The Pine Pacer

Kick off the new year with a monthlong winter running and walking challenge.

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Please note: Pine Pacer pullover pick up at Dick Pond Athletics will end on Sunday, February 4, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. Pine Pacer mugs must be picked up at the Arboretum Store by Monday, February 5.

Congratulations to all of our 2024 Pine Pacer participants! Participants have until Wednesday, February 7th to upload results.

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 (Sold out)

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.

Congratulations to all of our 2024 Pine Pacer participants! You can view the leaderboard results here. Participants have until Wednesday, February 7th to upload results. Challenge completion stickers will be mailed directly to participants after the final results have been pulled.

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.

Arboretum Walking and Running Routes

Visit The Morton Arboretum and follow specially designed routes to complete your Pine Pacer challenge miles amid beautiful, tree-filled landscapes. You can find walking and running routes with the Strava mobile app or by following signage on-site at the Arboretum.

Finding routes on Strava: You can follow this profile on the Strava app to see the created routes. You will also see the routes in your weekly motivation emails, which will identify the accessibility, length, terrain, and elevation of the route. See the FAQ section for more information about using Strava to log your activities.

Finding routes at the Arboretum: Look for signage along trails and roads that identify the start and end of each route. Route maps will not be available at the Visitor Center, so please follow directions from your email to find the route you are looking for.

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. Strava users can follow this profile to see routes located on the Arboretum grounds.

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  • 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.

Membership Special

Pine Pacer participants have the opportunity to take advantage of a $10 discount on any new Morton 1-6 one year membership while registering for the challenge.

Pine Pacer Travel Mug (Sold Out)

Please note: Pine Pacer mugs are now sold out.

For an additional $15 when registering, participants 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!

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  • 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 on Sunday, January 8. 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.

    Pine Pacer mugs must be picked up at the Arboretum Store by Monday, February 5. A shipping option is now available for a $10 fee for participants who cannot pick up their mug by then. Please email with your request.

  • 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

Pullover Pick Up

Free pullover pick up will take place Wednesday, January 17 through Sunday, February 4, 2024 at Dick Pond Athletics in Lisle during the following hours:

  • Monday through Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Dick Pond Athletics is located at 2775 Maple Ave, Lisle, IL, 60532. Registrants who select to have their pullover mailed will receive it by the end of January.

Pine Pacer Challenge Frequently Asked Questions

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  • 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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