Where to Stand, How to Watch and More: Things to Know if You're Cheering on a Runner in the BOA Chicago Marathon - NBC Chicago
2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

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Where to Stand, How to Watch and More: Things to Know if You're Cheering on a Runner in the BOA Chicago Marathon

Are you cheering on a runner? Here is some important information to know

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bank of America Chicago Marathon: Running For a Cause

    One dedicated animal lover plans to raise money for PAWS Chicago by running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. 

    (Published Monday, Sept. 30, 2019)

    NOTE: NBC Chicago will offer a live stream with complete 2019 race coverage beginning at 7 a.m. on Oct. 13 right here.

    Cheering on a runner in this year's Bank of America Chicago Marathon? You're certainly not alone.

    But where should you line up to watch your favorite runner on the course? Where can you meet up afterwards? How should you travel? 

    We've got you covered.  

    Where can you watch runners along the course? 

     Race advisors warn that just as in past years, spectators will not have access to the start and finish areas of the race. These areas remain accessible only to participants with event-issued bib numbers, staff and ticketed guests. 

    Hilarious Signs From Past Bank of America Chicago MarathonsHilarious Signs From Past Bank of America Chicago Marathons

    To view your runner as close to the start of the race as possible, marathon coordinators advise watching from Grand Avenue between Columbus Drive and State Street. Anywhere along State Street between Grand Avenue and Jackson Boulevard will also provide visibility. These areas are located near Mile 1.

    To view runners closest to the finish line, check out the Bank of America Cheer Zone at Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road. 

    Runners and spectators should plan to meet in Grant Park on Columbus Drive after the race. There, you'll find a Biofreeze 27th Mile Post-Race party, which opens at 9:30 a.m., and a runner reunite area. 

    What are the best places to cheer runners on?

    Bank of America Cheer Zones – Mile 26

    Cheer items will be provided to help you support your runners, and you'll be encouraged to use noisemakers to motivate runners, organizers said. The Mile 26 Cheer Zone is near the finish line at Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road. 

    Charity Block Party

    Thousands of runners will be taking part in the race for a good cause. This cheer zone will celebrate their fundraising efforts near Mile 15, located at Adams Street and Loomis Street near Whitney Young High School. 

    8K Cheer Zone 

    This location marks the celebratory Shamrock Shuffle cheer zone in Lincoln Park. It's the 8K mark of the race. The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K marks the unofficial start to outdoor running season in Chicago each year. 

    A complete list of official cheer zones can be found here

    Fast Questions With 2018 Chicago Marathon Champ Mo FarahFast Questions With 2018 Chicago Marathon Champ Mo Farah

    The winner of the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Mo Farah, sits down with NBC 5 to answer a series of random questions about himself and a little quiz on Chicago! 

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019)

    What are the best ways to get to the marathon?

    Spectators can access a number of viewing areas along the course via CTA 'L' trains the morning of the race. Cheer zones are located at various stops along the Red, Orange, Brown, Blue, Green and Pink lines.

    Grand Red Line Station – Miles 1, 3 and 12.5 

    Board a Red Line train and exit at Grand Avenue (mile 1). Walk three blocks west to LaSalle Street (mile 3) and four blocks west to Wells Street (mile 12.5).

    Monroe Red Line Station – Mile 2 

    Board a Red Line train and exit at Monroe Street.

    Chicago Red Line Station – Miles 3.5 and 12.25 

    Board a Red Line train and exit at Chicago Avenue. Walk three blocks west to LaSalle Street (mile 3.5) and four blocks west to Wells Street (mile 12.25).

    Clark/Division Red Line Station – Miles 4 and 12

    Board a Red Line train and exit at LaSalle Street (mile 4). Walk one block west to Wells Street (mile 12). 

    Sheridan Red Line Station – Mile 8 

    Board a Red Line train and exit at Sheridan. Walk four blocks east to Broadway. 

    Addison Red Line Station – Mile 8.5

    Board a Red Line train and exit at Addison Street. Walk four blocks east to Broadway.

    Sedgwick Brown Line Station – Mile 11

    Board a Brown Line train and exit at Sedgwick Street. Walk a half-block north to North Avenue. 

    Washington/Wells Elevated Station (Brown, Pink or Orange Line) – Mile 13.5 

    Board any Brown, Pink or Orange Line train and exit at Washington/Wells. Walk one block west on Washington to Franklin. 

    UIC-Halsted Blue Line Station – Miles 14.25 and 17 

    Board a Blue Line train and exit at UIC-Halsted. Use the Halsted Street exit or Morgan Street exit and walk two blocks north to Adams Street to view the runners at Mile 14.25 in Greektown. Or use the Halsted Street or Morgan Street exit and walk one block north to Jackson (mile 17).

    18th Pink Line Station – Mile 19.25 

    Board a Pink Line train and exit at 18th Street. Walk four blocks east to Loomis Street. 

    Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station – Mile 21.5 

    Board a Red Line train and exit at Cermak-Chinatown. 

    Sox-35th Red Line Station – Mile 23 and 23.25 

    Board a Red Line train and exit at Sox-35th. Use the 33rd Street exit (mile 23) or walk two blocks east on 35th Street to State Street (mile 23.25). 

    35th-Bronzeville-IIT Green Line Station – Mile 23 and 23.25

    Board a Green Line train and exit at 35th-Bronzeville-IIT. Use the 33rd Street exit (mile 23) or 35th Street exit (mile 23.25). 

    Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station – Mile 25 

    Board a Green Line train and exit at Cermak-McCormick Place. Walk two blocks east to Michigan Avenue. 

    Roosevelt (Red, Green and Orange Line) Station – Finish Line

    Board a Red, Green or Orange Line train and exit at Roosevelt Road. Walk east on Roosevelt Road toward the Museum Campus/Grant Park.

    What time should I get there and when does it end? 

     Marathon Wheelchair Start (men)

    7:20 a.m.

    Marathon Wheelchair Start (women)

    7:21 a.m.

    Marathon Handcycle Start

    7:22 a.m.

    Athletes with Disabilities Start (AWD)

    7:23 a.m.

    Wave 1 Start

    7:30 a.m.

    Wave 2 Start

    8 a.m.

    Wave 3 Start

    8:35 a.m.

    SPECTATOR ACCESS TO GRANT PARK

    9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    BIOFREEZE 27TH MILE POST-RACE PARTY

    9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    RUNNER REUNITE

    9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

    How can you watch a runner cross the finish line live? 

    NBC 5 Chicago and Telemundo Chicago will provide live television broadcasts starting at 7 a.m.

    NBC 5 Chicago and Telemundo Chicago will live-stream the marathon from 7 a.m. at nbcchicago.com and telemundochicago.com, as well as the NBC Chicago and Telemundo Chicago apps.

    Both station websites and apps will also provide a live stream of the finish line until 3 p.m. 

    Where can you meet up after the race?

     Marathon organizers recommend spectators find their runners at the Biofreeze 27th Mile Post-Race Party and runner reunite area on Columbus Drive in Grant Park.

    The party is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with live music and more. If you don't plan to watch your runner finish the race, it may be a good idea to arrive early and communicate with your runner beforehand about where exactly you'll wait. There are two entrances, one located at Jackson Drive and Michigan Avenue, and a second at Ida B. Wells Drive and Michigan Avenue. 

    To access the runner reunite area, spectators must pass through security and bag screening, so plan accordingly in case there are long lines.

    The runner reunite area is located near the start and finish of the race, organized by alphabetical signs to facilitate meeting locations by name.

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