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Countdown to the big race, October 13, 2019

Athletes with Disabilities Program

Application procedures for the Athletes with Disabilities Program (AWD)

Athletes with disabilities may apply for guaranteed entry or through the non-guaranteed drawing. Athletes must indicate the presence of a disability that qualifies them for participation in one of the AWD categories on the registration application.

Mobility impaired athletes:  athletes with a permanent physical or intellectual disability may apply for a guaranteed entry through any guaranteed entry method for which they qualify. Mobility impaired athletes that do not qualify for a guaranteed entry may apply for the non-guaranteed drawing. 

Visually impaired athletes:  athletes with a permanent impairment of the eye structure, optical nerves, optical pathways or the visual cortex may apply for a guaranteed entry through any guaranteed entry method for which they qualify. Visually impaired athletes that do not qualify for a guaranteed entry may apply for the non-guaranteed drawing.

Push-rim wheelchairs: athletes with permanent disabilities intending to utilize a push-rim wheelchair are eligible to apply for a guaranteed entry through any guaranteed entry method for which they qualify. Push-rim wheelchair athletes intending to apply as a push-rim wheelchair time qualifier must have met the following standards at a certified marathon completed on or after January 1, 2017:

Classification Age Men Women
T53 and T54 16 – 39 2:00:00 2:25:00
40 – 49 2:15:00 2:40:00
50 and over 2:30:00 2:55:00
T51 and T52 16 – 39 2:45:00 3:10:00
40 – 49 3:00:00 3:25:00
50 and over 3:15:00 3:40:00

The competitive push-rim wheelchair division will follow the competition rules of World Para Athletics. A racing wheelchair must be used. Push-rim wheelchair athletes that do not qualify for a guaranteed entry may apply for the non-guaranteed drawing.

Duo teams: Duo teams (a person allowed to “push” a person with a permanent disability in a customized wheelchair, specific for outdoor road racing) may apply for a guaranteed entry under any guaranteed entry method for which they qualify. To apply under the time qualifier method, the runner (pusher) of the duo team must meet the qualifying standard for gender and age group in accordance with the time qualifier policy. Duo teams that do not qualify for a guaranteed entry may apply for the non-guaranteed drawing.

All duo teams must submit a completed and signed Bank of America Chicago Marathon Duo Teams Terms and Conditions form along with a photograph of the wheelchair that will be used. The completed form and photo must be submitted prior to submitting the Bank of America Chicago Marathon application. Please email awdprogram@chicagomarathon.com to request a form.

The duo team division is considered an exhibition event. No awards or prize money will be given for this division. Duo division teams will be given a starting position at the back of Wave 1.

Handcycle: Handcycle participants will not be selected through guaranteed application methods or a non-guaranteed drawing. Handcycle participants will be selected for participation by Achilles International.

The handcycle division is considered an exhibition event. No awards or prize money will be given for this division.


Athletes with Disabilities Program (AWD) policies and procedures

Mobility impaired, visually impaired, open field push-rim wheelchair athletes and duo teams will be eligible to apply for a guaranteed entry at the beginning of the application period.

Mobility impaired, visually impaired, open push-rim wheelchair athletes and duo teams that do not qualify for a guaranteed entry may apply for the non-guaranteed drawings.

Three separate drawings will be conducted: one for ambulatory athletes with disabilities (mobility impaired and visually impaired), one for open field push-rim wheelchair athletes, and one for duo teams.

Should the capacity for the respective field sizes be reached through guaranteed registration methods prior to the date of the drawings, no athletes will be selected for participation through the non-guaranteed drawings. The following capacities have been established based on multiple factors for the overall safety and experience of the athletes:

Ambulatory athletes with disabilities (mobility impaired and visually impaired): 45
Open field push-rim wheelchair athletes: 25
Duo teams: 6 teams
Handcycles: 15 members of the Achilles Freedom Team

In the event the capacities for the field sizes are exceeded through guaranteed registration methods, athletes will be chosen for participation on a first-come, first-served basis from those athletes with accepted guaranteed registration applications. The order will be determined by the time and date of the submission of the accepted guaranteed entry application.

Should there be capacity remaining in any of the fields after the drawing is complete, athletes may apply for a guaranteed entry through any of the guaranteed registration methods remaining available after the completion of the drawing. Athletes will be chosen for participation on a first-come, first-served basis until the capacity is reached. The order will be determined by the time and date of the submission of the guaranteed entry application.

Athletes with disabilities that gain entry through a guaranteed registration method that permits cancellations or through the drawing will be eligible to cancel their entry and obtain a guaranteed entry for the following year in accordance with the registration cancellation policy. Should a duo team choose to cancel their entry, both members of the team must cancel, and both must claim the guaranteed entry. Only those with canceled duo division entries may claim guaranteed entry to the duo division the following year through the canceled entry track. Canceled individual entries may not be used to claim a guaranteed duo division spot.

Athletes selecting the Athletes with Disabilities start corral will be given a start position at the back of Wave 1. Athletes may qualify for a start corrals A through D in accordance with the start corral qualifying standards and procedures.

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