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Course & amenities

Course and Amenities

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast course that starts and finishes in Grant Park and travels through one of the world’s most magnificent cities. The course has produced four world records, several national records, and countless personal bests. Participants enjoy the support of 1.7 million spectators as they run through 29 neighborhoods.

2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon course map*
*subject to change

Aid stations
Medical support
Course time limit
Clocks and mile markers
Street closures
IAAF Gold Label

Aid stations


20 aid stations are located along the course approximately one to two miles apart. Each aid station consists of the following amenities in this order:

  • Medical Tent with access to a Runner Transport vehicle*
  • Toilet facilities
  • Gatorade Endurance Formula (lemon-lime flavor)
  • Water
  • Public address announcer

*Runner Transport vehicles provide non-emergency transportation back to Grant Park in the event that a participant is unable to complete the race.

PowerGelPowerGel® Energy Gels will be at Aid Station 13 (Mile 17.8). Available flavors will be in both caffeinated (Chocolate and Strawberry Banana) and non-caffeinated (Vanilla, Orange Dream and Pomegranate Blueberry Acai) offerings.* The flavors will be separated by caffeinated and non-caffeinated at the aid station. Runners should consume caffeine responsibly and within dietary and safety recommendations.

*Specific flavors may be subject to change and not necessarily guaranteed on race day.

Aid Stations 15-18 (Miles 20-23.5) will offer bananas.

Each aid station is approximately two city blocks in length; participants are advised to continue moving through the aid station if the first tables are too crowded to conveniently obtain fluids.

Medical support

Red CrossMedical staff is available at 21 on-course locations (20 aid stations and an additional medical tent in the final mile). Medical tents can be identified by tall, red, blade signs with the medical. Each tent is equipped with a team of certified medical personnel, ambulances, emergency and first aid supplies.

In Grant Park, the Main Medical Tent is located just beyond the finish line. An additional medical tent is located in Grant Park adjacent to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon 27th Mile Post-Race Party. For the safety of all participants, only those requiring medical assistance will be allowed access into the medical tents.

American Red Cross Patient Connection Program
In the event a participant is transported to a local area hospital at the discretion of the medical team, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago’s Patient Connection staff will be on hand in Grant Park to provide information regarding that patient to family and friends. Patient Connection staff can be found at any one of the six Information tents throughout Grant park as well as at the American Red Cross Patient Connection Family Waiting area located in the southwest corner of Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Drive. Family members may also call 888.659.9877 to speak with a Patient Connection Operator to inquire about patient information.

Course time limit

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a course time limit of 6 hours and 30 minutes, at which time the course will re-open to vehicular traffic. Participants must maintain a 15-minute per mile pace (approximately) and complete the full marathon distance—start line to finish line—within the event time requirement. Those who finish outside of the time limit will not be recorded as official finishers and may not receive full on-course support from aid stations and traffic personnel.

Clocks and mile markers

Digital clocks are positioned at the following locations throughout the course: the start line, each mile marker, each 5k marker, the halfway point (13.1 miles), and the finish line. Digital clocks provide the elapsed event time (gun time). Mile and kilometer markers will be positioned at each mile and 5k. Digital clocks at the finish line will display unofficial finish times. The elapsed event time begins with the Marathon start at 7:30 a.m.

Street closures

For residents who live along the Marathon course, and for those traveling to and from Chicago on race day, please be aware that extensive street closures will take place on race day. In addition, no parking zones along the course will be enforced in the early morning hours. Information on street closures for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be made available in advance of the race at

IAAF Gold Label

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is recognized as a Gold Label event by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world’s governing body for athletics. Gold, silver and bronze labels are given each year to road races that satisfy a number of important criteria concerning the organizational standards of an event, course measurement, safety and medical standards, and media services. To learn more about the IAAF and Road Race Label Events visit

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