Before runners can race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this weekend, they'll need to head to the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo for packet pickup and more - an important step in securing their spot at the start line.
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.
When and Where is the Expo?
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McCormick Place, West Building, Hall F2
2301 S. Martin Luther King Drive*
Chicago, IL 60616
Friday, October 8
9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 9
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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.
What is in runners' packets?
Participant packet items include:
- Bib number* and safety pins
- MYLAPS BibTag timing device
- Gear check tag
- Nike participant running shirt
- Participant bag
- Those who are 21 and over will also receive a tag on their bib number redeemable for one Goose Island beer following the race.
What do you need to pick up your packet?
Participants must present their packet pick-up email along with a photo ID to receive their participant packet and participant bag.
"You must pick up your participant packet and participant bag in person at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo during regularly scheduled hours," according to the marathon's website. "These items (participant packets, bags and running shirts) will not be available for pickup on race day, and will not be mailed. Individuals will not be allowed to pick up these items on behalf of others."
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.