Bank of America Chicago Marathon Prep Tip: Race Logistics

When you arrive in Chicago, you want to ensure you can focus on your race and enjoy your travels. Reduce stress by planning ahead so you can arrive in Chicago confident and informed about the race logistics.

Packet Pick-Up Ticket
You need to bring your packet pick-up ticket to the expo to pick up your race day materials. You should receive this ticket via email. You will need this email and a photo ID to pick up your bib. Be aware, you are the only one who can pick up your race materials! No one can pick up your bib on your behalf.

Abbott Health & Fitness Expo
You will need to attend the expo to pick up your race bib, gear check bag, and your timing device. You will also receive your participant bag and shirt here. The expo will be held on October 7th from 9am-8pm and on October 8th from 9am-6pm at:

McCormick Place Convention Center
Lakeside Center, Hall D
2301 S. Prairie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616

While there is parking available at the Convention Center, runners are encouraged to take advantage of the free shuttle bus service. Free shuttle buses to the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will be provided to and from the following four locations:

  • Downtown: Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Avenue (8th Street entrance)
  • River North: Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 N. Michigan Avenue, Rush St. entrance
  • Magnificent Mile: Nike Chicago, 669 N. Michigan Avenue, behind the store to the east on St. Clair Street at Erie Street
  • Millennium Park: Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive, upper Wacker Drive at Stetson Avenue

Shuttles will operate every 15 – 20 minutes between 8:30am and 8:30pm on Friday, October 7, and 8:30am and 6:30pm on Saturday, October 8. The final pick-up time from the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo will be at 8:30pm on Friday and 6:30pm on Saturday.

If you plan on making your way to the expo on your own, you can get directions from your hotel to the expo by checking Google Maps or even asking for advice from staff at your hotel upon arrival.

Read more about the Abbott Health & Fitness Expo experience on the marathon site here.

The Start
The start area is located on Monroe Drive between Michigan Ave and Lake Shore Drive. You can access the full course map here. There are two waves in this marathon. Wave one starts at 7:30am, wave 2 at 8:00am. Your wave assignment is available online if you log into the Athlete Center. For full details on start corrals, please click here. If you are checking a bag, please plan to arrive with plenty of time to drop of your bag and enter your corral. For information about aid stations, mile markers, prohibited items, and further details, please click here. As a reminder, Chicago is in the Central Time zone. Be sure your watch and devices are set to the appropriate local time so you do not have to worry about running late (or early, depending on where you’re coming from)!

The Finish
The race finishes in the same area where it began. For reference, take a look at the course map here. If you are meeting friends or family at the finish, be sure to plan on an exact location with them before race day. We recommend choosing a local restaurant or public transit stop.

Download the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Mobile Application, Powered by TCS
This free app is a great resource for both runners and spectators. The 2016 mobile application features the official Nike+ Run Club training program, live race day runner tracking, schedule of events, real time weather, an interactive course map, event photos and much more!

Knowing what to expect now will help you be prepared when you arrive in Chicago. Plan when you will visit the expo, and if you are arriving in Chicago early enough, you can try to run by the start area so you are aware of the layout and travel logistics from your hotel before race morning.

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