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Volunteer policies

To help make this year’s race a successful and positive experience for everyone, we expect you to abide by the following policies:

  1. Volunteers must register online. All volunteers must register by 11:59 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) on Friday, September 29, 2023 or they will not be allowed to volunteer for the event.
  2. The volunteer age minimum is 14 years old and accompanying children are not permitted. We require that all volunteers be 14 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 14 and 18. Children and young adults under the age of 14 are not permitted to accompany registered volunteers who meet the age requirement when they are volunteering. The event has the right to set different age minimums for designated positions.
  3. Chaperones are required for volunteer groups with minors. 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.
  4. Adhere to public health guidelines and event protocols. Volunteers must follow the Event Code of Conduct Guidelines and adhere to city, state and other public health guidelines and orders.  Volunteers who are sick should not attend the Event. This includes volunteers who:
      • Have a suspected or diagnosed/confirmed infectious illness.
      • Are exhibiting symptoms of an infectious illness, such as: cough, fever, chills, muscle pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell.
      • Have had exposure to a suspected or confirmed infectious illness within 10 days of performing contracted onsite event site work.
  1. 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.
  2. Wear your event volunteer uniform. You are expected to dress in clothing appropriate for the work duties you have been assigned to perform. You must have visible your 2023 event-issued credentials and/or ID vests to be on the premises. Dress appropriately for the weather. Always wear closed toe shoes and the current event attire logo hat, shirt or jacket, if provided.
  3. Drugs and alcohol are prohibited. We value our volunteers and participants and recognize the need for a safe, productive, and healthy event environment. Volunteers may not consume, distribute or sell (or attempt to distribute or sell), be under the influence of, or be impaired by alcohol or illegal drugs (including marijuana) or bring drug paraphernalia while working on event-related projects, assignments or during event production hours.

As used in this policy, “Drug” means a controlled substance, as defined in Schedules I – V of Section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. § 812, including, but not limited to, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, morphine, amphetamines, barbiturates, phencyclidine (PCP), or hallucinogens (or metabolites of any such drugs). The term “illegal drug” does not include the use of a drug that is legal under federal, state, and local law and is obtained and taken under supervision by and in accordance with a prescription or other instructions issued by a licensed health care professional, nor does it include adult use cannabis or medical cannabis used by a cardholder (subject to all other terms and conditions of this Code of Conduct), provided that such use does not impair an individual’s ability to perform job duties or otherwise jeopardize the health and safety of our event staff, vendors, volunteers and participants.

Violation of this policy may lead to discipline, up to and including immediate termination of responsibilities, and is subject to any limitations imposed by applicable law.

  1. Smoke-free event.  Volunteers are prohibited from smoking while performing their volunteer duties and in general participant areas on race weekend. Please be considerate in your disposal of smoking-related materials.
  2. Possession of dangerous or unauthorized materials, such as explosives or firearms, is prohibited.
  3. Treat all spectators, volunteers and race participants with courtesy and respect. Never block the path of race participants, throw items, yell or argue with participants, spectators, event staff or other volunteers. We are committed to building a culture that supports and celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our workforce and within our industry. Discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, gender (including gender identity, gender transition and transgender status), sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, military or veteran status, disability, pregnancy, childbirth, common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, marital status, genetic information or any other classification or characteristic protected by applicable law, and verbal abuse (including display of discriminatory, harassing, or hateful symbols) of any sort are not tolerated. Sexual or other unlawful or unwelcome harassment and any inappropriate conduct are not tolerated.
  4. Listen to the instructions given by event staff, key volunteers and/or your group leader and be alert when performing your role. Event staff and key volunteers have received specific training on their area’s respective volunteer positions. Please listen carefully to their instructions and comply with what they ask of you. Volunteer and participant safety is our first priority, so we need you to be prepared and aware of your surroundings at all times.
  5. If you have any questions or need assistance, contact the nearest event staff, key volunteer, or your group leader. Event staff and key volunteers are outfitted in colored safety vests and/or event-branded gear so they are easily identified.

Violations of these policies may lead to disciplinary action. Event Organizers have the right to refuse or dismiss a volunteer in the event these policies have been violated.

Please direct questions to volunteer@chicagomarathon.com.

Volunteer guidelines

Additionally, being aware of these volunteer guidelines will ensure a productive and enjoyable volunteer shift:

  1. Enjoy your time as a volunteer – have fun!  You are one of the reasons that race participants love coming back every year. We value your kindness and commitment to the event.
  2. Do not bring personal belongings.  Volunteers are strongly discouraged from bringing personal belongings to the event. Gear check will be required for belongings that cannot be carried in a volunteer’s pockets, including personal bags, purses, backpacks or similar items.
  3. Bring an ID. Volunteers will be required to provide photo identification at Volunteer Check-In to volunteer. School IDs are accepted.
  4. Check the weather and dress appropriately. It is important to prepare for the weather and the potential for changing if you are volunteering outside, so bring enough layers/options of clothing to ensure that you will be comfortable for the duration of your scheduled shift.
  5. Arrive on time. Scheduled shift times are unique to each volunteer position and can be found in your volunteer portal.
  6. Follow best practices when working with food and/or liquids.  Volunteers must wear gloves, pull long hair back in a secured ponytail and sanitize their hands before working and after visits to the restroom when working with food and/or liquid.
  7. Follow best practices with regards to participant and personal safety. Use provided hand sanitizer before and after interacting with participants. Use the appropriate provided personal protective equipment (PPE), including but not limited to a face mask and gloves, as directed by CDC and event guidelines.
  8. Adhere to social media etiquette. Volunteers are encouraged to like and follow the event on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ChicagoMarathon), Instagram (@ChiMarathon) and Twitter (@ChiMarathon). During your volunteer shift, we ask that you focus on your event role and discourage you from posting to your social media accounts. Additionally, volunteers are prohibited from posting sensitive event information on social media. If you do reference the event in social media, be sure to define your association with the event (i.e., volunteer).
  9. Familiarize yourself with the Event Alert System. The Event Alert System is a color-coded system used to communicate the status of course conditions to participants leading up to and on race day. The levels range from Low (green) to Moderate (yellow) to High (red) to Extreme (black) based primarily on the weather, as well as other conditions.

Please direct questions to volunteer@chicagomarathon.com.

Last updated: July 24, 2023

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