Thousands of runners will kick off their 18-week training journey next week in preparation for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Race officials are working closely with the City of Chicago, including the Chicago Department of Public Health, to produce a safe and enjoyable experience for event attendees and the Chicago community. The Chicago Marathon is set to welcome 35,000 participants for the event’s return on Sunday, October 10, 2021.
"The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has long been one of our city's most exciting events for runners and onlookers alike—making last year's decision to cancel it all the more difficult," said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. "Now, thanks to the progress we've made in our COVID-19 journey, we will be able to bring back this Chicago staple and welcome thousands of marathoners and fans back to our streets this fall."
“We’re excited to kick off the launch of training with our participants next week,” said Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive race director. “Over the next 18 weeks our team will be hard at work, much like our participants, preparing for the return of the event. After a year without a major marathon, it feels great to know the start line is once again in our sights.”
Race officials working on this year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon are developing multiple operational plans for this year’s event. The team’s scenario planning addresses the rapidly changing public health environment and takes into account the latest developments in data, science, and our overall understanding of the pandemic. Event organizers will provide registered participants with an update in August that outlines any modifications to event operations, policies and/or guidelines.
“Scenario planning is a fundamental component of a successful health and safety strategy for a major city marathon,” said Dr. George Chiampas, Bank of America Chicago Marathon medical director and Northwestern Medicine’s director of event and community preparedness. “This year presents a unique situation, but we are fortunate to work side by side with leaders in the public and private sectors who are committed to taking a measured approach that is in line with the latest data and science.”
While guidance continues to evolve, event officials have communicated that registered participants should be prepared for adjustments to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Potential measures range from wearing a mask throughout race weekend, when not on the 26.2-mile course route, to being asked for proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test result and/or a complete vaccination series prior to the event.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon welcomes thousands of participants from more than 100 countries and all 50 states, including a world-class elite field, top regional and Masters runners, race veterans, debut marathoners and charity participants. The race’s iconic course takes runners through 29 vibrant neighborhoods on an architectural and cultural tour of Chicago. For more information about the event and how to get involved, go to chicagomarathon.com.
Alex Sawyer, Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Diane Wagner, Bank of America