2021 chicago marathon

Abbott Health & Fitness Expo Kicks Off at McCormick Place for 2021 Chicago Marathon

The expo will return to Chicago’s McCormick Place beginning Friday, and will feature hundreds of vendors and exhibits

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Before runners can take to city streets for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this weekend, they'll need to head to the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo.

The expo will return to Chicago’s McCormick Place beginning Friday, and will feature hundreds of vendors and exhibits.

Here is what you need to know about the expo.

What Can I Find There?

The Health & Fitness Expo features more than 180 exhibitors, according to Marathon organizers. Fans can buy merchandise for the race, or can check out the latest in footwear, apparel, nutrition and technology.

The Expo is also where racers can pick up their race packets, and this year will be the location where runners will need to submit their proof of COVID vaccination, or of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the race.

Are There Special Requirements to Get In?

For this year’s edition of the Expo, attendees will be required to provide proof of COVID vaccination, which can be done with a vaccine card, a photocopy of the card, or a digital version of your vaccination record. A negative COVID test, taken within 72 hours of the event, will also be accepted.

A wristband will be given to individuals who complete those steps. Individuals who are unable to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test will be barred from entering the Expo, including those who are slotted to compete in the race.

Attendees will also be required to wear facial coverings at the Expo. Single-ply neck gaiters, face shields and masks with valves will not be accepted.

How Much Does it Cost?

The expo is free and is open to the public on the Friday and Saturday of race week. The expo will be held in the West Building, Hall F2, at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

The expo will open at 9 a.m. Friday and will remain open until 8 p.m. The event will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday and run through 6 p.m.

Will There be a Virtual Component?

The Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will also feature a virtual version this year, allowing opportunities for attendees to engage with vendors and to purchase items.

Virtual attendees will also be able to watch on-demand programing from the Expo’s main stage. Tips, the latest running gear and numerous other programs will be available.

How to Get to the Expo

Parking will be available in McCormick Place parking lot A, and will cost $12.

Public transportation will also be available via the CTA and via the South Shore Line. The Metra Electric Line also makes stops at McCormick Place.

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