Tens of thousands of runners are preparing to step off next month for the 44th Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the city's biggest racing event and one of the six World Marathon Majors.
The Chicago Marathon returned in 2021 after being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This year's race is slated for Sunday, Oct. 9.
Of the six WMM majors, Chicago will be the 5th of the races to take place in 2022, following Tokyo on March 6, Boston on Apr. 18, Berlin on Sept. 25 and London on Oct. 2. The New York City Marathon will take place on Nov. 6.
From the course to COVID-19 policies, here are some things you need to know about the event ahead of race day, now just under one month away.
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The final call for entries to the city's biggest racing event of the year will remain open until Wednesday, Sept. 14.
Individuals can sign up for the marathon through the charity program application. Aspiring participants must join a marathon-affiliated charity and meet fundraising requirements to qualify.
While each charity may have different requirements, participants have to raise more than $1,750 to secure a spot in the marathon.
Charity program entries are limited and available on a first-come first-served basis.
Organizers encourage runners who are interested in participating through the program to reach out to their charity of choice from the index.
Known for its flat and fast course, the inaugural race will start and end in Grant Park, taking runners on a grand tour of the city in between their journey.
Along the 26.2-mile trek, runners will be guided across 29 neighborhoods, dozens of historic landmarks and six Chicago River bridges.
Organizers anticipate that the route will be treaded by as many as 40,000 runners, and plenty of supporters are expected to be scattered along the course, too.
All marathon participants are expected to complete the distance in at least six hours and 30 minutes, which means runners will have to tread a 15-minute — or faster — pace per mile.
All participants must pick up a packet ahead of the marathon. Packets will include: bib numbers, safety pins, timing devices, gear check tags and Nike shirts.
Packets will be distributed at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo in the McCormick Place, which is located at 2301 S. Martin Luther King Dr.
All participants must present their packet pick-up email and a photo ID to receive their packets.
Oct. 6: Packet Pick Up
- 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Oct. 7 Packet Pick Up
- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Oct. 8: Packet Pick Up
- 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Oct. 9: Race Day
- 7:20 a.m.: Men's Marathon Wheelchair Start
- 7:21 a.m.: Women's Marathon Wheelchair Start
- 7:23 a.m.: Marathon Handcycle Start
- 7:30 a.m.: Wave 1 Start
- 8 a.m.: Wave 2 Start
- 8:35 a.m.: Wave 3 Start
- 9:30 a.m.: Spectator access to Grant Park begins
- 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Runner Reunite
- 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.: 27th Mile Post-Race Party
"Creating a safe environment race weekend is everyone’s responsibility," organizers said on the marathon's website.
Organizers are urging participants who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to someone with the virus within 10 days of the event to not take part unless they have met all the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations regarding quarantine and isolation.
Participants who test positive for COVID-19 within 10 days of the event — Sept. 30 — will have the opportunity to defer their place and entry fee to the 2023 event.
Those experiencing symptoms of the virus are also encouraged to not participate in the event, according to organizers.
Organizers encourage all participants and spectators to use public transportation race weekend.
NBC 5 Chicago, Telemundo Chicago and TeleXitos will offer complete live TV coverage and live streaming of the marathon in both English and Spanish.
The live television broadcasts will air from 7 to 11 a.m., and the live stream will be available at nbcchicago.com and telemundochicago.com, on the NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago apps, and on the stations’ Roku and Apple TV channels from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.