Jul 20 2014
Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series - Register Now

Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Course Tour

Virtually lace up and join us as we take you on a scenic course tour through downtown Chicago. New photos will be added daily to get your adrenaline pumping; just picture it now…YOU crossing the finish line on July 21st!

START LINE — Mile: 0.0

 Often referred to as “Chicago’s front yard”, Grant Park is located in the Loop community–fitting for our “loop” course. Spanning 319 acres along Lake Michigan, the sights, sounds and sunshine in Grant Park are no finer than in the Summer months when we take over the City streets. Come tour the area before race day, and check out some of its more notable features: Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus.



As you cruise through Columbus Drive, enjoy the cityscape of Downtown Chicago and the sights of Millennium Park.  After opening in 2004, Millennium Park has been the scene of hundreds of events, tours, art exhibits, concerts, and for the past five years, a stretch of our breathtaking (literally and figuratively) course.  Designed by the legendary Frank Gehry, the park features several contemporary public art and architectural exhibits such as the BP Pedestrian Bridge, the Jay Pritzker Pavillion, and Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”). Enjoy your first glimpse of shade while under the bridge then keep the legs moving!


The Magnificent Mile, also known as the Mag Mile, is a district of Michigan Avenue that runs along the Chicago River. Known for its high-end shopping, top restaurants, and prominent real estate, it is also the location of several of Chicago’s landmarks including the Wrigley Building, John Hancock Center, and the Chicago Water Tower. At least one of the 13.1 miles is magnificent?

STATE STREET — Mile: 1.5

Cross over the Chicago River and feast your eyes on the unique views of the Marina City corncob-looking towers, standing 65 stories tall, overlooking the Loop district. Just beyond the cobs at a whopping 92 stories is the Trump International Hotel and Tower, also located on the north bank of the Chicago River. Don’t miss out on the views of these one-of-a-kind buildings as you fly through the city!


The famed neon sign of the Chicago Theatre has served as the Chicago’s “unofficial emblem” since its opening in the early 1920’s. Not only has this 92-year-old theatre attracted audiences from all over the world – hosting entertainment acts ranging from comedy shows, to concerts, to stage plays, to speeches, and magic shows, but it also appears in many films, artwork, and TV shows.



As you sail down Randolph Street, catch a glimpse of the Oriental Theatre, as well as the Cadillac Palace Theatre – both designed by the Rapp Brothers in the mid – 1920’s. Both theatres have served as the stage for many touring Broadway hits.

 CHICAGO RIVER (W. Madison St.)– Mile: 5.5

Running over 156 miles long, the man-made Chicago River serves as an important link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley waterways.  Did you know that once a year the Chicago River is dyed green for St. Patty’s Day?


MICHIGAN AVE. (between Jackson Blvd and Roosevelt Rd.)– Miles: 6.5-7.5

Originally known as “Lake Park”, Grant Park was renamed in honor of former president Ulysses S.Grant.   Not only was this park the site of the championship celebration for the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s and the victory speech of Barack Obama, but it will also be the location of your triumphant finish! Yes, the Finish Line to your right may be a tease

LAKE MICHIGAN (Fort Dearborn & Burnham Harbor Dr.)– Miles: 10-12

As the only one of the five Great Lakes that is located entirely in the US, Lake Michigan is also the fifth largest lake in the world.  With a whopping distance of 1,638 miles around, it makes 13.1 miles seems like a drop in the lake. Rumor has it that past runners have heard the Lake cheering them on during the home stretch…or maybe they’re just going crazy after 12 miles? You find out for yourself!

FINISH LINE (Columbus Dr. and Congress Pkwy.)– Mile: 13.1

The Finish Line in Grant Park will feel like the 8th wonder of the world. Screaming fans, flashing camera lights, rock music will bring you rock star status as you complete your journey. Now grab your medal, ice cold drinks and recovery snacks and head over to Butler Field to rock out to Walk Off the Earth with your friends and family. Congrats!