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Key volunteer application

Runners on courseThank you for your interest in becoming a key volunteer for the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon! Please review the key volunteer expectations and roles below before applying.

Key volunteers…

  • Are enthusiastic and dedicated individuals who want to gain more experience with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
  • Help manage, lead and instruct groups of volunteers, often in conjunction with a team of fellow key volunteers and event staff.
  • Commit additional time to the event for pre-race meetings and race weekend set-up.
  • Assist with race operations, processes, organization and improvement (i.e. some key volunteers do not manage other groups of volunteers).
  • Have previous volunteer experience with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K or another major racing event.

Availability

Key volunteers assigned to Grant Park, the course or the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo must be available on the following dates:

  • Grant Park
    • Saturday, September 22: Event Preparation Meeting
    • Saturday, October 6: Grant Park walk-through
    • Sunday, October 7: Race day shifts begin between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. and last a majority of the day
  • Course
    • Saturday, September 22: Event Preparation Meeting
    • Sunday, October 7: Race day shifts begin between 4:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. and last a majority of the day
  • Abbott Health & Fitness Expo at McCormick Place
    • Saturday, September 22: Event Preparation Meeting
    • Thursday, October 4: Expo setup (optional)
    • Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6: Expo from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Applicants must be available for the entirety of both days.

Roles

Race Day

  • Start line key volunteers will oversee start corral volunteers and operations, providing instructions and management throughout the morning to help keep participants organized as they advance through the start line.
  • Finish line key volunteers will work with other operations staff to manage two shifts of volunteers at the finish line to ensure continuous participant flow, and efficient distribution of materials. They will also assist with the set-up and/or clean-up of their respective stations.
  • Information team key volunteers will oversee teams of volunteers that roam throughout designated zones in Grant Park, where they will be responsible for answering event-related questions and directing participants and spectators to their key destinations.
  • Information tent key volunteers will be stationed in one of six information tents located in and around Grant Park, where they will be responsible for answering event-related questions and directing participants and spectators to their key destinations.
  • Harrison Volunteer Compound key volunteers assist with various steps of the volunteer check-in process at HVC, including check-in, uniform distribution, hospitality, gear check, volunteer guides and more. A reliable and efficient team is needed to deploy 3,000 volunteers throughout Grant Park.
  • Green team key volunteers work with general volunteers in high traffic areas by directing participants and spectators to correctly recycle and compost specific products distributed by the event. Incorporating environmentally and socially responsible practices is an important part of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
  • Gear check key volunteers oversee general volunteers and operations in one of three gear check facilities, where they will organize participant gear, provide efficient service, locate missing items and keep volunteers on task.
  • Start hydration key volunteers will be at one of the three pre-race hydration stations.  Tasks include supervising volunteers as they prepare and distribute Gatorade and water to participants, as well as assist with the setup and cleanup of the hydration station.
  • Open to opportunities – Key volunteers who are flexible and open to roles anywhere need demands are highly sought after and always appreciated. Individuals without preference to an area could be placed on any of the teams mentioned above.

Abbott Health & Fitness Expo

  • The Abbott Health & Fitness Expo is the first stop for many participants and is held at McCormick Place on Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6. Expo key volunteers support one of the following areas – volunteer check-in, greeters, participant packet distribution or participant bag & t-shirt – and must be available to volunteer for the entirety of both days.

Application

Application
Allow one week after application is submitted to be contacted by the volunteer team. In order to provide assignments and training before the event, the deadline to apply as a key volunteer is Friday, September 14.

Next steps

  • Applicants will receive a phone call to further discuss their interest in the event, their relevant experience and where their talents can best be utilized race weekend. 
  • The number of applicants often exceeds the number of key volunteer roles available, and returning key volunteers will be given priority.
  • Applicants will be assigned based on event needs, qualifications, experience and availability.
  • Key volunteers may be reassigned to a different position as needed by the event.

The key volunteer application closed on Friday, September 14.

If a general volunteer role better suits your schedule, please visit the volunteer information page to view opportunities and register.

Resources

Bank of America World Marathon Majors IAAF