Chicago Marathon

Every year, the Chicago Marathon - the world's most beloved marathon - brings together runners from around the globe for an unforgettable 26.2 miles of joy and celebration. Join us on this incredible journey as we embark on this incredible milestone together!


The Chicago Marathon is an iconic annual race that brings runners from around the globe together for one incredible race each fall. Over its history, this iconic marathon has become one of Chicago’s signature events and major draws for visitors and locals alike. Participants enjoy winding their way through 29 communities as they take in breathtaking Lake Michigan views along with plenty of cultural offerings that draw so many participants annually – whether novice runners or veteran veterans! So get out there and experience this fantastic race – it awaits! So get ready to lace up those running shoes and join this incredible event!

History of the Chicago Marathon

Since 1977, when it first debuted as the Mayor Daley Marathon, the Chicago Marathon has become an annual staple in its hometown. Now an international event with over 45,000 participants every year from 185 different nations taking part each year.
Chicago Marathon takes place annually on the second Sunday in October and covers 26.2 miles through 29 neighborhoods of downtown Chicago. As one of America’s prestigious marathons, this iconic race attracts athletes from around the world who compete against one another on one of America’s premier marathon courses.
Additionally, in addition to the main marathon event, other related events include Bank of America Chicago 5K on Saturday prior to race day; Kids Dash for children aged 6-12; wheelchair divisions for both men and women, handcycle divisions as well as handcycles divisions for those using wheelchairs or prostheses, handcycle divisions for those using these modes, handcycle divisions for those using these as prostheses etc.
The Chicago Marathon has long been celebrated for its flat terrain and scenic backdrop of Lake Michigan and city skylines, making it a top race among runners worldwide. Furthermore, its presence has been depicted in movies like The Fugitive (1993), Running Scared (2006) and Marley & Me (2008).
At nearly four decades old, the Chicago Marathon remains one of America’s premier races attracting thousands of spectators each year to cheer on runners from around the world.

Race Course and Elevation Profile

The Chicago Marathon is an iconic annual event, drawing thousands of participants each year. It provides runners with an invaluable way to experience Chicago and its surroundings; running its course takes participants through 29 neighborhoods including some of its most notable parts – Lake Michigan being its lowest point and reaching up to 500 feet above sea level for its highest elevation point – making this race relatively straightforward for runners to tackle.
Starting in Grant Park and following Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan before heading up Sheridan Road and into Lincoln Park. From there, runners will make their way through Old Town, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village Humboldt Park West Town Noble Square Chinatown Pilsen Little Italy University Village Hyde Park before looping back around to Grant Park where it all started for an exciting finish line race!
Overall, this race provides a fantastic way to explore some of Chicago’s vibrant neighborhoods while getting in a great workout. Boasting varied terrain and breathtaking lakefront views along Lake Michigan, many return each year for this truly remarkable experience!

Training for the Chicago Marathon

If you want to put yourself through an exciting and internationally recognized event, the Chicago Marathon may be just what you need. Held each October and welcoming runners from around the globe, training for this marathon can be both physically and mentally fulfilling.
Setting reasonable goals when training for the Chicago Marathon is essential. Although it may be tempting to set yourself lofty targets such as setting personal best times, take into account your current running level when setting any ambitious objectives and ensure they can be reached through proper training and nutrition leading up to race day.
Once you have set your goal, create a plan to help reach it. This should include weekly runs, rest days, strength-training sessions and cross-training activities such as biking or swimming. Be sure to leave enough time between long runs so your body has time to recuperate properly.
As part of your training and race day nutrition plan, it’s essential that you receive enough fuel. A diet consisting of carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats will provide energy while repairing muscle tissue post-run. Stay hydrated throughout your program.
Remind yourself that while training for the Chicago Marathon can be tough and demanding, it can also be very rewarding! With hard work and dedication to your goals, you’ll reach them and experience one of the world’s premier marathons!

Weather Conditions for Race Day

Weather can have a major impact on how participants perform during races, so it is crucial that participants understand what type of conditions may arise on race day. On race day, temperatures tend to range between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit with higher temperatures typically occurring near noon. Wind speeds typically remain relatively low but still have the potential to affect running performance. Rain and humidity should also be taken into account when planning for a marathon race, though these levels will depend on your location in the city. Understanding what weather to anticipate on race day will enable runners to create the optimal running performance on race day.

Record Holders and Prize Money

The Chicago Marathon is one of the premier running events worldwide, first debuting in 1977. Since then, this race has attracted some of the world’s best runners to compete for both personal glory and prize money on its flat loop course that begins and ends near Grant Park and passes through such iconic neighborhoods as Little Italy, Chinatown and Greektown.
Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya won with a time of 2 hours 3 minutes 45 seconds in 2019.
No matter your skill level or goal of winning big in an athletic endeavor, the Chicago Marathon offers something for every type of runner! Come enjoy running through downtown Chicago! The Chicago Marathon truly provides something special!

Spectator Information

Spectators play an essential part in supporting runners as they embark on their marathon journeys, offering encouragement and offering moral support as needed along the way.
Spectators looking forward to attending the Chicago Marathon as spectators can use these helpful tips to make their experience enjoyable. Make sure you arrive early so you can secure a prime location along the course – spots often fill quickly! Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks for both yourself and any companions, and dress for the weather as Chicago can become quite cold during marathon season!
Cheering is encouraged at the Chicago Marathon – it helps keep runners motivated! Bring noisemakers or signs with inspirational messages for your favorite runner, and if someone you know is running try tracking their online race so you can cheer for them as they pass by!
Take full advantage of all Chicago has to offer when visiting for the weekend, whether that means taking in its sights or experiencing its food and nightlife – you are sure to have an incredible experience.

Tips for Running the Chicago Marathon

If you’re planning to run the Chicago Marathon, here are a few key tips that will ensure its success. First of all, ensure you have trained appropriately by running regularly and gradually increasing mileage over time. Furthermore, focus on building endurance by running longer distances at a slower pace. Finally, get plenty of rest leading up to race day so that your body is at its peak performance on race day itself.
Nutrition-wise, marathon runners should make sure to fuel up with complex carbs like oatmeal or whole grain breads and pasta before the race with complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal. When racing itself begins, take advantage of water stations along the course as needed and energy gels or bars as needed for fuel. After the event has concluded, replenish electrolytes with sports drinks or coconut water and replenish lean proteins like chicken or fish as refuel.
Make sure to enjoy yourself! Chicago during marathon weekend is electric – take time before or after your race to soak it all in!


The Chicago Marathon is an unforgettable event for runners, spectators, and the city itself alike. It serves as a testimony to Chicago’s spirit of endurance, camaraderie, and resilience that makes this city special; each year athletes from around the globe travel here to test themselves and push beyond their boundaries; whether this is your inaugural marathon participation or veteran veteran runner status there’s something special about running 26.2 miles through Chicago streets!

Experience Chicago like never before at the Chicago Marathon – an unparalleled journey through its streets! From crossing the starting line until reaching the finish line among adoring crowds, nothing compares with feeling proud that you conquered one of life’s toughest challenges – with each step taken during race day, runners can take pride knowing they have earned every mile they have run!

The Chicago Marathon, first staged in 1977, has since grown into one of the biggest marathons worldwide – now drawing more than 45,000 participants annually from more than 100 countries on six continents. As such, its growth serves as a powerful symbol for our ability to conquer challenges head on, serving as an affirmation that anything is possible if we keep pushing past any barriers we encounter along our journeys.

No matter your motivations for joining this incredible event – personal goals or just wanting an incredible day with friends – running in the Chicago Marathon is an experience like no other. So put on your running shoes and be prepared: There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as running through downtown Chicago on race day!

Frequently asked questions

What is the Chicago Marathon?

The Chicago Marathon is an annual marathon race held each October in Chicago, Illinois. Attracting over 45,000 participants and millions of spectators alike, it is one of the world’s five largest marathons with runners passing through 29 neighborhoods before concluding their journey at Grant Park.

When is the Chicago Marathon held?

The Chicago Marathon traditionally takes place annually on the first Sunday in October.

How can I register for the Chicago Marathon?

Registering for the Chicago Marathon can be completed online at, by creating an account and filling out a registration form with personal and payment details (registration fee is currently $205 for U.S. residents and $230 for non-U.S. residents). After registration has been successfully completed, a confirmation email with your race number and additional important information about the marathon will be sent directly to you.

Is there a minimum age requirement to participate in the Chicago Marathon?

Yes, the minimum age requirement to participate in the Chicago Marathon is 18 as of race day.

What is the course route of the Chicago Marathon?

The Chicago Marathon course route begins in Grant Park and winds its way around through downtown Chicago, Lake Shore Drive, Hyde Park, Chinatown, Little Italy, Pilsen, Bridgeport and back into Grant Park – making this official Boston Marathon Qualifying event. The total course distance covers 26.2 miles – it begins and finishes in Grant Park!

Are there any special accommodations available for runners with disabilities at the Chicago Marathon?

Yes, the Chicago Marathon provides special accommodations for runners with disabilities. Participants in need of any special assistance should reach out directly to race organizers so they can ensure those in need receive amenities like wheelchairs and accessible starting areas as needed; additionally they may request personal assistants to provide support during their run if required.

What are some tips to prepare for running in the Chicago Marathon?

1. Begin Training Early: With such a long and challenging course as the Chicago Marathon, it is wise to begin training for it early and build up endurance. Begin running short distances several times each week until gradually increasing your distances over time.

2. Make A Plan: Sticking to an established marathon training plan can help keep you on the right path with your preparation, ensuring race day goes smoothly. Feel free to adjust it based on your individual needs and goals.

3. Cross-Train: Engaging in cross-training activities can be a great way to build strength and prevent injury. Activities like swimming, cycling and weightlifting may prove especially useful in training for the Chicago Marathon.

4. Hydrate and Fuel Appropriately: Training properly hydration and fuel is paramount to success at any marathon race, particularly the Chicago Marathon with its long distance and heat extremes in late summer/early fall months when the event occurs. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout your day, along with nutritious snacks before, during, and post running sessions to maintain adequate energy levels for success!

5. Review Race-Day Routines: It is crucial that you become acquainted with race day routines prior to any event so that race day will go smoothly for you! This includes everything from knowing what clothes you will wear and food/drink items you should bring, where to store belongings during running etc. Planning this ahead can reduce stress on race day so you can focus on having an incredible experience!

Does the Chicago Marathon offer any prize money for winners?

Yes, the Chicago Marathon does provide prize money for winners. The top three male and female finishers each year receive cash awards; additionally there is an age-group awards.

Are there any pre-race events or activities associated with the Chicago Marathon?

Yes, the Chicago Marathon provides many pre-race events and activities for participants. Each year prior to race day, the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo features vendors, interactive displays, running gear, and other events. Furthermore, runners can carb up at a pasta dinner the evening before. In addition, an official kick-off party takes place on Friday with live music, drinks, food trucks, and more! Finally, various organized group runs occur prior to race day to familiarize themself with their course while getting some last minute training in.

How long does it typically take to complete the marathon route in Chicago?

Chicago Marathon participants typically complete its route within 4 to 6 hours. Most runners average finishing times range between 4-5 hours while elite runners often finish within 2-3 hours.

Where can I find information about past results and records for the Chicago Marathon?

Visit the Chicago Marathon official website to obtain past race results and records in PDF format, such as winners, times and course records. There is also an archive of past results available here:

Are there any restrictions on what type of clothing participants can wear during the race?

Yes, participants in the Chicago Marathon must adhere to a dress code. Runners must wear shirts and shorts that cover their stomachs, chests, and backs; all garments should be lightweight materials like cotton, polyester, or nylon; zippers or logos larger than 2×2 must not exist on clothing items; costumes are permitted but cannot create a tripping hazard or obscure vision.

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