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Frequently asked questions

Event information
Abbott Health & Fitness Expo and participant bag
Nike+ Run Club Pacers
Running for a charity
Hotels and travel

Event information

When is the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon?
The 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be held Sunday, October 7, 2018.

Does the event offer a half marathon option?
No, there is no half marathon.

Can I sign up for a waiting list in the event that a registered participant opts not to run?
No, there is no waiting list for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

I am injured and/or cannot run the event (family commitment, work obligation, etc.). Can I get a refund, donate my entry or transfer my entry to someone else?
No. Per our official event rules: Sale and/or transfer of race entries/bib numbers is strictly prohibited and will result in the disqualification and/or banning of any individuals involved from future events. All entry fees are non-refundable.

Are there any exceptions at all? If I provide medical documentation for my surgery, injury, pregnancy, etc., can I receive a refund?
There are no exceptions. Please refer to our event rules for more information.

How can I make a change to my registration information (i.e. misspelling, email, T-shirt size)?
Email with “Change of Information” in the subject line or call the Bank of America Chicago Marathon office at 312.904.9800 and a member of our staff will assist you.

Is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon walker-friendly?
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is open to all participants who wish to register; however, the Chicago Marathon course begins to re-open to vehicular traffic after 6 hours and 30 minutes of the last official starter.

This 6:30:59 time limit is a “rolling” time limit from the start to the finish. Participants still out on the race course will be asked to move to the sidewalks and on-course support (aid stations) will close.

Participants wishing to complete the 26.2-mile event within that time-frame will need to maintain a 15-minute/mile pace or faster.

Please note that participants who cross the finish line after 6:30:59 will not be recognized as official finishers and their names may not be printed in the official Results Book or the commemorative newspaper.

What is a rolling time limit?
A “rolling” time limit means that the streets at Mile 1 will begin to re-open 15 minutes after the last official starter, Mile 2 30 minutes; Mile 3 45 minutes; etc., through the finish at 6:30:59 after the last official starter.

Are relay teams allowed to participate in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon?
No. We do not have a relay division. Each participant must individually complete the full 26.2-mile distance.

Weather and Event Alert System (EAS)

What are the normal high/low temperatures in Chicago on October 7?
Normal High: 66 Fahrenheit / 19 Celsius
Normal Low: 48 Fahrenheit / 9 Celsius

What is the Event Alert System (EAS)?
The Event Alert System (EAS) is a color-coded system that communicates 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 on a variety of factors, including weather conditions.

Abbott Health & Fitness Expo and participant bag

Where and when is the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo and packet pick-up?
The Abbott Health & Fitness Expo and packet pick-up will be held at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center. View for more information about the Health & Fitness Expo.

Do I have to pick up my participant packet, participant bag and t-shirt at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo?
Yes. All participants must pick up their own participant packet (which includes the event-issued bib number and timing device), technical t-shirt and participant bag at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo during regularly scheduled hours.

Please note that individuals will not be able to pick up participant packets on behalf of others. We do not mail out participant packets, bags or t-shirts that are not picked up at the Expo; no exceptions.

Participants must present their packet pick-up ticket or email along with a photo ID in order to receive their participant packet and participant bag.

Can I pick up my participant packet, participant bag and t-shirt on the day of the race?
There is no race day participant packet and bag pick-up. All participants must pick up their bib numbers, participant bags, t-shirts and timing devices prior to race day.

If I am a vendor interested in purchasing booth space at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo, or if I am interested in promoting my race, product, charity, etc., in the participant bag, whom should I contact?
For more information.


Where can I find a Bank of America Chicago Marathon course map?
A course map for the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be available in advance of race day. View the 2017 course map.

The Chicago Marathon course is a fast and flat course that is home to four World Records, several national records and countless personal bests. There is only one slight incline in the final mile of the course on Roosevelt Road.

How many aid stations are on the course?
There are 20 aid stations on the course.

What flavor Gatorade do you offer on the course?
Lemon-Lime Gatorade Endurance Formula.

Is there food available on the course?
Bananas are available in the later miles of the course; they are generally offered between miles 20-24.

How long is the course open?
The course is open for 6 hours, 30 minutes. Registrants must be capable of completing the full distance, start line to finish line, within the event time requirement of 6 hours, 30 minutes (or approx. 15 minutes/mile).

Participants running slower than 15 minutes/mile will not be guaranteed aid station or medical support once the 6:30 time limit has been reached. Participants still out on the course will be asked to move onto the sidewalk as the streets will be re-opened to traffic and aid stations will discontinue on-course support.

Participant net times greater than the event time requirement (6-hours, 30-minutes) will not be recognized as official. Times over 6:30 may not be printed in the official Results Book or the commemorative newspaper.

Is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon a Boston Qualifier?
Yes. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a USATF certified course and is a great race for participants hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Can I run with an iPod/headphones?
Yes. USATF, the national governing body of the sport, amended its ban on headphones and iPods. However, athletes competing for prize money are not allowed to use electronic devices such as headphones and ear pieces.

Can I run with my Garmin GPS or my Nike Plus device?
Yes, participants may wear their Garmin GPS watches and/or Nike Plus devices. However, these items do not count as “second timing devices” and will not be recognized by the event as official times or distances.

What is NOT allowed on the course?
The use of video devices, cell phones, computers, cameras or any similar devices by participants in the event is prohibited.

The use of wheeled devices by participants or any other person authorized to be on the course shall be strictly limited to: (a) authorized and registered competitive wheelchair participants, and (b) authorized course marshals on bicycles. Baby joggers, baby strollers, skateboards, rollerblades, unauthorized bicycles or any other wheeled device will not be permitted.

Do you have a lost & found in case I lose something at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo or on the race course?
Yes. We will have a lost & found for items that were lost or found at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo and on race day. If you are missing a personal item, please call the event office at 312.904.9800.

If the weather changes during the race, will there be alerts along the course?
Yes. We will use the color-coded Event Alert System (EAS) to alert participants to any significant changes in race day conditions. For more information on the EAS.

I live along the race course. Where can I find out about race day street closures?
For information on race day street closures.

Nike+ Run Club Pacers

Do you offer pace teams?
Yes. Participants are welcome to join one of several different Nike+ Run Club Pacers. Participants can sign up at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo. For more information on NRC Pacers.

Running for a charity

What does it mean to run for a charity?
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon Charity Program has more than 170 official charities. While each charity has its own guidelines, typically Bank of America Chicago Marathon participants who are part of a charity team agree to fundraise for that charity. Your fundraising goes directly to the charity to support its initiatives. Every charitable organization allows its team of runners the unique opportunity to make their Marathon experience more meaningful by not only accomplishing a personal goal on race day, but by contributing to a larger mission and giving back to a worthy cause.

In return for a runner’s fundraising efforts, the charities commit to providing support in a number of areas which may include reimbursement of registration fee, team apparel, training programs, race day hospitality, pre-race events and other benefits.

How can I get more information about a particular charity?
Most charities have built their own websites specific to their charity runner program. Please visit the Charity Program page for links to specific charities. If you have further questions, please contact the charity directly through the contact information provided on its website.

How do I sign up to run for a charity?
Contact the charity you are interested in joining and they will provide you with the details of their program such as fundraising, training, etc.

What is the minimum amount that I have to fundraise in order to be a charity runner?
Each charity sets its own fundraising amounts. Please contact the charity you are interested in for more information.

If I join a charity team, can I still run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a friend who is not a charity runner?
Yes, while participants may start in different Corrals based on submitted qualifying times, there is no distinction between charity runners and other participants.

I work for a specific charity organization and we would like to be affiliated with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. How does that work?
Charities that wish to partner with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon will need to fill out a detailed Charity Application and apply to become affiliated with the event. Please e-mail for more information.

Hotels and travel

Do you work with an official travel and housing partner that offers special rates for Marathon participants?
Experient is the official travel and housing partner of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, offering official rates at the city’s most desirable hotels.

What is the official hotel for the Chicago Marathon?
The Hilton Chicago is the official headquarters hotel of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Located just across the street from Grant Park, the Hilton Chicago is a hub of activity on race weekend.

Do you have a list of hotels near the start/finish?
For an extensive list of hotels located near the start and finish (.pdf).


I am signed up for the race and I want to receive emails. How can I sign up for your e-newsletter?
We offer two enewsletters that participants can sign up for:

  • Mile by Mile: a general event newsletter aimed at runners, spectators and fans to keep track of important event information, deadlines and special offers.
  • Nike Debut Marathoner: a targeted newsletter that covers the basics of marathon running, including training tips and expert advice for those who will tackle the marathon distance for the first time in Chicago.

How can I subscribe to the e-newsletters?
Subscribe to the Mile by MIle e-newsletter.


I am looking for results prior to 1996. Is it possible to get them?
Our office has a results archive that extends back to 1977. If you are interested in a result prior to 1996, contact the marathon office at 312.904.9800 or Please note that we cannot make copies of our entire results archives for researches/grad students interested in obtaining them. We can only look up individual times.

Where can I purchase my photos following the race?
MarathonFoto is the official race photographer. Visit to find and purchase your photos.

If you have a question not covered in this section, please contact the Bank of America Chicago Marathon office at 312.904.9800, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time or email

Bank of America World Marathon Majors IAAF