The Pine Pacer

Kick off the new year with a month-long winter running and walking challenge.

Content Detail

Start the new year off on the right foot with the Pine Pacer running and walking challenge hosted at The Morton Arboretum. Throughout the month of January, participants can track runs and walks they complete and submit the mileage of each workout to the Arboretum’s virtual challenge website.

To start the Pine Pacer challenge, select a goal of 25, 50, or 100 miles that you commit to complete by the end of January. To reach your goal, you can run or walk at the Arboretum, around your neighborhood, on a treadmill, or anywhere else you like to run and walk. Remember, this is a challenge! Push yourself and get a healthy start on your new year’s resolutions.

Event highlights include:

  • Commemorative Pine Pacer Flex Fleece 1/4-Zip Pullover with men’s and women’s styles
  • An option to have your sweatshirt mailed
  • Challenge completion stickers
  • Participants who aren’t yet members of the Arboretum receive complimentary admission passes and the opportunity to become a member at a discounted rate.

New for 2024: Pine Pacer Travel Mug

For an additional $15, participants will receive a branded Pine Pacer travel mug. Present this travel mug at the Information Desk in the Visitor Center when you visit in January to receive a free hot coffee or hot tea voucher for the day.

Registration Options

Register for the Pine Pacer Challenge >

Pine Pacer participants must select walking or running while registering, based on the predominant method they will use to accomplish their mileage goals. For example, runners are allowed to include tracked walking miles, but the majority of miles submitted should be completed while running.

Membership Special

Pine Pacer participants who are not yet members of the Arboretum have an opportunity to save $10 off a one-year Morton Arboretum membership using discount code HOL2023E. After registering for the Pine Pacer challenge, view your confirmation email for instructions on how to purchase your new membership. Participants can use their new member benefits to walk or run at the Arboretum to collect Pine Pacer miles.

Pine Pacer participants who are already members of the Arboretum but want to share the gift of membership can receive $10 off the annual cost of a gift membership. Share the joy of an Arboretum membership with a friend and you can collect your Pine Pacer miles together! Please note that this offer is only valid for new Morton-level memberships purchased on or before Sunday, January 7, 2024. This offer does not apply to membership renewals.

Pine Pacer Travel Mug

For an additional $15 when registering, participants will receive a Pine Pacer travel mug and a voucher for free hot coffee or tea at the Ginkgo Café redeemable on each visit to the Arboretum. Participants can present their Pine Pacer travel mug at the Information Desk in the Visitor Center to receive a free hot coffee or hot tea voucher for the day.

Members who have signed up for the free Frequent Visitor Rewards Program may collect their points and save them to enjoy a free small beverage or pastry throughout the remaining winter months!

Accordion List

  • Your Pine Pacer travel mug will be available to pick up beginning on Monday, January 1, 2024 at The Arboretum Store during regular store hours 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The store will be closed January 8th. Please note that travel mugs will not be shipped. You will receive your first free coffee voucher as soon as you collect your travel mug. You will need to provide your Pine Pacer registration confirmation to claim your travel mug.

  • You must bring your travel mug to the Arboretum and present it at the Information Desk in the Visitor Center to receive your free hot coffee or hot tea voucher for that day. Then, head over to the Ginkgo Café with your travel mug and present the voucher to the barista to receive your coffee or tea. The drink must be served in your branded travel mug. Please make sure the travel mug is clean at the time of ordering. You may receive one free hot coffee or hot tea per day (up to 31 free beverages during the month of January). This promotion does not include specialty lattes or fountain beverages. Vouchers will expire at the end of each day. No vouchers will be accepted after Wednesday, January 31.

  • If you come to the Arboretum every day for the month of January, you are eligible for up to 31 free beverages. Vouchers will expire at the end of each day received.

  • No. Coffee or hot tea must be poured into the designated travel mug to be eligible.

  • No, we cannot replace a lost or broken travel mug.

  • No, this purchase is only available as part of the Pine Pacer challenge.

  • The Arboretum’s Ginkgo Café offers 10 cents off beverages to guests who bring their own travel mug. Continue to use it here or anywhere!

    Please reach out to if you experience any issues with your travel mug.

Pine Pacer Flex Fleece 1/4-Zip Pullover

Tracking Your Performance

Pine Pacer participants will record their official results here. The leaderboard is updated in real time and can help participants stay motivated.

In addition to tracking miles on the Official Pine Pacer web page, participants may also find it helpful to use Strava, a fitness app that can log mileage on an iPhone or Android using smartphone data, a GPS-supported smartwatch, or head unit. Please note that logging miles on the Strava app will not synchronize with the official Pine Pacer Challenge results.

The Morton Arboretum uses Strava to create routes to support and inspire current users of the app and to create visual routes for non-users to enjoy.

Accordion List

  • The Morton Arboretum is not affiliated with Strava. It is a premier mobile app for runners and a valuable tool to help participants track and discover new routes. If you are interested in downloading the app as a new user, please do your own research before purchasing a subscription.

  • Yes. Strava is an optional tool that is not necessary to complete the challenge.

  • Using the Strava app is optional and allows you to personally track your miles. You will still need to manually submit your miles to count towards the challenge at the virtual challenge website.

  • Strava has specific restrictions on what groups can coordinate a sponsored challenge. Unfortunately, The Morton Arboretum does not meet the criteria to create a sponsored challenge.

Pine Pacer Challenge Frequently Asked Questions

Can I register in person at the Arboretum?

This race uses the platform RunSignup for registration. To register, please fill out the secure online form.

  • No, participants can complete the challenge anywhere they like, but we encourage participants to complete their miles at the Arboretum  when possible. All paved roads at the Arboretum are accessible to runners and walkers. Running is not permitted on wood chipped hiking trails.

  • Arboretum members do not require advanced timed-entry passes to enter the Arboretum.. Nonmembers do need to reserve advance, timed-entry admission to enter. Once registered for the Pine Pacer challenge, guests will receive a discount code for a free weekly admission ticket and can reserve their pass online through the Arboretum website.

  • No, this challenge is only for tracking miles from walking or running.

  • Yes, you can track your miles anytime you walk or run, regardless of whether you are outside or inside.

  • Participants will receive a notification about receiving their pullovers when registration closes on Monday, January 15. Every effort will be made to expedite mailing.

  • You can view and submit your results on RunSignup from Monday, January 1, through Wednesday, January 31.

  • There is no consequence to not reaching your set goal. The Pine Pacer is meant to help participants kick start their long-term exercise and wellness goals.


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