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Countdown to the big race, October 13, 2019

Rules & safety

Event rules

The event rules are intended to help produce and direct a large scale event, to ensure the safety of all participants, to meet the requirements of local government permits and to be compliant with applicable USA Track & Field (USATF) and International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) regulations for participant performance records and event liability.

View the Bank of America Chicago Marathon event rules.


Event Alert System

A color-coded Event Alert System (EAS) will communicate 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 primarily on the weather, as well as other conditions.

  • Email and website communication during race week will inform participants of the current Event Alert System status and provide preparation tips based on advance weather forecasts.
  • Updates will be made at the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo via handouts at the participant packet pick-up area and public address announcements.
  • On race day, the current Event Alert System status will be communicated via public address announcements and color-coded signs/flags at the start and finish areas, and along the course at each of the 20 aid station locations and via large digital traffic message boards.

All participants should familiarize themselves with the Event Alert System prior to the race, remain alert for directions from race officials and announcers and take precautions to prepare properly for varying weather conditions on race day.

Event Alert System table:

Event alert system table


Public safety message

Please join us in being vigilant of your surroundings during the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. If you see a suspicious person, object or vehicle along or near the race course, report the sighting to 9-1-1 or to law enforcement personnel.

Do not store, hide or leave any personal items, backpacks, packages or clothes along or near the race course, including the start and finish line areas in Grant Park. Use designated Gear Check areas to check your personal belongings, or leave your personal items with a friend or family member.

Thank you for helping to keep yourself and those around you safe.


Prohibited items

Participants, volunteers, event staff and spectators must pass through a security screening prior to entering Grant Park. Items deemed to be dangerous or inappropriate will be confiscated or denied access at the sole discretion of security personnel.

Prohibited items in Grant Park and 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
  • Bicycles
  • Pets/animals (except for service animals)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Illegal substances
  • Chairs
  • Weapons
  • Remote controlled aircrafts and drones

*Subject to change.


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