Chicago Marathon

Runner's Guide to 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

What you need to know for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

NOTE: NBC 5 will offer complete live coverage of the 2017 race beginning at 7 a.m. CT online and on TV. The race can be streamed live from around world on the NBC Chicago app, which will also offer a live stream of the finish line from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here for more. 

The Chicago Marathon is an event unlike any other in the city, but this year, it's extra special. 

Be part of the iconic celebration by running, or walking, or even watching the Bank of America’s 40th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8.

Here's everything you need to know if you plan on participating in the race:

Watch Live

Download the NBC Chicago App to watch the race live and see runners as they cross the starting and finish lines.


There is a $195 entry fee for U.S. residents and a $220 entry fee for non-U.S residents.

Event Entry Requirements

Runners must be able to complete the 26.2 mile distance in six hours and 30 minutes. Participants must be 16 years or older. Participants are required to show a government-issued photo ID and runners ages 16-17 must have permission to participate from a parent or legal guardian.

What Runners Get

• Gear check tag

• Timing device

• Nike participant running shirt

• Event bib number and safety pins

• Participant bag

Participant Packet and Bag Pick-Up (location & hours)

Schedule of Events

Friday, October 6

McCormick Place, North Building, Hall C

Abbott Health & Fitness Expo/Packet pick-up

9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 7

Advocate Health Care International Chicago 5K

7:30 a.m.

McCormick Place, North Building, Hall C

Health & Fitness Expo/Packet pick-up

9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday, October 8

Grant Park, Chicago

5:30 a.m. – Gear check opens

5:30 a.m. – Start corrals open

7:20 a.m. – Wheelchair Start

7:22 a.m. – Handcycle Start

7:23 a.m. – Athletes with Disabilities Start

7:30 a.m. – Wave 1 Start

8 a.m. – Wave 2 Start

9 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. -Post-Race Party (Grant Park, Butler Field)

Start Area

The starting line is located at Columbus Drive and Monroe Street, but runners must enter at their designated corrals in Grant Park.

Participants will be notified of their Start Corral assignments by mail on their “Packet Pick-Up Ticket” or they may use the online registration confirmation option. Participants shall assemble for the race in their assigned Start Corral no less than 15 minutes prior to the race start.

Finish Area

The route concludes north on Columbus Dr. to the finish line. 

Aid Stations

There will be 20 aid stations will be located along the course that offer Gatorade Endurance Formula, water, toilet facilities and medical support.

Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel will be available at Aid Station 9 at Mile 12.5, and Aid Stations 15-18 (miles 20-23.5) will offer bananas.

Clock and mile markers

Timing checkpoints will be positioned at the start lines, each 5K, at the halfway point and at the finish line. Digital clocks will be positioned throughout the race.

Digital clocks will be positioned at the finish line and will display the elapsed race time as well as the start time.

Things You Cannot Bring

Not allowed on the course: wheeled devices (not registered) like strollers, baby joggers, skateboards, rollerblades and bicycles.

The use of camera mounts, video devices, selfie-sticks, video devices or other similar devices are prohibited.

Post-Race Party

Bank of America Chicago Marathon 27th Mile Post-Race Party

Grant Park, Butler Field

9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

What You Can and Cannot Have on the Course

Wheeled devices are not permitted for use on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course by anyone other than registered and authorized wheelchair and handcycle participants. Prohibited wheeled devices include non-registered wheelchairs and handcycles, baby joggers, strollers, skateboards, rollerblades and bicycles.

The use of selfie-sticks, camera mounts, video devices, computers or any similar devices by anyone while participating in the event is prohibited.

Music devices with headphones are permitted for use on the course; however, participants must be alert to their surroundings at all times and must pay attention to important announcements made in Grant Park and along the course.

Prohibited items:

  • large bags (backpacks, suitcases and rolling bags)
  • hard-sided coolers
  • costumes covering the face
  • any non-forming bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body
  • props and non-running equipment
  • pets/animals (except for service animals)
  • alcoholic beverages
  • illegal substances
  • chairs
  • weapons
  • remote controlled aircrafts and drones

Course Route and Time Limit

A map of the course is available here

The marathon has a course time limit of 6 hours and 30 minutes, which is when area roadways will reopen to traffic. 

Timing checkpoints are positioned at the start line, at each 5K, at the halfway point and at the finish line. 

International Chicago 5K

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will also host an international 5K the day before the big race. The race is an option for marathoners to get exercise in preparation for the marathon and even for non-marathoners to join in on the running. There is a $35 registration fee for the event. 5K runners who register will receive a commemorative scarf, event bib number/timing device and a finisher medal. Click here to register for the race.

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