Group leader application
Join the fleet of over 200 volunteer groups that make the 2021 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 Friday, October 1, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.
- Group leader responsibilities
- Communicate clearly with your group about the specifics of the volunteer role.
- Recruit your volunteer group. The age minimum for group volunteers is 16 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 Expo, Grant Park and race course.
- Stay until the assignment is complete and your volunteer group has fulfilled their role honestly.
- 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 to request an accommodation.
- 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 filled.
- Within the group leader application, indicate your group’s size. You must have at least 10 volunteers to form a group. If you are seeking a donation, your group must check-in at least 20 volunteers to your assignment.
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 as the Volunteer Team gives your group an assignment based off of the number shared in your application.
Step 5: The group registration instructions will be valid until all of the requested slots are filled or until the registration deadline on Friday, October 1, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time, 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 – Friday, October 8 & Saturday, October 9
- 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 10
- 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.
- 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.
- After the event, the Volunteer Team will contact all group leaders with qualification status, required paperwork and the established deadline.