Chicago Marathon 2018

© Chicago Marathon 2017

Short review

The Chicago Marathon is an annual event that takes place in Chicago, Illinois. One of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors.

The history of this race begins with a group of enthusiasts who organized and conducted the first marathon in 1977 with 4,200 runners. It was run by amateurs until 1982 when marathon had raised enough prize money to lure professional runners. Since then, world records have been broken at Chicago four times. In 1984, Steve Jones broke the world record with 2:08:05. In 1999, Khalid Khannouchi was the first to surpass 2:06:00 with 2:05:42. The women's record was broken in two consecutive years. In 2001, Catherine Ndereba broke the record in 2:18:47, and Paula Radcliffe surpassed that mark with 2:17:18 the year after.

Today, it is a major event. Every year 45,000 runners and over 1.7 million on-course spectators descend on Chicago streets. Flat looping course, which begins and ends in Chicago’s historic Grant Park, is supported by over 12,000 volunteers spread throughout the course and 20 aid stations.

4 reasons to go
  • Major event
  • Exceptionally well-organized
  • Charity event
  • Money prizes
2 reasons not to go
  • High entry fee
  • Very crowded
Registration open
Register now

Road Running

Distance:

Marathon

Price:

from $195

Type of Surface:

asphalt

Type of Terrain:

city

Major

Charity

Wheelchair

Organized since 1977

Short review

The Chicago Marathon is an annual event that takes place in Chicago, Illinois. One of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors.

The history of this race begins with a group of enthusiasts who organized and conducted the first marathon in 1977 with 4,200 runners. It was run by amateurs until 1982 when marathon had raised enough prize money to lure professional runners. Since then, world records have been broken at Chicago four times. In 1984, Steve Jones broke the world record with 2:08:05. In 1999, Khalid Khannouchi was the first to surpass 2:06:00 with 2:05:42. The women's record was broken in two consecutive years. In 2001, Catherine Ndereba broke the record in 2:18:47, and Paula Radcliffe surpassed that mark with 2:17:18 the year after.

Today, it is a major event. Every year 45,000 runners and over 1.7 million on-course spectators descend on Chicago streets. Flat looping course, which begins and ends in Chicago’s historic Grant Park, is supported by over 12,000 volunteers spread throughout the course and 20 aid stations.

4 reasons to go
  • Major event
  • Exceptionally well-organized
  • Charity event
  • Money prizes
2 reasons not to go
  • High entry fee
  • Very crowded

1 Road Running races on 07 October 2018 in Chicago

Chicago Marathon

42.195 km

36.5 m

from $195

45000 runners

usually take part in the race

42.195 km run course map

42.195 km

Weather for Oct 07, 2018

63.16 °F

Wind: 9.46 m/s.

Partly cloudy throughout the day..

Very Good for running

Powered by Dark Sky

What to wear on your run?

Contacts of the organizers & official website

Bank of America Chicago Marathon, 135 South LaSalle Street,
Suite 1160, MC: IL4-135-11-61, Chicago, IL 60603, USA

We recommend checking the official website for up-to-date information.

The information about Chicago Marathon is based on information provided by the organizers or found on the official website of the event.

If you have noticed any mistake, please let us know at

[email protected]

Best reviews

user avatar
Jess L. from yelp.com

2016 Chicago Marathone review from yelp.com

Chicago is a special city, and running the marathon thoroughly enhanced my love and appreciation for it. I highly recommend this race for new and veteran marathon runners.

I entered the lottery 3 times and got in for 2016. The route is definitely super flat, and there are great fans throughout the full route. (Thanks to the ~5 people who had pretzels on the route, even by the end.) The views are excellent and interesting, as well. The course covers 29 separate Chicago neighborhoods!

The race was organized very well overall. The lines for the bathroom at the start were a bit out of contro... Show full review
l, but they were not as stringent about closing the corrals, which was a huge relief. I also noticed that they ran out of the bananas at the very, very end, but that wasn't a problem for me because I wasn't planning on using them for sustenance. Other than these two issues, which ended up being totally fine, the race was super smooth. There were tons of port-o-potties throughout the route and medical tents.

At multiple times of the race, including the dreaded "wall," I found myself saying, "Wow, this is super fun!" The Chicago Marathon was truly a memorable and exciting time.
user avatar
Jeff M. from yelp.com

2017 Chicago Marathone review from yelp.com

What a great event. This was my 13th marathon and one of the best. It was well organized, great crowd support and an awesome city! Everything from the expo to the marathon to the after party was terrific. Thank you to all the volunteers that were there to help us while on the route. Well done!
user avatar
Natalie T. from yelp.com

Natalie T. from yelp.com

Chose the 2015 Chicago marathon to be my inaugural marathon and am super glad I did!

Actually getting into the race/being selected in the lottery was kinda stressful, but once I got the confirmation, it was all (figuratively) downhill. Entry fee was too expensive, in my opinion, but I know a lot of costs are factored into the race, so I was okay with forking over so much.

Email updates kept me informed periodically throughout my training and served to remind me I needed to be prepared, but I was disappointed when I received my corral assignment (second to last), which didn't seem to matc... Show full review
h up with the estimated finish time I submitted (4:00-4:30). The expo at the McCormick Place was overwhelming but well organized; however, I didn't like the location (took way too long to get their via public transit in traffic).

Weather on the day of the race was higher than average but luckily not swelteringly hot. Volunteers helped guide me to my corral's bag dropoff location and photographers asked if I wanted my picture taken--but of course! Once I was in the corral, it was frustrating not being able to take off when I saw earlier corrals start running. It would've been nice if the participant guide would've had estimated start times for each corral, since I based times I gave to my family/friend spectators off of the general 8am "wave 2" start time given. I don't think I actually crossed the start line until like 8:30am.

Running the first few miles through downtown Chicago is absolutely exhilarating. You realize how supportive the crowds are and you feel invincible. Proceeding to run through the 29 neighborhoods (on a generally flat course) is awesome--being able to run through neighborhoods you haven't been to, even if you live in the city, is such a plus. And dat crowd support is unmatched! Only other complaint I have was the lack of bathrooms along the race. I was pissed I had to wait in line for over 4 minutes just to pee--I would've met or beat my goal time had I been in and out of the loo quicker! Gatorade and water stations were perfectly staggered, and I even got a plastic water bottle from a sponsored tent along the way.

The volunteers deserve their own paragraph. To all you volunteers of the Chicago marathon out there, THANK YOU. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Along with the crowds' funny signs and my friends'/family's support, you guys made all the difference. Your anti-chafe stations, ability to smile through getting accidentally sloshed with water, and insistence to put my marathon blanket over my shoulders for me were just a few of the things that got me through 26.2.

Post-race snacks and photos were pluses, and I've heard great things about the 27th mile party, though I didn't attend. Picking up my bag was a breeze.

If you're a first-timer like I was, I would definitely recommend the Chicago marathon! Not sure if I'll return next year or move on to another highly rated marathon, like Twin Cities.

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