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Group Leader requirements and guidelines

Group Leaders are vital team members of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. They are ambassadors of our event to participants, the community and the running industry at large. They embody the spirit of the marathon, helping ensure our participants and volunteers have a positive, fun and inspiring experience. In order to help achieve these goals, we ask all Group Leaders to abide by the following guidelines and share applicable information with their volunteers. We value your leadership and look forward to working with you and your team at another successful Chicago Marathon!

Overall requirements

  1. Volunteers must register online. All volunteers must register by Monday, October 5, or they will not be allowed to volunteer for the event. Visit the volunteer registration FAQs for registration assistance.
  2. The volunteer age minimum is 16 years old and accompanying children are not permitted. We require that all volunteers be 16 years of age or older on the day they are volunteering. A Parent/Guardian must agree to the volunteer waiver for volunteers between the ages of 16 and 18 years of age. Children and young adults under the age of 16 are not permitted to accompany registered volunteers who meet the age requirement when they are volunteering at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo or on race day.
  3. Volunteers are not allowed to speak to the media on behalf of the event. If you are approached by a member of the media please reply, ‘I am not an official spokesperson of the event’, and direct them to the media phone number on the back of your credential.
  4. Wear your event volunteer uniform. Your event volunteer uniform and credential must be worn and visible at all times so that event officials, participants, spectators and other volunteers can easily identify you as an event volunteer.

Before race weekend guidelines

  • Volunteer guidelines – To make this year’s race a positive experience for everyone, we ask that all volunteers abide by the event’s volunteer guidelines. Please share these guidelines with your volunteers.
  • Volunteers who are minors – A Parent or Legal Guardian must complete registration for volunteers between 16 and 18 years of age.
  • Group Co-Leaders – Group Leaders are asked to designate a Group Co-Leader who should register online through the Group Co-Leader link.
  • Volunteer communication – It is your responsibility to make sure your volunteers are aware of specific information regarding your group’s volunteer job. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon Volunteer Team will work with you to make sure you have all the necessary details.
  • View your group’s volunteers – Group Leaders have access to their volunteers’ registration information. To learn more about using the online registration system visit the Group Leader registration FAQs.
  • Fulfilling your group’s recruitment commitment – Group Leaders and the Chicago Marathon Volunteer Team will work together to make sure that registration and recruitment are going smoothly. We ask that you provide updates on the status of your volunteer recruitment. If you are unable to recruit the requested number of volunteers, notify your Volunteer Program contact as soon as possible so additional volunteers can be recruited. Sufficient staffing is critical to the success of the event, so please keep your contact up to date on your recruitment and registration efforts.
  • Volunteer groups with minors – One adult chaperone is required for every 10 volunteers between the ages of 16 to 18 to ensure sufficient supervision and behavioral management. Chaperones must take an active role in monitoring and, as needed, correcting the behavior of their volunteers. Chaperones must, without exception, be 21 years of age or older, and they must register online with their group.

Race weekend guidelines

  • Bring identification – All volunteers will be required to provide photo identification at Volunteer Check-In. School IDs are accepted.
  • Allot extra time – There will be enhanced security and bag screening throughout the event. Please allot extra time to access the Expo, Grant Park and the race course on the day you are volunteering.
  • Volunteer uniforms – All volunteers will receive a complimentary uniform and credential to be worn while volunteering at the event. Volunteers are required to wear their uniform to identify them as a volunteer of the event. Volunteer groups are not allowed to wear apparel promoting their group or any other organization.
  • Job reassignment/group division – Volunteer groups may be divided and/or reassigned to a different volunteer job as needed by the event. However, volunteers will not be placed in a job where the demands exceed their capabilities. Be aware there is always the potential that your group may be divided and reassigned.
  • Accompanying children – We realize that the opportunity and experience of volunteering for an event can have a positive impact on individuals of all ages; however, for safety reasons, children and young adults under the age of 16 are not permitted to accompany registered volunteers who meet the age requirement. Please communicate this to your volunteers.
  • Job fulfillment – Volunteers are asked to stay until their volunteer assignment is complete. Volunteers that cannot commit to the full shift time are asked not to sign up to volunteer. Check-in and check-out times will be communicated to Group Leaders with job assignment information.
  • Grant Park Volunteer Check-In – It is the Group Leader’s responsibility to assist with the check-in of the group’s volunteers. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon Volunteer Team will provide more details about this process closer to the event.

After race weekend guidelines

  • Feedback – Feedback is essential for us to continue to improve and grow as an event. The Volunteer Team will contact you to collect your thoughts and suggestions post-event. We look forward to hearing your feedback!
  • Group donations – All non-profit volunteer groups that bring 25 or more volunteers on race day are eligible to receive a donation from the Chicago Marathon upon receipt of necessary paperwork. Donations are based on the number of volunteers in attendance on race day, and the duration of their assignment. For more information and required paperwork visit the volunteer group donations webpage.

Thank you for your commitment and leadership – you help us make the Bank of America Chicago Marathon one of the premier marathons in the world!

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