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Athletes with Disabilities Program

Application procedures for the Athletes with Disabilities Program (AWD)

Athletes with disabilities may apply for a guaranteed entry or through the non-guaranteed drawings. Athletes must indicate the presence of a disability that qualifies them for participation in one of the AWD categories on the registration application.

Ambulatory athletes with disabilities: Ambulatory athletes with disabilities (athletes with a permanent orthopedic, neuromuscular, visual, or other physical disability) may apply for a guaranteed entry through any guaranteed entry method for which they qualify.  Ambulatory athletes with disabilities that do not qualify for a guaranteed entry may apply for the non-guaranteed drawing.

Push-rim wheelchairs: Athletes intending to utilize a push-rim wheelchair are eligible to apply for a guaranteed entry through any guaranteed entry method for which they qualify.  Push-rim wheelchair athletes intending to apply as a time qualifier must have met the following standards at a marathon completed on or after January 1, 2016:

Men: 2:00:00
Women: 2:30:00

A racing wheelchair must be used; no other type of wheelchair will be permitted on the course.  Push-rim wheelchair athletes that do not qualify for a guaranteed entry may apply for the non-guaranteed drawing.

Duo teams: Duo teams (an able-bodied person allowed to “push” a person with a permanent disability in a customized wheelchair, specific for outdoor road racing) may apply for a guaranteed entry under any guaranteed entry method for which they qualify.  To apply under the time qualifier method, the runner (pusher) of the duo team must meet the qualifying standard for gender and age group in accordance with the time qualifier policy. Duo teams that do not qualify for a guaranteed entry may apply for the non-guaranteed drawing.

All duo teams must submit a completed and signed Bank of America Chicago Marathon Duo Teams Terms and Conditions form along with a photograph of the wheelchair that will be used. The completed form and photo must be submitted prior to submitting the Bank of America Chicago Marathon application. Please email awdprogram@chicagomarathon.com to request a form.

The duo team division is considered an exhibition event.  No awards or prize money will be given for this division.

Handcycle: Handcycle participants will not be selected through guaranteed application methods or a non-guaranteed drawing.  Handcycle participants must be active members of Achilles International and will be selected for participation by Achilles International.

The handcycle division is considered an exhibition event.  No awards or prize money will be given for this division.

Athletes with Disabilities Program (AWD) policies and procedures

Ambulatory athletes with disabilities (athletes with a permanent orthopedic, neuromuscular, visual, or other physical disability), open field push-rim wheelchair athletes, and duo teams will be eligible to apply for a guaranteed entry at the beginning of the application period.  The guaranteed application period will open on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 and close on Thursday, November 30, 2017.

Ambulatory athletes with disabilities, open push-rim wheelchair athletes, and duo teams that do not qualify for a guaranteed entry may apply for the non-guaranteed drawings.  The non-guaranteed drawing application will open on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 and close on Thursday, November 30, 2017.

Three separate drawings will be conducted: one for ambulatory athletes with disabilities, one for open field push-rim wheelchair athletes, and one for duo teams.

Should the capacity for the respective field sizes be reached through guaranteed registration methods prior to the date of the drawings, no athletes will be selected for participation through the non-guaranteed drawings.  The following capacities have been established based on multiple factors for the overall safety and experience of the athletes:

Ambulatory athletes with disabilities: 40
Open push-rim wheelchair athletes: 25
Duo teams: 6 teams
Handcycles: 15 members of the Achilles Freedom Team

In the event the capacity for the field sizes is exceeded through guaranteed registration methods, athletes will be chosen for participation on a first-come, first-served basis from those athletes with accepted guaranteed registration applications.  Order will be determined by the time and date of the submission of the accepted guaranteed entry application.

Should there be capacity remaining in any of the fields after the drawing is complete, athletes may apply for a guaranteed entry through any of the guaranteed registration methods remaining available after the completion of the drawing. Athletes will be chosen for participation on a first come, first serve basis until the capacity is reached. Order will be determined by the time and date of the submission of the guaranteed entry application.

Athletes with disabilities that gain entry through a guaranteed registration method that permits deferrals or through the drawing will be eligible to defer their entry to the following year in accordance with the event deferral policy.  Should a duo team choose to defer their entry, both members of the team must defer.

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