The Bank of America Chicago Marathon said planning has begun for the 2021 race, with hopes of returning to the streets after the coronavirus pandemic forced the iconic event to turn virtual this fall.
The event is currently slated to take place on Oct. 10, 2021, according to race organizers, who said they "are working closely with the City of Chicago on race weekend plans that align with Chicago’s public health and safety guidance."
“We are moving forward with hope and optimism,” Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive race director, said in a statement. “The health and safety of participants, volunteers, spectators and the Chicago community remain at the forefront of our planning, and we are doing everything we can to safely bring the Bank of America Chicago Marathon back to our city streets.”
The participant list will be built on a tiered application process, with the first round opening Thursday, organizers said. The first grouping begins with a limited set of eligible runners, organizers said, allowing only those who deferred
their 2020 entries to a future event in response to the cancellation of the 2020 race, as well as individuals interested in running and fundraising on behalf of an event charity partner, to apply.
A second window for guaranteed and non-guaranteed entries opens to the public in January. The cost of an entry is $205 for United States residents and $230 for participants residing outside of the United States.
“The Chicago Marathon is one of our city’s most beloved events and we are excited to be doing everything we can to ensure our race can safely return in the coming year,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Throughout this unprecedented crisis, we have been grateful to collaborate with dynamic partners, like the Chicago Marathon, who have stepped up to find safe, data-based solutions to our challenges, helping us lay the groundwork for our broader, citywide recovery that will follow in the months and years to come.”
Here's a look at who will be eligible for guaranteed and non-guaranteed entry:
Interested individuals can qualify for an entry into the 2021 Bank of America Chicago Marathon through several guaranteed entry opportunities:
• Individuals who deferred their 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon place and entry fee to a future event (2021, 2022 or 2023).
• Charity runners who are fundraising for an official charity as part of the Chicago
Marathon Charity Program.
• Time qualifiers who have met the event’s age-graded qualifying standards or the event’s American Development Program standards.
• Legacy finishers who have completed the Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years. 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Virtual Experience finishes will not be eligible.
• International runners (non-U.S.) participating in the International Tour Group Program.
• Individuals who have completed the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K four or more times since 2008 and have signed up for the 2021 Shamrock Shuffle (registration for a virtual race will open in December).
Non-guaranteed entry drawing
Individuals who do not qualify for a guaranteed entry can apply for the non-guaranteed entry drawing. The event organizers will select names from the full pool of non-guaranteed entry applicants and notify individuals of their selection status in March 2021.
The Abbott Chicago 5K is also expected to take place in advance of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 9, 2021.