The Bank of America Chicago Marathon isn't just for the runners. It's also for their friends and family cheering them on from the sidelines.
When the race is over, it can be difficult for spectators to find their loved ones in the chaos of more than 40,000 exhausted and elated runners. Here's the best way to find them.
Marathon organizers recommend spectators find their runners at the 27th Mile Post-Race Party/runner reunite area of Grant Park, which opens at 9 a.m. The runner reunite area is located in Butler Field, which is north of Jackson Drive between Columbus Drive and Lake Shore Drive.
If you don't plan to watch your runner finish the race, it may be a good idea to arrive early and communicate with the runner beforehand about where exactly you'll wait.
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. To view runners closest to the start line, marathon organizers recommend finding a spot on Grand Avenue between Columbus Drive and State Street or anywhere along State Street between Grand Avenue and Jackson Boulevard.
To view runners closest to the finish line, arrive early and find a spot at the Bank of America Cheer Zone, which is located at Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road.
The viewing areas nearest Grant Park are the most convenient areas to meet runners after the race, but they can also be the most crowded. If you plan to stay near the park for the entirety of the race, arrive early and stake out a spot.