Group leader application
Join the fleet of over 200 volunteer groups that make the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon a world-class success! Group leaders recruit volunteers, share assignment information, relay registration instructions and keep their group on task and organized on the day of the event.
All volunteers are required to register online individually by 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) on Friday, September 29, 2023.
- Group leader responsibilities
- Communicate clearly with your group about the specifics of the volunteer role.
- Recruit a minimum of 10 volunteers for your volunteer group. Please note, non-profit groups, clubs or organizations that check-in 20 or more volunteers on race day or at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo and meet event qualifications are eligible for a modest donation.
- The age minimum for group volunteers is 14 years of age. One adult chaperone is required for every 10 volunteers under the age of 18 to ensure sufficient supervision. Chaperones must, without exception, be 21 years of age or older, and they must register online with their group.
- Monitor individual registration of your volunteer group members.
- Group leaders are expected to register the number of volunteers committed in their group application.
- Make sure all volunteers bring valid photo identification. School IDs are accepted.
- Arrive early, as there will be enhanced security and bag screening throughout the event to access the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo, Grant Park and race course.
- Stay until the assignment is complete and you are notified that your volunteer group has fulfilled their role.
- Group leader application
Please review the steps below detailing the group leader application and assignment process:
Step 1: Review the volunteer policies.
Step 2: Complete the group leader application. Follow the link below and search for ‘group leader application’ to apply. See below for more information on the process.
- Be sure to include any time restrictions your group may have within the application so the Volunteer Team can place your group accordingly. If you cannot commit to the full shift time assigned to you, please contact the Volunteer Team as soon as possible.
- Select your groups assignment preference from the list below. Please note that assignments are filled on a first come, first served basis. If the assignment you receive is different from your indicated preference, your preference has been filled..
- Within the group leader application, indicate your group’s size. You must have at least 10 volunteers to form a group. Please note, non-profit groups, clubs or organizations that check-in 20 or more volunteers on race day or at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo and meet event qualifications are eligible for a modest donation.
Step 3: Wait approximately one week to receive your group assignment via email. This will include registration instructions for your group. When you receive your group assignment, reply to the email so the Volunteer Team knows you received your assignment.
Step 4: Share your registration instructions with your group members! Group leaders do not need to follow these instructions as they are already in the system from completing the group leader application. Please inform the Volunteer Team as soon as possible if your estimated group size changes. The Volunteer Team assigns your group based off of the number of volunteers shared in your application, so it’s important to know if this changes.
Step 5: The group registration instructions will be valid until all of the requested slots are filled or until the registration deadline at 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) on Friday, September 29, 2023, whichever occurs first.
- Volunteer assignment preferences
Within the group leader application, you can select your group’s assignment preference from the following options. Please note that each group will be assigned according to past experience and event need, and assignments are filled on a first come, first served basis. Some groups may be divided or reassigned as needed.
Abbott Health & Fitness Expo – Thursday, October 5 through Saturday, October 7
- The Abbott Health & Fitness Expo is the first stop for many participants. Volunteers will welcome runners from around the world and assist with the packet and t-shirt distribution process.
Bank of America Chicago Marathon – Sunday, October 8
- Aid station: Volunteers will distribute water and Gatorade to marathon participants, as well as assist with the setup and cleanup of the Aid Station.
- Course marshals: Is your group local to one of the neighborhoods the course passes through? Volunteer in your neighborhood as course marshals to ensure the course stays clear of spectator and vehicle traffic, and act as a source of information about the event (provided) and the surrounding area. Please note your preferred neighborhood on your group leader application. Course marshals must be 18 years or older and able to stand for four or more hours.
- Start line: Join the excitement at the start line by regulating access to the start corrals and assisting with the forward progress of participants through the corrals.
- Finish line: Volunteers will have the opportunity to congratulate runners as they distribute items at the finish line, such as food, water, Gatorade, beer, iced towels and heatsheets.
- Green team: Help us make a difference beyond race day! Green team volunteers assist race participants and spectators to correctly recycle and compost specific products distributed by the event such as water bottles, Gatorade cups, banana peels and food.
- Information team: Assist race participants, spectators and other volunteers by providing general information and answering any questions they may have about the event, as well as directions to key destinations in Grant Park. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older.
- Gear check: This team is devoted to ensuring race participants have an excellent experience before and after the race. Gear check volunteers collect and organize gear check bags from participants before the race and return them afterward.
- Start hydration: This team is devoted to ensuring race participants have an excellent experience before the race. Start hydration volunteers prepare and distribute Gatorade and water to participants before they make their way to the start line.
- Harrison Volunteer Compound: A trustworthy and reliable team of volunteers is needed to help check in all 3,000 Grant Park volunteers and distribute uniforms as they arrive at the event site.
- Open to opportunities: Volunteers who are flexible and open to roles anywhere are highly sought after and always appreciated. Groups without preference to an area could be placed on any of the teams mentioned above.
- Volunteer group donations
We understand the time and effort involved in coordinating a group of volunteers. We would like to recognize qualifying groups with a modest donation. More information and required forms will be available after the event.
- The group must be a non-profit group, club or organization.
- The group must be able to present a W-9 completed for the organization or fiscal agent with a tax identification number.
- Group must check in 20 or more volunteers on race day or at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo.
Paperwork must be submitted by the established deadline. After the event, the Volunteer Team will contact all group leaders with qualification status, required paperwork and the established deadline. Group donations start $300 and go up from there based on the group size. Groups can also earn donation bonuses if they meet the following criteria:
- $50 bonus to qualifying groups that participate in shifts that begin prior to 5 a.m.
- $75 bonus to qualifying groups that participate in more than one event during race weekend (i.e., Expo/Packet-Pick-up and race day).
- $100 bonus to qualifying groups that participate in a shift over 6 hours long
- $100 bonus to qualifying groups that participate at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle in addition to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Please note the bonus will be included in Bank of America Chicago Marathon donations.
- $100 bonus to qualifying groups that participate at the Bank of America Chicago 13.1 in addition to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Please note the bonus will be included in Bank of America Chicago Marathon donations.