Rules & safety
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 World Athletics 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:
|ALERT LEVEL||EVENT CONDITIONS||RECOMMENDED ACTIONS|
|EVENT CANCELLED/ EXTREME AND DANGEROUS CONDITIONS||PARTICIPATION STOPPED/ FOLLOW EVENT OFFICIAL INSTRUCTION|
|POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS CONDITIONS||SLOW DOWN/ OBSERVE COURSE/ FOLLOW EVENT OFFICIAL INSTRUCTION/ CONSIDER STOPPING|
|LESS THAN IDEAL CONDITIONS||SLOW DOWN/ BE PREPARED FOR WORSENING CONDITIONS|
|GOOD CONDITIONS||ENJOY THE EVENT/ BE ALERT|
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.
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 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
- Pets/animals (except for service animals)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Illegal substances
- Remote controlled aircrafts and drones
Prohibited items on course include, but are not limited to:*
- Wheeled devices are not permitted 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. Motorized devices of any kind are prohibited.
- 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.
*Subject to change.