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Press Release: The Morton Arboretum to debut new 3K and 10K Firefly Race Series in May

Two-day endurance challenge a nod to National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

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LISLE, Ill. (April 5, 2024)—The Morton Arboretum is debuting its first-ever endurance challenge in May during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. The new Firefly Race Series starts on May 3 with a 3K fun run and walk at sunset, followed by a post-race glow party. The challenge continues on May 4 with a 10K race along a USATF-certified course through the Arboretum’s rolling terrain.

Arboretum Special Event Planner Kate Fitzgerald said the race series will provide a new opportunity for participants of all levels of physical fitness to challenge themselves.

“This is the Arboretum’s first endurance challenge and one of the few two-day race series hosted in Illinois,” said Fitzgerald. “The 3K is an approachable race for beginners, and a great warm-up to the more challenging 10K course for more seasoned competitors and those training for half or full marathons.” Participants may register for one or both races, or virtual options.

The 3K sunset run and walk at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening is an after-hours Arboretum experience that concludes with a neon-themed, deejayed post-race party under the stars, with snacks and refreshments from local establishments Bubblehouse Brewing and Go Brewing. The 10K race at 8 a.m. Saturday winds through woodlands, marshes, lakes, prairie and ornamental tree collections famous for their floral displays.

“May at the Arboretum is spectacular, with flowering trees and plants all along the race route, from sweeps of daffodils and wildflowers to the ever-popular purple redbuds and a tapestry of color blossoming in the Crabapple Collection,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s a very unique race course in the Chicago area.”

The 10K top overall male, female and nonbinary winners, and the top three male, female and nonbinary winners in each age division will receive medals.

Registration includes Arboretum admission and a neon quarter-zip pullover for the 10K and long-sleeve T-shirt for the 3K. In partnership with Dick Pond Athletics, the Arboretum is accepting used athletic shoes for donation or recycling near the Start/Finish line of both races.

The 3K race is $50 for members and $55 for guests. The 10K is $60 for members and $65 for guests. Registration for both races is discounted at $95 for members and $105 for guests through April 23. Virtual participation options are also available at $40 for members and $45 for guests for the 3K; $50 for members and $55 for guests for the 10K; and discounted through April 23 at $80 for members and $90 for guests for both races. To register, visit