children’s sizing is not available.

  • Gear check is available for free on Friday, May 3, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, across from the Visitor Center main entrance. Gear will be checked according to bib number. We are not responsible for any lost or stolen items. Please do not check anything of value. No gear will be held overnight until the next day.

  • Free parking is available on-site at The Morton Arboretum. Please allow plenty of time to park and walk from parking areas. Participants are encouraged to carpool.

    Parking Lot 1 (P1) has accessible parking spaces and is close to the Visitor Center; the distance from the farthest parking spot to the main entrance of the Visitor Center is one-quarter of a mile.

  • Motorized vehicles, bicycles, roller skates, and pets are prohibited on the race course.

  • Do you have well-worn athletic shoes that you no longer need? The Morton Arboretum, in partnership with Dick Pond Athletics, will be accepting used athletic shoes for recycling and donating. Visit the shoe recycling tent near the Start/Finish line on race day to drop off your pair.

  • Invite your friends and family to experience the Firefly Race Series with you! Race participants may add special admission for spectators to their purchase during online checkout.

    Firefly 3K participants are required to purchase special admission for spectators. 3K spectator tickets are $25 when purchased in advance of the race and $30 when purchased on race day. Firefly 3K spectator admission includes after-hours admission to the Arboretum, access to the 3K post-race party on Friday, May 3, and a free alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage.

    Firefly 10K spectators receive free admission to the Arboretum if they arrive before 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, and do not require advance registration.

    Admission wristbands for spectators will be included with your race packet. Spectators are not required to be accompanied by a Firefly race participant, and may enter the Arboretum by showing the wristband at the gatehouse.

  • Participants are permitted to run the Firefly 3K and the Firefly 10K with strollers. All runners pushing strollers must be lined up at the back of the running or walking section when starting to race. Volunteers will be available to direct participants with strollers to the proper starting place.

  • Large digital clocks will be stationed throughout the course. Finish line times will also be displayed on digital clocks.

  • Granola bars, bananas, and Boxed Water will be provided at the finish line.

  • Cups of water will be available at the start line and at three stations on the Firefly 10K course.

    Water will not be provided during the Firefly 3K.

  • The races will take place rain or shine. In the case of an emergency, participants will be notified via email by 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, or by 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 4. Notifications will also be posted on the website and The Morton Arboretum Facebook page.

Race Apparel

Included with registration is a branded apparel item featuring The Morton Arboretum and Firefly Race Series logos. Participants who register for multiple races will receive all associated apparel items.

Race apparel items have a nontapered fit. Sizing is adult unisex. Please note that children’s sizing is not available.

Participants may opt out of receiving commemorative race apparel and dedicate their full registration cost to the Arboretum’s vision of a greener, healthier, more beautiful world where people and trees thrive together.

 

Firefly 3K Apparel

Sport-Tek® PosiCharge® Competitor™ Tee with PosiCharge technology. See the Firefly 3K event page for details.

 

Firefly 10K Apparel

BAW Xtreme-Tek Performance Quarter Zip Pullover with moisture-managing technology. See the Firefly 10K event page for details.

Course Map

View or download the course map as a PDF >

Firefly 3K Course

The Firefly 3K course follows the Meadow Lake Path around Meadow Lake, a manmade lake located directly outside the Visitor Center. The paved asphalt path has a typical grade of 3% and a maximum grade of 8%. One loop around Meadow Lake is 0.6 miles.

Firefly 10K Course

The Firefly 10K course follows the main paved road on the Arboretum’s East Side. The route features steeper grades than the Firefly 3K and hills that may be challenging for wheelchair users.

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