Course & amenities
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast course that starts and finishes in Grant Park and travels through one of the world’s most magnificent cities. The course has produced four world records, several national records and countless personal bests. Runners enjoy the support of 1.7 million spectators as they run through 29 neighborhoods.
20 aid stations (see locations below) are located along the course approximately one to two miles apart. Each aid station consists of the following amenities in this order:
- Medical Tent with access to a Runner Transport vehicle*
- Toilet facilities
- Gatorade Endurance Formula (lemon-lime flavor)
- Public address announcer
*Runner Transport vehicles provide non-emergency transportation back to Grant Park in the event that a participant is unable to complete the race.
Lemon-Lime Gatorade Endurance Formula will be available on course at all aid stations. Endurance Formula has nearly two times the sodium and three times the potassium of traditional Gatorade. Newly reformulated, It now contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners and has a new, lighter flavor.
Gatorade Endurance Carb Energy Chews will be available in Orange and Fruit Punch flavors at Aid Station 10 (Mile 13.2).
Gatorade Endurance Energy Gels will be available in Apple Pear, Vanilla, Blackberry and Mango flavors at Aid Station 14 (Mile 18.2). One serving of Gatorade Endurance Energy Gel provides 20 grams of carbohydrate, 100mg of sodium and 80 calories.
Aid Stations 15-18 (Miles 19.5-23.5) will offer bananas.
Each aid station is approximately two city blocks in length; participants are advised to continue moving through the aid station if the first tables are too crowded to conveniently obtain fluids.
Medical support is available at 21 on-course locations: all 20 aid stations and an additional medical tent in the final mile. Medical tents are indicated by tall, red, blade signs with the medical icon. Each medical tent is staffed by a team of medical professionals, is equipped with emergency and first aid supplies and has access to ambulance service.
In Grant Park, the Main Medical Tent, Podiatry Tent and Ice Station are located directly beyond the finish line. An additional medical tent is located in Grant Park adjacent to the Biofreeze 27th Mile Post-Race Party. For the safety of all participants, only those requiring medical assistance may access the medical facilities.
American Red Cross Patient
If a participant is transported to a local area hospital at the discretion of the medical team, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago’s Patient Connection staff will be on hand in Grant Park to provide information regarding that patient to family and friends. Patient Connection staff can be found in the Information Tents located throughout Grant Park as well as at the American Red Cross Patient Connection Program Medical Information Station located in the Medical Family Waiting Tent located on Jackson. Family members may also call 888.659.9877 to speak with a Patient Connection Operator to inquire about a patient.
Course time limit
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a course time limit of 6 hours and 30 minutes. After this time, the course will re-open to vehicular traffic. You must maintain a 15-minute per mile pace (approximately) or faster, completing the full marathon distance—start line to finish line—within the event time requirement. Those who finish outside of the time limit will not be recorded as official finishers and may not receive full on-course support from aid stations and traffic safety personnel.
Timing checkpoints, clock and mile markers
Timing checkpoints are positioned at the start line, at each 5K, at the halfway point (13.1 miles) and at the finish line. Your MYLAPS BibTag timing device will register split times at each of these checkpoints.
Digital clocks are positioned at the start line, throughout the course and at the finish line to provide the elapsed race time. Mile and kilometer markers are positioned at each mile and 5K to assist you in locating the clocks. Digital clocks at the finish line will display the elapsed race time, which begins with the start of Wave 1 (7:30 a.m.). Your individual race time may differ depending on when you cross the official start line.
Wheeled devices are not permitted on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course by anyone other than registered and authorized wheelchair, handcycle and duo team participants. Prohibited wheeled devices include non-registered wheelchairs and handcycles, baby joggers, strollers, skateboards, rollerblades and bicycles.
The use of selfie-sticks, camera mounts, video devices, computers or any similar devices by anyone while participating in the event is prohibited.
Music devices with headphones are permitted for use on the course; however, participants must be alert to their surroundings at all times and must pay attention to important announcements made in Grant Park and along the course.
Additional prohibited items on the course route include, but are not limited to: large bags (backpacks, suitcases and rolling bags), hard-sided coolers, costumes covering the face, any non-forming bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body, props and non-running equipment, pets/animals (except for service animals), alcoholic beverages, illegal substances, chairs, weapons, remote controlled aircrafts and drones. Camelbaks® and any type of hydration backpack. For the avoidance of doubt, fuel belts and hand-held water bottles are allowed.
Please note, any items deemed to be dangerous or inappropriate will be confiscated at the sole discretion of security personnel.
For residents who live along the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course, and for those traveling to and from Chicago on race day, please be aware that extensive street closures will take place on race day. In addition, no parking zones along the course will be enforced in the early morning hours.
View street closure information for the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
IAAF Gold Label
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is recognized as a Gold Label event by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world’s governing body for athletics. Gold, silver and bronze labels are given each year to road races that satisfy a number of important criteria concerning the organizational standards for an event, course measurement, safety and medical standards and media services. To learn more about the IAAF and Road Race Label Events visit iaaf.org.