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Guide to the 2013 Chicago Marathon - Fast Facts


Overview of the Chicago Marathon:

The Chicago Marathon started in 1977 with more than 4,000 runners and get this: had a $5 registration fee. That's hard to believe when you compare that price to today's fee of roughly $145 for U.S. residents and $170 for those living elsewhere.

Since its humble beginnings, the Chicago Marathon has become a world-class marathon attracting the world's top runners, with a cap of 45,000 participants. Course distance is 26.2 miles with one of the world's flattest surfaces and unpredictable October weather conditions. In years past, the weather has been hot (in the 80s) or cold (in the 30s), so it is hard to know just what the weather will be like in October in Chicago.

For those who live in Chicago, the Chicago Marathon is a tradition, with residents lining the 26.2-mile course cheering on runners. The course goes through some of Chicago's most popular neighborhoods, including Lincoln Park, Little Italy, and more.

Suggested reading: October Events in Chicago l Visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden l Chicago Oktoberfests

When and Where - Location and Time of the Chicago Marathon:

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be held on Sunday, October 13, 2013.

The start and finish line will be in Grant Park on Columbus Drive near Buckingham Fountain.

Wheelchair start is at 7:20 a.m. (CDT)

Marathon Handcycle Start 7:21 a.m. (CDT)

Wave 1 Start 7:30 a.m. (CDT)

Wave 2 Start 8 a.m. (CDT)

Post race, celebrate with the 27th Mile Post-Race Party located in Grant Park's Butler Field, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. The outdoor party includes live entertainment and food and beverages (available for purchase). Runners can redeem the tear-off portion of their bib number for a complimentary 312 Urban Wheat Ale, courtesy of the Goose Island Beer Co.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon features a Wave Start and Start Corral process to facilitate a more efficient and convenient race day experience for all participants. This includes three significant details that you should be aware of:

There are two separate Start Waves (Wave 1 and Wave 2); Wave 1 starts at 7:30 a.m., followed by Wave 2 at 8:00 a.m.

All participants will be assigned to a specific Start Corral (American Development, Corral A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L or M)

Participants assigned to Start Corrals A, B, C, D, E and American Development start in Wave 1 at 7:30 a.m.; Participants assigned to Start Corrals F, G, H, J, K, L and M start in Wave 2 at 8:00 a.m.

Here is a link for more information on the Start Corrals.

Chicago Marathon Course Information:

The Chicago Marathon is known for its fast and flat course. According to the Chicago Marathon, elite athletes and amateurs annually target the race for its potential to generate personal, national and world records. In addition to its speed, the course offers a scenic tour of Chicago and its neighborhoods, as well as a convenient start and finish in Grant Park.

Check out the marathon's Spectator Guide that includes spectator viewing areas, information on tracking runners you will be watching, getting around Chicago and more. (Worth reading: Taking Public Transit in Chicago)

Confirming Your Chicago Marathon Race Number:

This registration confirmation link includes names of all of the participants who have successfully completed their registration for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Registered marathon runners need to pick up their race packet, which includes their bid number, at the Chicago Marathon Expo at McCormick Place. (Hall B1 2301 S. Martin Luther King Drive.) When picking up their packet, marathon participants must present their confirmation ticket or e-mail along with a photo ID. If you are unable to pick up your packet, someone else can pick it up for you. That person must have your confirmation ticket or e-mail and their photo ID. Expo hours are Friday, October 11, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 12, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The expo will include more than 200 exhibitors featuring running footwear, apparel and more.

Chicago Marathon Volunteer Opportunities:

The Chicago Marathon requires has numerous volunteer opportunities. For more information, call 312-904-9800 or visit the Chicago Marathon website. All volunteers must be registered by Monday, October 7, in order to volunteer.

For Chicago Marathon Spectators:

The first Chicago Marathon was promoted with the tag line, "The people’s race anyone can come and enjoy." That still holds true today.

Important spectator information can be found on the official 2013 Chicago Marathon Spectator Guide. If you are unable to see the marathon in person, NBC Chicago will be broadcasting the marathon starting at 7 a.m. (CDT).

Because many of Chicago's streets will be closed during the marathon, it is recommended to take public transportation. (Tip: Fleet Feet Chicago (1620 N. Wells) is opening their store at 7 a.m. where they will have complimentary cow bells and signs and markers for spectators.)

More Information for 2013 Chicago Marathon Spectators:

Need some extra support in your goal to finish the Bank of America Chicago Marathon? Are you looking to run a personal best? Join a Nike+ Pace Team where you will be guided by experienced Nike+ Pace Team Leaders to help you meet your performance goals. Nike+ Pace Team Coordinator Paul Miller and nearly 100 experienced marathoners are there to support you from start to finish.

What are the normal high/low temperatures in Chicago on October 13? Normal High: 63 Fahrenheit / 17 Celsius and Normal Low: 46 Fahrenheit / 8 Celsius.

How long is the course open? The course is open for 6 hours, 30 minutes. Registrants must be capable of completing the full distance, start line to finish line, within the event time requirement of 6-hours, 30-minutes (or approx. 15 minutes/mile). Participants running slower than 15 minutes/mile will not be guaranteed Aid Station or Medical support once the 6:30 time limit has been reached. Participants still out on the course will be asked to move onto the sidewalk as the streets will be re-opened to traffic and Aid Stations will discontinue on-course support.

Is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon a Boston Qualifier? Yes. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a great course for participants hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Can I run with an iPod/headphones? Yes. USATF, the national governing body of the sport, recently amended its ban on headphones, iPods and similar devices. However, athletes competing for prize money are not allowed to use electronic devices such as headphones and ear pieces.

Can I run with my Garmin GPS or my Nike Plus device? Yes, participants may wear their Garmin GPS watches and/or Nike Plus devices. However, these items do not count as “second timing devices” and will not be recognized by the event as official times or distances.

What is NOT allowed on the course? The use of video devices, cell phones, computers, cameras or any similar devices by participants in the event is prohibited. The use of wheeled devices by participants or any other person authorized to be on the course shall be strictly limited to: (a) authorized and registered competitive wheelchair participants; and (b) authorized course marshals on bicycles. Baby joggers, baby strollers, skateboards, rollerblades, unauthorized bicycles or any other wheeled device will not be permitted.

Official Website for the Chicago Marathon:

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