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“Great way to learn about Chicago and go for a run”

Chicago Running Tours & More
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Chicago Running Tours & More offers scheduled and private tours. Our scheduled tours are at or just over the 5k distance and range from 90 minutes to 2 hours. Our guides have been trained by a "certified" Chicago Professional Tour Guide. Join us for a morning SCHEDULED run: Grant Park 5k at 8 a.M. Sundays & 7:15 a.M. Thursdays. Chicago River Navy Pier 5k at 7:15 a.M. Tuesdays and Fridays. Chicago Tragic Events at 8 a.M. Saturdays and 7:15 a.M. Sundays. We have a limit of 15 participants for our scheduled runs. Our PRIVATE tours include 1) City in a Garden (5.62 Miles), 2) Tower to Tower (6 miles), 3) Run to Wrigley (6.48 Miles), 4) Devil in the White City (8.1 Miles) Participants who complete all 4 private routes receive a 26.2 Finishers certificate and a long sleeve tech finishers shirt. Come join us for the best tour experience in Chicago while you take care of your cardio needs at the same time.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed December 8, 2014

I've gone on two tours with Marlin- Tragic Events a couple of years ago and most recently, The Chicago River and Navy Pier tour. I highly recommend these tours for runners of all levels. It's great to get out early in the morning before the Chicago streets get busy and see some famous and historical sights. Marlin paints the city in a new light and you will learn a lot about the history of Chicago. I learned a lot about the Chicago river and about Navy Pier (and I've been to Chicago a number of times and have family members who are Chicago natives, and I learned things they did not know!)

The best thing is that Marlin follows up with an email covering the highlights of the tour so when you can't quite remember the cool fact you learned earlier, you will have the email notes for reference. He also takes some great pictures along the way and sends you the link (free) a few hours later so you can share the pics with friends. He also shares some good suggestions for your travel itinerary, so it's probably ideal to do the tour early in your stay, if your schedule permits.

The tours run even if you are the only person who signs up! On the morning of my Chicago River tour, I was the only person, so Marlin met me at my hotel and we headed out. Marlin has stepped out on his own with this business (he used to run with another area running tour company) and he donates a portion of each tour fee to a non profit that helps folks with developmental challenges, so that's a nice additional reason to run with him.

These tours run all year long, which is great, but be prepared to dress a little warmer than you might for a run at home at the same temp because you will stop several times to hear stories and history, and you might chill off quickly. I found this especially true on the Tragic Events tour because it's a little slower paced with more detailed "campfire-type" stories".

I hope to catch the Grant Park tour the next time that I am in town!

Thank wkmoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReluctantRunner, Owner at Chicago Running Tours & More, responded to this reviewResponded December 31, 2014

Thank you for such a detailed and awesome review. I especially appreciate your noting that a portion of the cost goes right back to the developmentally challenged adult community. Also, the point that our stories do have a "camp fire" feel to them.

Thank you so much!

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"tragic events"
in 33 reviews
"grant park tour"
in 7 reviews
"white city"
in 7 reviews
"frequent stops"
in 2 reviews
"navy pier"
in 11 reviews
"museum of science and industry"
in 2 reviews
"sears tower"
in 2 reviews
"marlin"
in 114 reviews
"pace"
in 36 reviews
"information"
in 17 reviews
"photos"
in 21 reviews
"devil"
in 7 reviews
"jog"
in 4 reviews
"highlights"
in 6 reviews
"camera"
in 5 reviews
"wrigley"
in 4 reviews
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122 - 126 of 155 reviews

Reviewed November 24, 2014

I found Chicago Running Tours in a recent issue of Runner's World, right before a trip to Chicago. I excitedly signed up for a Saturday morning tour, but when I arrived at the designated meeting place, the guides were not there. I called Marlin, the owner, who apologized profusely for the scheduling mix-up. He offered to meet me later in the day (outside of regular running tour hours), but I had a previous commitment scheduled. Instead, we agreed that I would participate in the tour the following morning. Initially, I was disappointed, but only a few minutes later, Marlin sent me a message, again apologizing profusely and asking for my shirt size, as he was going to bring me a Chicago Running Tours shirt for free. I got the impression that Marlin was genuinely upset about his mistake and was not only worried about how this would reflect on his business.

The next morning, I met Marlin, the second tour guide (Michael, I think), and two fellow tour-takers. We embarked on the Grant Park tour, a 5k that takes approximately 90 minutes with stops to talk and take photos. Even though I initially had signed up for the Chicago Tragic Events tour, I really enjoyed the Grant Park tour. We ran through Chicago's beautiful parks nestled in between the Lake Michigan waterfront and the bustling Michigan Ave. Marlin and Michael told us about the history of the park, the statues and attractions within it, and many other things we passed along the way. Throughout the tour, Marlin and Michael exchanged corny jokes with each other and the tour-takers, which makes the experience a bit cheesy, but even more fun. Michael takes photos of the runners at different points throughout the tour and these photos are made available to the runners for free online. It's great to not have to worry about taking your own pictures during the tour.

After the tour was over, Marlin offered to take me and the other tour-takers to the Chapel in the Sky at the Chicago Temple, which offers free tours and amazing views of the city. When we were done at the Chapel in the Sky, he walked me back to my hotel, pointing out some of the sites I would have seen on the Tragic Events tour. Marlin felt less like a tour guide and more like a friend showing you around his city.

Yes, there was an initial mistake made Saturday morning, but mistakes are bound to happen occasionally in business. I think the handling of these mistakes is most important, and Marlin did everything he could to make it up to me. He's also promised me that when I return to Chicago, I'll be taking the Tragic Events tour for free. If I return to Chicago, I would definitely sign up for more of Marlin's tours. At about $30 for the 5k tours, they're a great deal!

Thanks, Marlin and Michael!

Thank Audrey A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReluctantRunner, Owner at Chicago Running Tours & More, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2014

Audrey, thanks so much for sharing your experience on tripadvisor. Perhaps this is the one time this should be a reverse review and you get 5 stars. Thank you for being so gracious in handling my error. Yes, absolutely, when you return, your Chicago Tragic Events tour will be complimentary. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to somewhat salvage my misadventure. I am pleased that you were available for our Grant Park 5k and had time to check out the "Chapel in the Sky".
I am looking forward to your next visit so we can do it right the next time.
Marlin

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Reviewed November 17, 2014

My girlfriend and I are both from Chicago, and we enjoy touring our city, but this time we wanted to do it in a different way, so we signed up for a Tragic Event running tour. When we got to meet our tour guide, Marlin, we found out we were the only people doing the tour that day! We were shocked, surprised to hear that the tour runs even if only one person signs up, and we were thrilled and excited that because of that we were basically getting our own private tour.
Marlin has a great personality and he really just goes along with your pace; he was also very knowledgeable in little obscure facts about the city, and really helpful in providing additional tips for dining and other tour experiences. My girlfriend and I had a blast with all the pictures Marlin was taking for us, and it was really awesome to hear that part of the money also goes out to help a good cause.
My girlfriend and I really look forward to signing up to another of his tours. It's really a one of a kind experience and Marlin goes out of his way to make sure everyone enjoys it!

Thank aletrim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReluctantRunner, Owner at Chicago Running Tours & More, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2014

Thank you so much for leaving a review on tripadvisor. Although our Chicago Tragic Events option is the most popular, and often fills to capacity at 15 participants, we still do have days when only 1 or 2 folks sign up. As you noted in your review, even if we have 1 or 2 we are still going to do the tour. We never get tired of showing the sites and telling the stories. Our goal is to deliver a "memorable and meaningful" experience. Based on your kind words I am confident we accomplished that. We are looking forward to showing you and your friend more on our other routes during a future visit.

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Reviewed November 12, 2014

If you are going to Chicago, I totally recommend Chicago Running Tours & More. The running part was enjoyable (albeit FREEZING for my AZ lungs), but the tour part was phenomenal. And my tour guide, Marlin, went above and beyond to make my entire visit wonderful. And darnit, I look good in the running photos. Why can't the same be said for ALL my 5K photos???

Thank Frances M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReluctantRunner, Owner at Chicago Running Tours & More, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2014

Frances, you certainly did look good in the photos from your Grant Park 5k tour. Providing you with quality action photos with landmarks in the background it one thing we strive for. Your mention that you liked your photos, on your tripadvisor review, is greatly appreciated. We are looking forward to your return, from warm AZ, (perhaps on a warm Chicago summer day), so we can take more photos of you running by other famous landmarks on our other routes.

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Reviewed October 28, 2014

Marlin was our tour guide for two days in Chicago, IL. He did a FANTASTIC job telling us all about the interesting stories and history behind the scences for the places that we toured in Chicago. He knew where to go with our group, and made the tour very smooth and enjoyable for all involved. You will not be dissapointed with him as your tour guide at all!

Thank Jaime R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReluctantRunner, Owner at Chicago Running Tours & More, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2014

Jaime, it was my pleasure to show and share Chicago with you and your group. Doing the "Flag Stop" tour from a bus, that includes multiple stops to get off and see the sites, is a favorite of mine. Thanks so much for taking the time to rate and review your experience on tripadvisor. I really appreciate it.

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