What locals need to know


CHICAGO — While the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a little over three days away, there’s a few things locals should know of ahead of time about this year’s iteration of the race, including street closures that start as early as Thursday morning.

Start line: Grant Park, intersection of Columbus Drive and Monroe Street

Finish line: Grant Park, on Columbus Drive south of Balbo Drive

Start time: Oct. 9 (Sunday) at 7:20 a.m. CST

The Chicago Marathon starts in waves, with the first wave leaving the starting line at 7:20 a.m. CST (men’s wheelchair race). One minute later, the women’s wheelchair race will take off, followed by handcyclers (7:23 a.m.), red group (7:30 a.m.), blue group (8 a.m.), and orange group (8:35 a.m.) to finish things out.

Spectators will be allowed to enter Grant Park starting at 9:30 a.m., but there will be plenty of other areas along the marathon’s course where people can cheer on this year’s runners (reference racecourse map, cheer zones below).


Street Closures:

Street closures on race day begin at 7 a.m. with parking restrictions in effect. However, other streets around Chicago will begin closing as early as Thursday to accommodate racecourse set up and construction.

On Thursday, Columbus Drive from Roosevelt to Ida B. Wells will be closed starting at 4 a.m. and then on Friday at 4 a.m., the same closure from Thursday morning, will extend down to Monroe and remain closed until Sunday night.

On Saturday starting at 6 a.m., Randolph to Monroe on Columbus Drive will be closed until Sunday at noon.

Time-length of Marathon/When traffic resumes:

According to the Chicago Marathon rulebook, the longest course time limit allowed for participants is 6 1/2 hours (15-minute mile splits or faster), meaning that traffic throughout the city will resume at 3:05 p.m. since the last official start time is at 8:35 a.m.

Cheer Zones:

Cheer zones are predetermined areas (some coming with their own themes) for spectators to cheer on runners as they complete the Chicago Marathon. Here are some of them with their locations.

Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle – 8K

Bank of America Chicago 13.1 Cheer Zone – mile marker 13.1 (half-way)

Charity Block Party – mile marker 15

Bank of America Cheer Zone – mile marker 26 (0.2 miles to go)

Local community groups have also organized cheer zones of their own throughout the course, visit this link to see a running list of orgs and their locations.

For more information on this year’s Chicago Marathon, you can visit the event’s website here.

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