Spring and Fall Ultra Marathons on Chicago's Lakefront

Chicago Lakefront 50/50 - Information

Start and Finish Location
NEW this year.  We will host the 50/50 on the Northside Lakefront.  Foster Avenue Beach House, 5200 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60660. 

Directions to the Start/Finish

The Race starts at Foster Avenue Beach House in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois. The Park is located on the north side of Chicago, along the Lake Michigan shoreline. To reach the Foster Avenue Beach House, either take Foster Avenue (Hwy. 41) eastbound until you cross under the Lake Shore Drive viaduct and enter the Park, or take Lake Shore Drive northbound (also Hwy. 41), exit at Foster Avenue, and turn right (east) into the Park. There is no southbound exit from Lake Shore Drive onto Foster Avenue. From the north, exit at Lawrence Avenue, and either re-enter Lake Shore Drive northbound, and exit at Foster, or continue into the Park, turn left (north) at Simonds Drive, and go to the Race Site at Foster Drive. For a map of driving and parking options, click here. Parking options are also discussed further below.


There is plenty of parking near the Start/Finish Area. But, if you park in the Foster Beach Parking Lot, you must pay in advance at the automated “pay stations” located in the parking lot. Here is a link to information about the pay stations: You can pay by coins, bills or credit card for up to 24 hours. You may want to consider car pooling or taxi cabs. Keep in mind that there is no “cab stand” nearby. There is also limited free street parking along Simonds Drive, but you will have a walk 1/4 mile to the Start Line.

Packet Pickup and Race Day Registration
Registration for both races and packet pick-up will be available at Road Runner Sports from 12-6. 1435 N Kingsbury St. Chicago, IL 60642, on Friday, 11/1/19, from 12:00 Noon until 6:00 PM and on Race Day at the Foster Ave Beach House one hour before the Start of both races. NOTE: You will be unable to register anywhere for either race on Thursday, 10/31/19 as I need to work on the bib numbers. Transfer of race numbers to unregistered runners is not permitted. Don't do it! You and the bandit runner will be banned from future events. There are no refunds for any reason whatsoever.

Chicago Parks / Safety Issues
The entire shoreline of Chicago is a multi-use park, shared by runners, bikers, bladers, boaters, golfers, fishermen, museum goers, dog walkers and every other form of leisure, pedestrian traffic (although all these activities are relatively subdued in late October/November).

The park is closed between 11:00 pm and sunrise, during which the parking lots are gated.

On the race day, as every day, the park will be open to the public. Please be aware of this and use common sense and caution when negotiating the various paths throughout the park. The general public will probably be unaware that a race is in progress since we are small in number compared to larger 5K and 10K running races in Chicagoland. Park patrons are generally friendly and cheerful and you can expect them to yield the path if they see you coming. Please run defensively and give a wide berth or verbal warning when passing from behind.

Course Markings and Maps
The course will have ground markings (chalked directional arrows) to guide you through turns. Between the starting/finish area and the far north turn-around area, course marshals on bikes will randomly monitor the race and assist runners if necessary.

Aid Stations

Aid stations will have water, Tailwind, Coke, cookies, pretzels, potato chips, variety of candy, fruits, first aid supplies and other surprises. There will be a limited supply of HUMA gels available.

Drop Bags

  • All runners may leave a drop bag at the Start/Finish line (this may not be necessary if you are fortunate enough to have found a parking space close to the course).
  • We are not responsible for lost items, so please do not keep anything of value in your drop bags. Unclaimed items will be donated to charity.

Early Start Option
Early starts are available to any runner who wants to do so but you will not officially be in the competition (overall or age group). 

The way it works is to see Pat Onines (Co-Race Director) first on race day.  He will add you to the early start list.  He will also mark the bottom of your bib # with an “ES”.  You may then start whenever you wish and time yourself.  You’ll be responsible to know the course especially where the turn around is. 

When you finish, you’ll get a medal and a “Finished” in the official results with no time.  Be sure to let the finish line crew know you were an early starter to avoid any confusion with those being timed.  They will take the bottom of your bib # and give it to Pat as evidence of your finish. 

Please remember that early starters or those that finish after the race time limit will have a “Finished” in the results but will not receive a position or a time.

Awards and T-shirts

  • Trophies to the overall female and male finishers. The overall winners will receive their trophies as they finish.
  • Belt Buckles to 50M finishers 11 hours and under (no early starters).
  • A medal to all 50K finishers.
  • Dry-fit tech shirts to all paid participants.

Spectator Locations
The best spectator viewing areas are located near the Aid Stations and the turnaround points on the course. Late arriving spectators should be forewarned that there may be limited parking at the Start/Finish area.

Fall weather forecasting in Chicago is guesswork at best. We could have temperatures in the 20's at the beginning of the race or temperatures in 60's by noon. More than likely, you should expect a bit of everything in between. Anticipate a variety of temperature fluctuations along with the chance of wind, rain, snow or sleet. Bring a couple of changes of running gear and plenty of warm, dry clothing for the after race. Hopefully, we will have a typical late Fall day of 30-50 degrees.

Unofficial times will be posted at the finish area during and after the race. Official results will be available on our website. Results will be submitted to Ultrarunning Magazine.

Post-Race Activities
A huge pot of Beth Onines' delicious world-famous red beans and rice awaits all runners.  Enjoy!

Transfer of bibs to unregistered runners is not allowed.  There are no refunds for any reason.