12 Chicago Area Races to Run in April

Racing season has finally kicked off in Chicago, and April's schedule is packed with options. From 5K's to half marathons, there's a race everyone this month.

April 4

April Fools 5K -- Head out to the Mallard Lake Forest Preserve in Hanover Park for the April Fools 5K. The timed race begins at 9 a.m., and there is also a 400-meter dash for kids. Winners will receive a cash prize of $100 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third. Register here.

Bunny Rock 5K and Egg Hunt -- Put on your bunny ears and hit the lakefront path in this 5K race. All participants will receive neon sunglasses, a Dri-FIT t-shirt and a pair of bunny ears. The race begins at 9 a.m. and is followed by an Easter egg hunt for the kids at 10:15 a.m. Download the registration form here.

Chi Town Half Marathon and 10K -- Start training for the Chicago Marathon with the Chi Town Half Marathon or 10K race. The USATF-certified course runs through Lincoln Park. The race starts at 8:15 a.m. and is followed by a post-race party with pizza and beer. Register here.

Chicago Quarter Marathon -- This 6.55-mile race is one of a kind. The race starts at 9:15 a.m., and the course begins and ends at Soldier Field. A party will follow the race and include live music, snacks and awards. If you haven't already registered, you can do so on race day.

Deep Dish Dash 5K -- Sponsored by Lou Malnati's and Connie's Pizza, this race has an excellent award awaiting finishers: a slice of deep-dish pizza. The course runs through Lincoln Park near Diversey Harbor and begins at 9:10 a.m. Register here.

Egg Shell Shuffle -- Make the trek to Busse Woods in Elk Grove Village for a half marathon or 5K followed by an Easter egg hunt. The half marathon begins at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K at 9:15 a.m. If you haven't already registered, you can do so in-person on race day.

April 11

Be the Match Walk/Run -- This 5K (or 1K) charity run raises money for life-saving marrow transplants for people with blood cancers.The course begins at Montrose Harbor. A donor registry drive starts at 8:30 a.m., and the race begins at 10 a.m. Register here.

April 12

Heroes With Hope 5K -- Dress up like a super hero and run (or walk) for kids with cancer in this 5K. The race takes place at MB Financial Bank in Rosemont and begins at 9 a.m. All race proceeds will benefit Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Register here.

April 18

Live Grit Lakefront 10 Miler -- If you're looking to qualify for a guaranteed entry into the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, sign up for this 10-mile CARA Circuit Race. All runners will receive long-sleeve technical shirts, and the winners will receive cash prizes and awards. The race takes place at Montrose Harbor and begins at 8 a.m. Register here.

April 25

Hot Doggy Dash -- Leash up your pooch and take him or her on a run in this 3K race in Addison, Ill. All runners will receive a hotdog at the finish line, and pet vendors will greet your dog. The race takes place at Centennial Park and begins at 10 a.m. Register here.

Race to Wrigley

-- The 10th annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run 5K benefits Cubs Charities, which provides increased access to sports opportunities for at-risk individuals. This year's race will features a 10K race, too, called "Let's Race Two" in honor of the late Ernie Banks. The race takes place in the Wrigleyville neighborhood and begins at 8 a.m. Register here.

April 26

Ravenswood Run -- The 19th annual race through the North Side Ravenswood neighborhood features a scenic 5K course followed by a pancake breakfast. The race begins at the corner of Wilson and Hermitage Avenues and starts at 8 a.m. Register here.

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