Running in Old Irving Park

Select Local Merchants

At the annual Disco Dash, bell bottoms remain the apex of fashion. During the race?which is presented by Guaranteed Rate?racers are encouraged to sport billowy wigs, leisure suits, and Ron Burgundy mustaches as they hustle down a 5K or 10K lakeside route. Runners accessorize with a chip-enhanced bib as they jostle for first place, their path lit by golden-hour light. While costumes are by no means required they are happily encouraged, with cash prizes awarded to wearers of the funkiest outfit and least flammable ascot. Afterwards racers strut their stuff at an after-party fueled by The Shagadelics, costume contests, and plenty of food and drinks. Proceeds from the race benefit The Guaranteed Rate Foundation.

3940 N Ravenswood Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

Mindy Segal, a five-time nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Pastry Chef award, crafts contemporary American cuisine at her combination restaurant, dessert bar, and pastry shop. The restaurant's foodsmiths aggressively pursue the best practices in cooking and plating, organizing ingredients in ways that accentuate texture, temperature, and taste. Fresh groceries sourced from farmers and Peter Rabbit's knapsack become salads, such as beets with mixed greens, or sandwiches, such as the cheddar melt on pumpernickel. Entrees for breakfast, lunch, and dinner incorporate French ingredients and preparations while maintaining New-World flair. The restaurant's namesake beverage—hot chocolate—comes in eight different styles, each crowned in housemade marshmallows and christened with steamed milk or coffee.

1747 North Damen Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

Celebrities and residents run a 5K or kids' dash in an effort to end homelessness, poverty, and violence. Run Home Chicago, hosted by The Primo Center for Women and Children, raises awareness and funds for homeless services by sending runners sprinting down the same city streets that many call home. While testing their endurance and speed, runners also champion the cause of groups across the city that provide medical, emotional support, and shelter upkeep services to the city’s homeless population—almost 40,000 people, according to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. In addition to the main events, race day activities include a kid's dash and guest speakers regaling listeners with inspirational speeches.

4241 W Washington Blvd
Chicago,
IL
US

When fitting athletic shoes, the technicians at Universal Sole go above and beyond simple foot measuring. The knowledgeable staff uses Video Gate Analysis to customers find the most fitted and comfortable shoe. They watch you walk and jog on a treadmill to determine your foot's specific biomechanics, then they select which shoe will keep your feet stable and supported during workouts. The store's footwear brands, such as Nike and Adidas, are built for workouts of all kind, but Universal Sole puts particular emphasis on running. The site lists neighborhood run routes and training plans to get customers ready for their first 5K or 10K. Store hours are Mon. - Thurs. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free parking is available at the Village Market Place.

3052 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

Behind Underwater Safaris' unassuming storefront lies an ocean. Light shines down on the water's choppy surface, and a pod of dolphins leap out of the water. But, like a tank of helium you forgot to bolt to the floor, they never come back down. The dolphin mural is painted, but the water is quite real: it's part of a PADI five-star facility where students prepare to explore waters across the world.

The journey to coral reefs and shipwrecks begins with the guidance of an experienced team of fifteen instructors. The center, which has been open since 1985, has taught thousands of snorkelers and divers from Open Water through to instruction. After introductory Discover Scuba sessions, the staff branches off into more specialized areas, such as diving at night, exploring underwater wrecks, or scuba diving as a career.

Underwater Safaris also hosts annual trips to scuba destinations around the world. Guided and independent adventurers alike are welcome to stock up on gear from brands such as Aeris and Aqualung in the dive shop.

2950 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

The passionate coaches of CrossFit Defined guide fat fighters through quick, ultra-intense daily workouts designed to sculpt lean physiques and push endurances to the limit. Inside the expansive open-layout gym space, affectionately referred to as The Box, sweat seekers lift weights, throw balls, and perform rigorous callisthenic moves to constantly shock and strengthen the body's internal system of pulleys and weights. In addition to the regular CrossFit regimen of fast-paced calorie burning, CrossFit Defined hosts endurance sessions designed to help athletes last through anything from conquering triathlons to doing the Macarena for 12 hours straight.

1235 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

Old Irving Park Scene