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Start corrals

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is proud to stand out as a race that welcomes elite runners and debut marathoners alike. The wave start and start corral process offers a more beneficial race day experience for all runners.

Preliminary start corral assignments will be made based on our own records and information from a third party race results vendor, according to the chart below. Preliminary assignments can be viewed on the 2016 Runner status page.

Runners will have until Tuesday, August 16 to request a change to that assignment either by providing proof of a new qualifying time (American Development, Corrals A, B, C, D, and E in Wave 1) or by updating their estimated finish time (Corrals F, G, H, J or K in Wave 2).

Please note:

  • The Bank of America Chicago Marathon works with a third party vendor to identify previous half marathon and/or marathon times of its participants.
  • Qualifying finish times need to be attained since January 1, 2014 on a certified course.
  • Participants may request a Wave 1 corral assignment by submitting proof of qualifying time, with a link to the result, to startcorrals@chicagomarathon.com through 5 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) on Tuesday, August 16. For accurate processing, please also include the confirmation code received in your confirmation email.
  • Participants may update their estimated finishing time for a Wave 2 corral assignment in the Athlete Center through 5 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) on Tuesday, August 16.
  • Start corrals will be assigned or re-assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Assignment to a specific start corral is not guaranteed.

Important dates

Thursday, July 21: Preliminary corral assignments will be posted on the 2016 Runner status page.
Tuesday, August 16 (5 p.m. U.S. Central Time): Deadline to update or request a change to your start corral assignment.
Tuesday, August 23: Final corral assignments will be posted.

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Frequently asked questions

What are start corrals?
Start corrals are designated start areas designed to facilitate a more efficient and convenient race start for all participants. Wave 1 Start Corrals (American Development, A, B, C, D, and E) are assigned based on a verified qualifying time. Wave 2 Start Corrals (F, G, H, J and K) are assigned based on the estimated finish time you entered on your race application.

Are start corrals guaranteed?
No.  Assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis until the corrals reach their respective capacities.

I have been automatically assigned to a Wave 1 start corral. How did this happen?
Some participants are automatically assigned to a start corral based on their qualifying performance at the 2014-2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon or based on information from our third party race results vendor.

How can I qualify for a Wave 1 start corral?
Wave 1 Start Corrals (American Development, A, B, C, D, and E) are assigned based on a verified qualifying time.

If you wish to be assigned to a Wave 1 Start Corral, you will need to submit proof of a qualifying time achieved since January 1, 2014 on a certified course. This may be submitted to startcorrals@chicagomarathon.com in the form of an official finisher’s certificate or a link directly to your results. The deadline to update or request a change to your start corral assignment is 5 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) on Tuesday, August 16.

I have not been assigned to a start corral. What do I need to do?
You submitted an estimated finish time in your application which may qualify you for a start corral assignment in Wave 1. If you have a qualifying time for a start corral in Wave 1 you will need to submit proof of a qualifying via the instructions above.

Can I switch from one start corral to another?
If you qualify for a “faster” corral, you can be moved up to a faster corral by submitting a “faster” qualifying time prior to the August 16 deadline. If you were automatically assigned to a start corral but do not wish to start in that corral, you can request a new corral by emailing startcorrals@chicagomarathon.com.

My relative, friend has been assigned to a different start corral. How can we run together?
If your relative or friend is assigned to a Wave 1 start corral,  you must have a half marathon or marathon time that qualifies you for that corral. If you do not have a time that qualifies you for a Wave 1 start corral, both of you can request a Wave 2 start corral assignment by emailing startcorrals@chicagomarathon.com.

I submitted a qualifying time by email. Will I receive confirmation that my start corral has been changed?
No. Participants will receive only an automatic response indicating that the email was received. Runners will be responsible for checking any changes on the event website.

Can I switch from one start corral to another on race day?
No. All participants must start in their assigned start corral on race day.  All start corral changes must be made prior to the deadline at 5 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) on Tuesday, August 16.

If the Nike+ Run Club Pacers I want to run with is not offered in my start corral, what should I do?
A pace bib will not give you entry into a particular start corral. If you want to run with a Nike+ Run Club Pacer in Wave 1, you must qualify for and/or be assigned to the start corral. For more information visit the Nike+ Run Club Pacer page.

Can I be reassigned to a different start corral at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo?
No. The deadline to request a change is 5 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) on Tuesday, August 16. No reassignments will be made following this deadline.

I missed qualifying for a Wave 1 start corral by a few seconds. Will you make an exception?
No. Start corral qualifying standards are strictly adhered to.

If you have questions, please email startcorrals@chicagomarathon.com.

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