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Course Details

All races use the same start and finish lines. All races run the same first 500 meters, and all races run the same last 2,500 meters. The start and finish areas are less than 300 meters apart. For the 4 km and 5 km meter races, there is an added 2,000-meter loop. Athletes running the 5 km course will run the entire 2000-meter loop, while the athletes running the 4 km course will have an earlier turn and only run 1,000 meters of the added loop.

Although Busse Woods is a forest preserve, the runners will never be on secluded tree-lined trails in the forest. All the courses are run in open areas and only run next to forest areas at a couple points along the course. For the spectators and coaches who like to run around the course, the course is designed so that spectators can see the competitors at one point and then again on a return route. We believe the course is very spectator-friendly with all the loops passing near the other loops, particularly the last 2,500 meters that all athletes will run.


Although early December in the Chicago area can offer a wide-range of weather conditions, athletes and spectators should be prepared for cold temperatures that could be in the 10's and 20's in the early morning and the 20's to 40's by afternoon. Although there is usually not snow on the ground on Dec. 11, there could be snow. Please plan accordingly.

Course Preview

The course will be open for walk-throughs during the following times (weather permitting):

Date Times Type
Thursday, December 9 sunrise to sunset on your own
Friday, December 10 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. on your own
9:00 a.m. (5 km High School course) guided tour
1:00 p.m. (3 km course) guided tour
1:30 p.m. (4 km course) guided tour
2:30 p.m. (5 km course) guided tour
Saturday, December 11 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. on your own
Nike Toyota Hershey Garden of Life NCSA Gatorade KT Nationwide Normatec St. Vincent UCS