Skip to content

Event update: The safety and wellbeing of our participants, volunteers, event staff, and spectators is always our top priority. We are closely monitoring the developments related to COVID-19. Learn more.

Countdown to October 11, 2020

Group leader application

Runners on course

Join the fleet of over 200 volunteer groups that make the 2020 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.

Volunteer registration for the 2020 event will open in late July. Complete the interest form at chicagomarathon.com/volunteer to receive an email notification when registration opens.

  • Group leader responsibilities
    • Communicate clearly with your group about the specifics of the volunteer role.
    • Monitor individual registration of your volunteer group members .
    • 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 Expo, Grant Park and race course.
    • Stay until the assignment is complete and your volunteer group has fulfilled their role honestly. If you cannot commit to the full shift time, please ask for an alternative assignment.
    • Group recruitment commitment – If you are unable to recruit the requested number of volunteers, your group can still participate. However, please notify the Volunteer Team as soon as possible so they can plan accordingly.
    • Volunteer groups with minors – One adult chaperone is required for every 10 volunteers between the ages of 14 to 18 to ensure sufficient supervision. Chaperones must, without exception, be 21 years of age or older, and they must register online with their group.
  • Group leader application


    Prior to applying, please review the volunteer policies and the following reminders:

    • Group leaders are expected to bring a minimum of 20 volunteers
    • All group members must register online by Friday, October 2, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Central Time
    • All volunteers must be 14 years or older on the day of the event
    • All volunteers must present a form of photo identification at Volunteer Check-In


    Please allow one week after the application is submitted to receive your group’s specific assignment. Once you receive your assignment, all group members must register online individually by Friday, October 2, 2020, 11:59 p.m. Central Time.

    The group leader application for the 2020 event will open in late July.

  • 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 – Friday, October 9 & Saturday, October 10

    • 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 11


    • 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 11 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 4 or more hours.

    Grant Park

    • 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.
    • Post-race party (21+): Volunteers will distribute beer and check IDs at the Biofreeze 27th Mile Post-Race Party. Please note that all volunteers must be 21 years of age or older.
    • 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.


    • 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.
    • For more information and required paperwork, please contact volunteer@chicagomarathon.com.
  • Resources
Bank of America Abbott World Marathon Majors World Athletics Platinum Label

Search Panel

Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Beginning of dialog message

You are now leaving the Bank of America Chicago Marathon website

By clicking Continue, you will be taken to a third party website. Bank of America’s privacy policy and level of security do not apply to their site as they may have their own privacy policy and security practices. You can click the Cancel button to return to the previous page, or you can use the back button on your browser after you leave.

Continue End of dialog message