Overview of the Chicago Marathon:
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.
When and Where - Location and Time of the 2011 Chicago Marathon:
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 start is at 7:30 a.m. (CDT)
Post race, celebrate with the 27th Mile Post-Race Party located in Grant Park's Butler Field. 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.
2011 Chicago Marathon Course Info.:
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.
Confirming Your Chicago Marathon Race Number:
Some rules to keep in mind when running the Chicago Marathon:
•The 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a required maximum net finish time of 6 hours and 30 minutes (h:mm:ss/6:30:59).
•Participants must be 16 years or older on race day, October 9, 2011, to register. Participants 16-17 years of age must have a statement signed by their parent or legal guardian permitting them to participate.
•Sale and/or transfer of race entries/bib numbers is strictly prohibited. All entry fees are non-refundable, and may not be deferred toward a future event.
•The Chicago Marathon has a strict "no refund, transfer or deferral policy for all race entries."
Packet Pick-up at the Chicago Marathon Expo at McCormick Place:
Chicago Marathon Volunteer Opportunities:
For Chicago Marathon Spectators:
Important spectator information can be found on the official 2011 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.
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 Chicago Marathon Spectators:
Training for the Chicago Marathon:
•A Do-it-yourself 17-week Bank of America Chicago Marathon Training Program sponsored by Nike and developed by Coach Jenny Hadfield, co-owner of Chicago Endurance Sports and columnist for Women's Running magazine and RunnersWorld.com. The program is available for beginner, intermediate, and advanced marathon runners.
•If you prefer to train with other people, check out Nike’s Official Bank of America Chicago Marathon Training Runs offered several days a week at various locations throughout Chicago and beyond. The 17-week training run program features long runs, tempo runs, and 3-, 5- and 7-mile routes, as well as shoe trials and clinics, post-run refreshments and seminars, and pace group leaders to prepare you for race day. Locations include:
Fleet Feet Sports, 1620 N. Wells St., Chicago, Mondays, 6:30 p.m., 312-587-3338
Running Away Multisport, 1634 North Ave., Chicago, Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m., 773-395-2929
NIKETOWN, 669 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Thursdays, 6:30 p.m., 312-642-6363
JBar, 610 N. Rush St. (adjacent to The James Hotel), Chicago, Saturdays, 6:30 a.m.
Naperville Running Company, 32 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL, Thursdays, 6:30 p.m., 630-357-1900