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Group Leader guidelines

Group Leaders are vital 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, ensuring our participants and volunteers have a positive, fun and inspiring experience. We ask all Group Leaders to abide by the following guidelines and share applicable information with their volunteers.

Before race day

  • Minimum volunteer age – All volunteers must be 16 years of age or older on the day of the event.
  • Volunteer registrationAll volunteers are required to register online by Monday, October 6, or they will not be permitted to volunteer. Online registration is a simple process involving a unique registration link for volunteers. Group Leaders will have access to their volunteers’ registration information.
  • Group Co-Leaders – Group Leaders must recruit a Group Co-Leader who will also register online through the Group Co-Leader link.
  • Volunteers who are minors – A Parent or Legal Guardian must complete registration for volunteers under the age of 18. To learn more about using the online registration system visit the Group Leader Registration FAQs.
  • Volunteer guidelines – To make this year’s race a positive experience for everyone, we ask that all volunteers review the event’s volunteer guidelines. Please share these guidelines with your volunteers.
  • Bring identification - All volunteers will be required to provide identification at check-in in to volunteer. School IDs are accepted.
  • 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.
  • Fulfilling your group’s recruiting 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 the Chicago Marathon Volunteer Manager as soon as possible so additional volunteers can be recruited. Sufficient staffing is critical to the success of the event, so please keep the Volunteer Manager 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 day

  • 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 during 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(s) as needed by the event. However, volunteers will not be placed in a job where the demands exceed their capabilities.
  • Accompanying children – We realize that the opportunity and experience of volunteering for an event can have a positive impact on children and young adults of all ages; however, for safety reasons, we do not permit children and young adults under the age of 16 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 your responsibility to assist with the check-in of all your volunteers. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon Volunteer Manager will provide more details about this process.

After race day

  • Feedback – Feedback is essential for us to continue to improve and grow as an event. The Chicago Marathon Volunteer Manager 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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