bank of america chicago marathon

When is the Abbott Health and Fitness Expo? Packet pick-up, vendors, events

Pick up your race-day packet at the Abbott Health and Fitness Expo, a three-day event featuring over 100 vendors ahead of the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

NOTE: A live stream of the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will appear in the player above beginning at 7 a.m. Tune in live for complete race coverage and a finish line camera showing runners as they cross the finish line.

Over 47,000 participants are set to run the 26.2-mile course of the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8. But to access the course, runners must pick up their race-day packets which will include their bib number and participant goodies.

Luckily, packet pick-up is located at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo in McCormick Place, 2301 S. Martin Luther King Drive. The annual event features over 100 vendors where attendees can watch a variety of events, test out interactive experiences and shop for sports gear across a 300,000 square-foot convention hall.

When is the expo?

The expo takes place across three days, starting on Thursday, Oct. 5 and ending on Saturday, Oct. 7. Expo times are listed below but subject to change.

Thursday, October 5

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday, October 6

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday, October 7

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What is the event schedule?

The expo features a jam-packed schedule of events full of talks by health and fitness experts.

Each day, Chicago Running Coach Chris Wehrman will open the expo with race day tips and Pace Team Leaders will follow by sharing advice on keeping a steady pace.

Highlights for Thursday include a 4 p.m. panel with six Chicago Marathon champions to celebrate the race’s 45th anniversary. Iconic names include Khalid Khannouchi, 1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002 champion and Amanda McGrory, 2007, 2008 and 2010 women’s wheelchair champion. Founder of Running for Real and Sustainability Advocate Tina Muir will also speak about becoming a sustainable runner.

On Friday, Abbott will host the 3 p.m. “I Am Unstoppable” panel which will feature Tom Eller, the world’s first deaf-born Abbott World Marathon major six-star medal finisher; Ryan Patena, an Abbott Commercial IT consultant and multi-time marathoner with type 1 diabetes; and Daniel Romanchuk, the 2018 and 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon men’s wheelchair champion.  

Saturday starts an hour earlier at 12:00 p.m. and features seven main stage events. Non-binary Inclusion Advocate and Executive Director of the Queer Running Society Jake Federowski will speak on the importance of queer inclusion and Dr. Phillip Skiba will share last-minute tips on pacing.

What’s in the race-day packet?

Participants will find the following:

  • Bib number and safety pins
  • MYLAPS BibTag timing device
  • Gear check tag
  • Nike participant running shirt
  • Participant bag

Participants over 21 will receive a tag on their bib number for one redeemable Goose Island Beer after the race.

Who can go?

The expo is free and open to the public. Organizers encourage marathon participants to bring along family and friends to join in on the fun when picking up their packet.

How do I get there?

Parking is available at McCormick Place Parking Lot C for those choosing to drive. Participants can pay a reduced rate of parking at $12 by having their parking ticket validated by staff located near the expo’s entrance.

Parking spots throughout the McCormick Place campus but not at Lot C do not have reduced rates and are charged at $25. Parking directions can be found here.

Organizers encourage participants flying in to purchase CTA tickets online here in advance to avoid long lines at the airport. CTA fare, Ventra information and directions to McCormick Place can be found in the Abbott Heath and Fitness Expo Chicago Transit Authority tips brochure.

Participants can also take the South Shore Line or take advantage of the Metra’s $7 Saturday or Sunday pass, and the $10 Weekend Pass which is only available on the Ventra app. The Metra Electric line also provides frequent service between McCormick Place and downtown.

Can I still volunteer?

Anyone interested in volunteering must register online by Friday, Sept. 29 at 11:59 CDT. Expo volunteers can help with the information booth, international greeters, greeters, solutions, ID & ticket, packet distribution and bag & t-shirt distribution. The form to register is here.

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