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Key Volunteer requirements and guidelines

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Key Volunteer for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Key Volunteers play a critical role in the success of the event, and their enthusiasm, support and dedication make race weekend a memorable experience for every race day participant. Key Volunteers are responsible for overseeing volunteers and/or processes in specific areas of the event, often in conjunction with a team of fellow Key Volunteers and Event Staff. Key Volunteers must be comfortable communicating with and leading volunteers of all ages and abilities, they need to help organize and improve their area, and they invest additional time to the event for pre-race meetings and race weekend set-up. Do you have what it takes to be a Key Volunteer?

Characteristics of a Key Volunteer: “TEAM LEAD”

Key Volunteers should exemplify TEAM LEAD characteristics. This framework outlines our expectations for Key Volunteers.

TEAM: Together, we can produce far better results than we can individually.

  • Train/Teach: Clearly define goals and expectations for volunteers, contact volunteers in advance and ask for input to encourage team spirit.
  • Energize: Create a positive environment, encourage volunteers to have fun and celebrate achievements.
  • Appreciate: Regularly say “thank you” and provide positive reinforcement, build relationships so volunteers return next year and instill pride in a job well done.
  • Manage: Delegate, train, communicate clearly and throughout the shift. Make sure volunteers always feel comfortably busy.

LEAD: Be prepared, proactive and responsible while empowering others.

  • Listen: Listen with compassion, seek to understand then be understood, and treat everyone with respect and dignity.
  • Excellence: Seek a world-class standard, strive to improve, go the extra mile and focus on service.
  • Adapt: Be open to and ready for change, strive for the best, but have a plan for the worst. Always remain calm.
  • Develop: Develop the talents of your volunteers and inspire them to find their potential.


To help make this year’s event a successful and positive experience for everyone, we expect all Key Volunteers to abide by the following requirements:

  1. Volunteers must register online. All volunteers must register by Monday, October 3, or they will not be allowed to volunteer for the event. Visit the volunteer registration FAQs for registration assistance.
  2. The volunteer age minimum is 16 years old and accompanying children are not permitted. We require that all volunteers be 16 years of age or older on the day they are volunteering. A Parent/Guardian must agree to the volunteer waiver for volunteers between the ages of 16 and 18 years of age. Children and young adults under the age of 16 are not permitted to accompany registered volunteers who meet the age requirement when they are volunteering at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo or on race day.
  3. Volunteers are not allowed to speak to the media on behalf of the event. If you are approached by a member of the media please reply, ‘I am not an official spokesperson of the event’, and direct them to the media phone number on the back of your credential.
  4. Wear your event volunteer uniform. You are expected to dress in clothing appropriate for the work duties you have been assigned to perform. When required, you must have visible appropriate and current event issued credentials and/or ID vests and wristbands to be on the premises. Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear closed toe shoes at all times and the current event attire logo hat, shirt or jacket, or shoes, if provided.
  5. Drugs and alcohol are prohibited. Volunteers are required to report to work in appropriate mental and physical condition to perform their jobs in a satisfactory manner. Violations of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of responsibilities. Violations may also have legal consequences. Volunteers may not consume alcoholic beverages, smoke cigarettes or use illegal drugs while working on event related projects, assignments or during event production hours.



  1. Volunteer guidelines – To make this year’s race a positive experience for everyone, we ask that all volunteers abide by the event’s volunteer guidelines.
  2. Arrive on time. Your team captain will confirm your check-in time, location and next steps. Don’t hold up your team or volunteers because you were late.
  3. Remember that you will appear as an official of the event due to your branded uniform and important role at the event. Keep this in mind and always conduct yourself in an appropriate and respectful manner.
  4. Enjoy your time as a Key Volunteer and have fun! You are one of the reasons that volunteers enjoy the event and love coming back every year. We highly value your kindness, dedication and commitment to this world-class event.

What should I do if…

Sometimes situations arise when working with volunteers, and the appropriate course of action is not always clear. Please review the What should I do if? scenarios and recommended courses of action.

We are excited to have you volunteer with us at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon! Thank you for your support!

Bank of America World Marathon Majors IAAF