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On Oct. 9, for 26.2 miles through 29 neighborhoods, about 40,000 participants and about 1.7 million spectators will descend on the city for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Officials encourage the use of public transportation to get to the course, and...

Chicago Marathon 2016: Everything you need to know if you run or watch

On Oct. 9, for 26.2 miles through 29 neighborhoods, about 40,000 participants and about 1.7 million spectators will descend on the city for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Officials encourage the use of public transportation to get to the course, and...

Chicago Marathon 2016: Everything you need to know if you run or watch

On Oct. 9, for 26.2 miles through 29 neighborhoods, about 40,000 participants and about 1.7 million spectators will descend on the city for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Officials encourage the use of public transportation to get to the course, and transit agencies will beef up service. The route begins and ends in Grant Park, passing near Wrigleyville and Sox Park along the way. Streets for the course will be closed for most of the morning. See the map for when streets will reopen, on a rolling basis.

Mile markers   Aid stations   Click for approximate time roads will reopen

THE COURSE
  • The course: The Chicago Marathon has a fast, flat course that is home to four World Records, several national records and countless personal bests. There is only one slight incline in the final mile of the course on Roosevelt Road. (Note: The route is subject to change.)
  • Start times: Wheelchair race begins at 7:20 a.m. Handcycle start at 7:22 a.m. Athletes with disabilities start at 7:23 a.m. Two waves of runners start at 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.
  • Duration: The course is open for 6 hours, 30 minutes. Registrants must be capable of completing the full distance, start line to finish line, within this time requirement (approximately 15 minutes per mile). Participant net times greater than the event time requirement will not be recognized as official.
FOR PARTICIPANTS
  • Tracking: Runners can sign up to track live results. Or, download the official mobile app.
  • Security: As in years past, only participants displaying their event-issued bib numbers, event staff with proper credentials and ticketed guests will have access to the race start and finish areas in Grant Park. Marathon participants are asked to use the transparent bags they will receive from the pre-race expo at McCormick Place to expedite the security screening process. Runners are required to register with a government-issued photo identification. The event website has information on the event alert system that all participants should read.
FOR SPECTATORS
  • Starting line: Spectators will not be able to escort runners to the start line or greet runners at the finish line. The closest viewing area to the start is on Grand Avenue, between Columbus Drive and State Street, or anywhere along State Street, between Grand and Jackson Boulevard.
  • Throughout the course: A list of suggested spectator viewing areas — including mile markers and CTA train lines — is available on the race's official website. Spectators might also want to download and print this handy, race-day guide.
  • Finish line: To view runners closest to the finish of the race, go to the Bank of America Cheer Zone at Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road. After the race, spectators should plan to meet runners at the runner reunite area in Butler Field, located north of Jackson Drive, between Columbus Drive and Lake Shore Drive.
  • Watch on TV: WMAQ-TV-Ch. 5 (NBC) will broadcast live from 7-11 a.m. and live stream at nbcchicago.com from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Listen: WSCR-AM 670 (The Score) from 6-10 a.m.
  • Post-race party: Spectators can also go to Grant Park's Butler Field after 9 a.m. to reunite with runners at the "27th Mile Post-Race Party." Access to this area will require going through a bag screening at a security checkpoint outside.
  • More information: Find it at chicagomarathon.com.
GETTING THERE
  • Road closures: Roads on the course close at 7 a.m. and begin opening at 9:30 a.m. as the race progresses. The final road opens at 4:30 p.m. Additionally, there is no parking along the racecourse.
  • Getting there: CTA and Metra train lines will be adding extra service to accommodate marathon spectators.
  • CTA trains: CTA will add service on the Blue, Red, Brown, Orange, Green and Purple lines as well the Yellow Line shuttle. See the CTA website for more information.
  • CTA buses: Some bus routes will be rerouted. See the CTA website for more information.
  • Metra: Metra will have extra trains running on their BNSF Railway, Metra Electric District, Milwaukee District North, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific North lines.
  • Where to park: No parking zones along the course will go into effect 1 a.m. Sunday. Vehicles in violation will be ticketed and towed. For those parking spots remaining, reserving one through websites like ParkWhiz or SpotHero might be a convenient approach.

Source: Chicago Marathon.

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