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Course & amenities

Runners in China Town

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast course. The race 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.

2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon course map (.pdf)*

* An updated Bank of America Chicago Marathon course map will be available in advance of the next event.

Aid stations
Medical support
Course time limit
Clocks and mile markers
Prohibited devices on course
Street closures
World Athletics Platinum Label

Aid stations

20 aid stations 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
  • Water

*Runner Transport vehicles provide non-emergency transportation back to Grant Park in the event that a participant is unable to complete the race.

Gatorade Endurance Carb Energy Chews will be available at Aid Station 10 (Mile 13.2). One serving of Gatorade Endurance Energy Chews provides 31 grams of carbohydrate, 110mg of sodium, and 120 calories.

Gatorade Endurance Energy Gels will be available 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.

Biofreeze Pain Relief Spray will be available at the Biofreeze Pain Relief Zone located at Mile 21.2 (Cermak Road and Archer Avenue). Apply Biofreeze Pain Relief Spray to alleviate soreness and help you to take on the final five miles of the course. Biofreeze personnel will be on-site to apply the product on participants.

Familiarize yourself with the locations and offerings at each aid station and prepare for slower traffic in these areas. The aid stations are approximately two city blocks in length; tables with Gatorade Endurance Formula and water line both sides of the street. Continue moving through the aid station if the first tables are too crowded to obtain fluids.


Medical support

Medical support is available at 21 on-course locations: all 20 aid stations and an additional medical tent in the final mile. The 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 Safe and Well Program

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 Safe and Well staff will be on hand in Grant Park to provide information regarding that patient to family and friends. Safe and Well staff can be found in the Information Tents located throughout Grant Park as well as at the American Red Cross Safe and Well 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 Safe and Well 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.

Clocks 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.

Prohibited devices on course

Wheeled devices are not permitted on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course by anyone other than a 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.

Camelbaks® and any type of hydration backpack are not permitted. For the avoidance of doubt, fuel belts and hand-held water bottles are allowed. Please be aware you may be asked to empty the contents of these containers before entering Grant Park.

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. Music devices with headphones are not permitted for use by athletes in the American Development Program.

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, including flagpoles and sticks, pets/animals (except for service animals), alcoholic beverages, illegal substances, chairs, weapons, remote-controlled aircrafts and drones.

Please note, any items deemed to be dangerous or inappropriate will be confiscated at the sole discretion of security personnel.

Street closures

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.

Street closure information for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be available in advance of the 2020 event. Complete the form below to receive information as soon as it becomes available.

Street Closure Information Request

  • Name * Required
  • * Required

World Athletics Platinum Label

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is recognized as a Platinum Label event by World Athletics, the world’s governing body for athletics. Platinum, 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 World Athletics and Road Race Label Events visit worldathletics.org.

Bank of America Abbott World Marathon Majors World Athletics Platinum Label

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