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Frequently asked application questions

Have a question about the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon application? Read below for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the 2018 application.

View the frequently asked questions in multiple languages by clicking the links listed below.

Chinese (.pdf)
French (.pdf)
German (.pdf)
Italian (.pdf)
Japanese (.pdf)
Portuguese (.pdf)
Spanish (.pdf)


When can I apply for an entry into the 2018 Bank of America
Chicago Marathon?
The application window for the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon opened in October 2017. Please see a detailed application timeline below.

2018 Application window:

  • Guaranteed entry applications open: Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 10 a.m. (U.S. Central Time)
  • Non-guaranteed entry drawing application opens: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 10 a.m. (U.S. Central Time)
  • All 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon applications close: Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 2 p.m. (U.S. Central Time)
  • Non-guaranteed entry drawing: Tuesday, December 12 (runners are notified throughout the day)

What is the difference between a guaranteed entry and a non-guaranteed entry?
A guaranteed entry ensures you a spot in the field for the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, provided that you agree to the terms of that entry (Charity Program, International Tour Program) or that you qualify for that entry (Chicago Marathon Legacy Finisher, Time Qualifier, 2017 Cancelled entry, Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K and American Development Program).

A non-guaranteed entry is subject to selection through a drawing.

Do I have to meet qualifying standards to get an entry into the 2018 event?
No. One of the largest demographics of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon field are first-time marathoners. If you don’t qualify for a guaranteed entry, you can apply for a non-guaranteed entry.

How can I secure a guaranteed entry into the 2018 event?
There are several guaranteed entry opportunities for the 2018 event, provided that you agree to the terms of that entry or that you qualify for that entry. Learn more about the guaranteed entry application paths below:

  • Time qualifier: Runners who have met the event’s age graded qualifying standards or qualify for the event’s American Development Program.
  • Legacy finisher: Runners who have completed the Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years.
  • 2017 Cancelled entry: Runners who cancelled their 2017 entry through the event deferment/cancellation policy.
  • Charity: Runners who are fundraising for an official charity as part of the Chicago Marathon Charity Program.
  • International Tour Group: International runners (non-U.S.) participating in the 2018 event with an official International Tour Group Program partner. Requirement include cost of entry, air travel, hotel, etc. and vary between tour operators.
  • Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle: Runners who have completed the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K four or more times since 2000 and have signed up for the 2018 Shamrock Shuffle.

What are my chances of getting into the 2018 event through the drawing?
This can vary from year to year and is dependent on the number of applications received in relation to our anticipated race day participation. With the guaranteed and non-guaranteed entry application process, we continue to see a diverse field of participants that is in line with the participant fields we have welcomed to Chicago in the past.

What information will I need when applying for an entry?
To apply for an entry into the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Birthdate
  • Mailing address and phone number
  • Email address
  • Anticipated finish time and/or pace per mile
  • Your credit card information
  • Emergency contact name and phone number

What is the registration fee?
The registration fee for the 2018 race is $195 (USD) for U.S. residents (those who live in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or other U.S. territories) and $220 (USD) for those residing outside of the U.S.

Will my credit card be charged the registration fee when I apply?
No. Your credit card will be charged only if and when your application is approved or selected through the drawing.

Does the event offer refunds?
No. Our event policy is that we do not offer refunds or transfers.

How will I know if my entry application was approved?
When you submit your application, you will receive an email confirmation indicating that your application has been received. Please note, this is not a guarantee that you have been accepted; it is only a confirmation that we have received your application.

If you applied for an entry through a guaranteed entry application path, your application will go through a verification process. This process can take up to 10 business days. If your application is approved, your credit card will be charged and you will receive a confirmation email.

If you applied for an entry through the non-guaranteed entry drawing application, you will receive an email on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 notifying you of your application status (selected or not selected). If you are selected, your credit card will be charged. 

I can’t participate in the 2018 event. Can I cancel my entry/participation?
If you are unable to participate in the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon you will have the opportunity to cancel your 2018 entry. You will then have the option to apply for a guaranteed (not complimentary) entry to the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Please note, this opportunity will not be available to those who received a guaranteed entry through the 2017 cancelled entry, charity or tour group applications.

If you have questions about registration, please call the Bank of America Chicago Marathon office during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. U.S. Central Time) at 312.904.9800 or emailoffice@chicagomarathon.com

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