Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon & 5K

Sunday, July 19, 2020 • Chicago, IL • Course Map

Set for its 12th annual running this year under the “Rock & Roll” marathon banner, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon is part of a tradition of huge, diverse road races in the Windy City that draw runners from around the country and whose winners make headlines across the country every year.

In its first year as a “Rock ‘n’ Roll”-themed race (which took place in 2009) after more than 30 years as the Chicago Distance Classic, the oldest running event of its kind in Chicago, the event saw more than 14,000 runners cross the finish line. And again last year, more than 14,000 runners crossed the finish line in the half marathon and 5k races combined.

The 13.1-mile course for the race starts and finishes in Grant Park, the 319-acre park on the city’s downtown lakefront that is home to the world-famous Buckingham Fountain and the Art Institute of Chicago, both seen in many movies but perhaps most cleverly in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

A newly revamped course for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago race debuted recently, designed to incorporate more of downtown Chicago’s city streets and to include a crossing over the Chicago River.

The race route takes runners through the streets of the Windy City’s downtown for the first two-thirds or so of the race, unfolding with a stretch outside Grant Park and heading out toward the Navy Pier. Runners will cross over the Chicago River twice in the first couple of miles, and then twice again right after passing the mile 3 marker.

All of this part of the race is largely flat terrain. After runners pass the mile 9 marker, the race heads out onto the parks along Lake Michigan, taking them past Soldier Field, Chicago’s Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and through the southern end of Grant Park before finishing in front of the Buckingham Fountain.

Scheduled starting time for the race is 6:30 AM, and runners and walkers — the race is open to both — will have 3 hours and 30 minutes to complete the half marathon before the course officially closes.

Runners on the course at the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. (Photo by Phil Roeder/flickr)

Runners on the course at the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. (Photo by Phil Roeder/flickr)

Runners on the course at the 2017 Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon. (Photo by Phil Roeder/flickr)

Race Weather & Climate

Known for its often harshly cold winter seasons and warm, sunny, balmy summers — locals sometimes joke that the city has just two seasons, “snow and construction” — Chicago enjoys some of its warmest weather of the year on average in July, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 51°F (in 1975) and as high as 102°F (in 1991).

On race day (July 19), the average low is 67°F and the average high is 85°F.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon course here.

Starting Time

6:30 AM

Course Time Limit

3 1/2 hours


  • $70 and up for the half marathon
  • $35 and up for the 5K


To reserve your spot in the summer 2020 running of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon or 5K, register online at here.

Official Race Website

See more races in: July, Illinois, Rock ‘n’ Roll Series

6 comments… add one
  • Alexis Skurka-Mysliwy May 21, 2020, 12:22 pm

    Hello, I was just wondering if I could send a check in instead of using my card information online?

  • Josue pierre March 28, 2019, 9:34 pm

    Hello good afternoon everyone I will like to sign for this Race

  • jacqualine April 8, 2016, 12:01 pm

    trying to book hotel for July 15 can you provide me a address or specific location for both races 5k & half… so I can be near both events… please & thank you

  • Sharmana Lynn January 23, 2015, 12:22 pm

    Is this a lottery race or opened to anyone?

  • Kathy Whybrew November 2, 2014, 11:51 am

    Would love to participate in 2015. I need the date. Coming from Washington State. Thank you!

    • Terrell Johnson December 4, 2014, 3:45 pm

      Hi Kathy! Many apologies for replying back so late. The 2015 Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half will run on Sunday, July 19, 2015. You can register now.


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