After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s Chicago Marathon, the city’s biggest test for long-distance runners returns on Sunday.
More than 35,000 people from 50 states and 100 countries are expected to compete in the 26.2-mile race.
The path runs through 29 neighborhoods. So, even if you’re not running, the race will likely affect Chicago residents’ travel plans on Sunday.
Here’s a summary of everything you need to know:
When is the race?
The race begins with the men’s wheelchair rally at 7:20 a.m. Sunday in Grant Park. The starting line is at Columbus Drive and Monroe Street. Here are the scheduled start times:
- 7:20 a.m.: Wheelchair for men.
- 7:21: A women’s wheelchair.
- 7:23: Hand bike.
- 7:30: Wave 1 (red).
- 8: Wave 2 (blue).
- 8:35: The start of wave 3 (orange).
The race begins at Grant Park and generally proceeds north to Sheridan Road in Uptown, then returns south and west from United Center through the West Loop, south to 35th Street in Bronzeville, and ends again at Grant Park.
Can I watch from the starting line?
No. Only registered runners can view at the start or finish line. Spectators can arrive at Grant Park starting at 9:30 a.m.
How can I watch or listen from home?
- NBC-5, Telemundo Chicago and TeleXitos will receive live TV coverage and broadcasts from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- WSCR (670-AM) will broadcast the race from 7am to 11am
How can I track a specific runner?
The Chicago Marathon app will provide live tracking of runners on race day, along with elite athlete profiles, live streams, weather, and an interactive course map. download it Here From the Apple App Store, or Here via Google Play.
Where and when does the race end?
The finish line is at the southern end of Grant Park. Elite runners are expected to cross first at around 9:30 a.m. All runners must finish within six and a half hours, which is about 15 minutes.
Are there any restrictions on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?
All participants must have been fully vaccinated or have submitted a negative coronavirus test result within the past 72 hours.
What is the weather forecast for Sunday?
Partly sunny and warm, about 78 degrees Sunday morning. There is a 25% chance of rain as of Saturday, according to Accuweather.
How do I find a runner after a race?
Alphabets can be found in the “Runner Reunite” area of Columbus Drive next to Butler Field. The post-race festival – with live music, food and drinks – will be from 9:30 am to 4 pm
What is the best way for spectators to avoid the course?
Public transport is the easiest way to get around and avoid road closures. Various L trains and buses can take you near Grant Park and around the track. The CTA will provide Race Day L and additional bus service.
Metra plans to add domestic trains during the early morning and departing trains during the Sunday afternoon on BNSF, Metra Electric, Milwaukee District North and Union Pacific Northwest and West lines.
What are the best spectator strategies to watch?
If you follow a particular runner, the best way to follow is to track him or her following through the Chicago Marathon app.
There are many viewing sites. For example, on mile four, you can see the field heading north on LaSalle Avenue on Division Avenue. Then you can see the runners heading south on Wales Street around the mile mark 12. The Red Line stops at Clark and Division, so you can head south and see other sites.
When do I have to move my parked car off the track?
Any cars parked along the track will be towed starting at 1 a.m. on Sunday.
When will the streets along the path be closed?
Streets along the path will be closed starting at 7 a.m. on Sunday.
When will the streets open?
As runners pass through the mile markers, the streets will reopen in a staggered fashion from 10 a.m. (near mile markers 1 and 2) to 6 p.m. for a complete guide to reopening, click here.
What are the best shortcuts – by car and walking – to avoid the race?
- If you’re driving, the best way to avoid runners while heading north or south is to take the Jean Baptiste Point DuSable Lake Shore Drive.
- To head east or west, Lower Wacker Drive is most useful for accessing Lake Michigan, the Magnificent Mile, Streeterville, or Lake Shore Drive.
- On foot, the Riverwalk is an easy way to bypass the closed streets of the Loop.