The benefits of running are numerous.

Some do it purely for physical health, while some find it helps with mental health, too.

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Others simply find running fun, enjoying the rush that comes with the challenge.

Regardless of why you run, it helps to have running events to keep you going. It’s one thing to promise yourself you’ll run regularly, it’s another thing to shell out money for a half marathon — I don’t know about you, but spending money is definitely encouragement when you’re as frugal as I am.

Below are some of the best Chicago area running events this summer. They span intensity, from beginner to amazing athlete, so choose whichever events are most appropriate.

Volition America Half Marathon and 5K
June 6

Volition takes place at Arvery Field in Grant Park. It’s actually a new event and has a patriotic emphasis to it. You can also join 1.3k Mission March if you want something less intense. All the proceeds for the march go to the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides scholarships to the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon & 5K
July 19

Previously the Chicago Distance Classic, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon got its new moniker in 2009 and is the oldest running event of its kind in Chicago. More than 14,000 runners participate in the half marathon and 5k races combined.

The Biggest Loser RunWalk Chicago Half Marathon/5K
August 2

The start and finish line of the Biggest Loser RunWalk is Soldier Field. Organizers claim the half marathon offers a “truly inspirational and unforgettable experience.” If you participate, let us know how accurate that is!

Nearly Sane Trail Half Marathon
August 23

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“We can all agree that running 26.2 miles is clearly insane.” Built on the idea that a half marathon isn’t insane, but nearly insane, the Nearly Sane half marathon tries to keep things fun.