The Most Motivational Race in Chicago

The Most Motivational Race in Chicago

There are a lot of great races in Chicago that offer a variety of courses, challenges and goodies bags. Race directors work tirelessly to make sure the “experience” for athletes is something that will keep them coming back year after year.

In it’s second year, Fort to Base is a race that takes athletes off the lake shore path and onto a course that is memorable and challenging.

If you haven’t heard of Fort to Base, it’a a 10 nautical mile (11.5 miles) or 3 nautical mile (3.45 miles) run from Fort Sheridan to the Great Lakes Naval Base.

This run isn’t something that the average citizen can run 364 days a year.  On one special day, the gates to the historic and fully functional Great Lakes Naval Base are open to the athletes and they are allowed to run in the footsteps of the hundreds and thousands of men and women who have come to our North Shore to train and learn how to defend our country.

It’s more than a run with an interesting theme, you are running along the same path that General Patton once ran, running along with the men and women who are serving in the military today and running along with the memories of many heroic people who fought to give us the freedom to be able to run.  If you are even a tad bit sentimental and patriotic it will leave a lump in your throat and a few tears in your eyes.

The name Fort to Base describes the race: from "open to the public" Fort Sheridan to closed to the public Great Lakes Naval Base. The race takes you from one national land mark to another and along the way, you get a course that is challenging, historic and memorable.  Sky scrapers are one thing, but running past fully functional tanks and troops hauling a$$ is another.

It may not be a “once in a lifetime” experience, but it is only once a year and since the race organizers don’t want Fort to Base to become a mega-race, the event is capped, which can only add to the intimacy of the entire experience.  BTW, don't wait too long to register, it will sell out.

Along the route, real life drill sergeants line the course, to keep you motivated, with their special brand of cheering.  The finishers medals aren’t mass produced pieces of tin made in China, but commemorative military coins presented by military officers (a cool touch).

Fort to Base is scheduled for September 23, 2012.  10 nautical miles is a groovy way of saying 11.5 miles, which is a great marathon tune up or end of the season challenge.

It’s one thing to shut down Grant Park for a few hours, cram 40,000 runners into a starting gate and run along the lake front. The amount of work that the race directors had to go through to organize a run onto a working military base is massive, different, special.

Fort to Base in an event that will motivate you, inspire you and yes, hopefully make a lasting memory.

Click here for more information or to register.


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  • I did not know about this race! Sounds great. Thanks for writing about it. I think I might do it! Thanks, David.

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