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Important Updates for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Thank you for being a part of the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. We are looking forward to a terrific event on October 13 and are glad you’ll be joining us.

As is the case each year, our top priority is the safety of all marathon runners, volunteers, spectators and event partners.

To that end, working in lockstep with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, we have made a few updates to our standard policies and procedures. These will be strictly enforced at the Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo and on race day in Grant Park.

In order to have the best possible experience at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, it’s important that you and your fellow runners are well informed and that you plan accordingly for these safety enhancements in advance of race day.

  • Bib Packet Pick-Up: New this year, you must pick up your own Participant Packet (which includes your event-issued bib number and timing device) at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo during regularly scheduled hours (Friday, October 11, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Saturday, October 12, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.). We will no longer allow individuals to pick up Participant Packets on behalf of others. We understand that some unavoidable conflicts will occur; if that is the case, please email to seek a resolution.
  • Gear Check: Also new this year, the only gear bag that you will be permitted to bring inside the perimeter of Grant Park on race day and to check at Gear Check will be the clear plastic event-issued Participant Bag that you will receive upon picking up your Participant Packet and event T-shirt at the Health & Fitness Expo. Backpacks, luggage and other non-event-issued bags will not be accepted at Gear Check.
  • Security Checkpoints and Bag Screening: As in years past, you must pass through security upon entering Grant Park on race day. New this year, there will be four designated security and bag screening checkpoints located off of Michigan Avenue. You will only be able to access Grant Park through one of these designated entrances. Your event-issued bib number will serve as your personal identifier; it must be fastened to the front of your running attire and visible to security personnel to gain entry into the Park. All bags will be screened by security personnel. Using your clear plastic event-issued Participant Bag for carried gear will expedite the bag screening process and will help maintain an efficient flow of participants into the Park. Participants who opt not to carry bags can access Grant Park through express security lanes. We recommend arriving early to Grant Park on race morning to account for the additional time it will take to pass through security. Grant Park will open to participants at 5:30 a.m.
  • Spectator Access: As in years past, general spectators will not have access to the race start and finish areas within Grant Park on race day. These areas will only be accessible to participants displaying their event-issued bib numbers, event staff with proper credentials, and ticketed guests (where applicable). Please note that individuals who are not registered for the race will not be able to escort runners to the start line or greet runners at the finish line. We recommend that spectators support runners from elsewhere on the course, and meet runners after the race at the designated Runner Reunite Area in Grant Park’s Butler Field.The Post-Race Party/Runner Reunite Area of Grant Park (Butler Field) will open to spectators at 9 a.m. To access this area, spectators must pass through the designated security and bag screening checkpoints.  Spectators are strongly discouraged from carrying bags into Grant Park in order to maintain an efficient flow of pedestrians into the Park.

These are extensions of policies and procedures that have been in place for several years, and are the result of best practices learned through hosting large, public events and celebrations in Grant Park and elsewhere throughout the city and country.

If you have questions about these updates, please review our Q&A page, or contact Additional information is available at and will be communicated in the lead up to the event.

Thank you for your cooperation and for continuing to help make the Bank of America Chicago Marathon a safe event for everyone involved.


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