Overall Rating
Overall Rating (63 Reviews)
4.8
(63 Ratings)(63 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.1
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4
Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. Since its inaugural running in 1977, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon has developed a global reputation for its fast, record-setting course. Year after year the Bank of America Chicago Marathon hosts representatives … MORE
Local Weather (Oct 11)
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 66 54 62 75 57
L (°F) 39 41 56 58 51
Powered by Dark Sky

Recent reviews

    slease1 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first time running Chicago and my second marathon. My experience was much like everyone else but thought a couple of things were worth mentioning. We stayed at … MORE

    This was my first time running Chicago and my second marathon. My experience was much like everyone else but thought a couple of things were worth mentioning.

    We stayed at the Hyatt Regency on Wacker Drive which coincidentally also served as a stop for the shuttle to the expo at McCormick Place. We went to the expo after we arrived on Friday and rush hour was just getting underway. We were able to get on the bus right away but it did take a little bit of time to get to the expo. On the way back there were huge lines of people waiting to take the shuttles back and we waited in line for more than an hour for our shuttle. Apparently there was a bad accident along the shuttle route, thus slowing things down even more in the heavy evening rush. While this isn’t the fault of the marathon, it should be noted that if you go later in the day on Friday you run the risk of delays getting back to your hotel. We were on our feet much longer than we wanted to be that day.

    As for the race it was great! Getting to Grant Park and the start was not a problem. Water stops were plentiful as were the spectators. I very much appreciated the crowds in the Pilsen and Chinatown neighborhoods late in the race. They were lively and really lifted me up. It was nice to still see so many out cheering for us back of the pack runners. Post race it appeared that they had blocked off access to the party, which was disappointing to say the least. That said, they were handing out beers to runners as they were walking through the chute which made up for it…a little.

    I would definitely consider running Chicago again as overall it was a great experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Brianarg FIRST-TIMER '19

    From an excellent Expo (except for Nike being out of sizes other than XXL), to an orderly staging of 46,000 people, to amazing crowd support and no hills, to an … MORE

    From an excellent Expo (except for Nike being out of sizes other than XXL), to an orderly staging of 46,000 people, to amazing crowd support and no hills, to an awesome medal and a free “26.2” beer…. this was an amazing experience! Final stretch on Michigan Avenue was so loud and energizing just when I needed it to reach my PR! Thank you Chicago 😀❤️🏃🏅

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Profile photo of Jason Gregg
    jgregg42 FIRST-TIMER '11

    I've ran it once and still talk about it often. flat course. 1.5 million spectators cheering you on. who needs headphones? awesome after party. run this race. MORE

    I’ve ran it once and still talk about it often. flat course. 1.5 million spectators cheering you on. who needs headphones? awesome after party. run this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    sarastew FIRST-TIMER '19

    Chicago was fun and large. Best part was starting at Grant park since so many of the hotels are very close. I was in Gate #1 which had a line … MORE

    Chicago was fun and large. Best part was starting at Grant park since so many of the hotels are very close.

    I was in Gate #1 which had a line that took almost 30 minutes to get through, then the hospitality tent was on the clear other end of the park. Not worth the expense when the tent was so far from the red corrals.

    After running NYC, then some smaller races, I felt drowned out in the crowd. There was plenty of crowd support, the water stops were plentiful, and the volunteers were amazing.

    The medal was somewhat basic, but on a prestige level of being one of the majors, its somewhat humbling. We also did the 5k the day prior which was a lot of fun. I probably won’t do this one again as its just too many people for me.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    1

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    jdhunt FIRST-TIMER '19

    Going into the Chicago Marathon, I was confident that this would be a quintessential "big city" marathon experience. And I was right, as the race went off exactly as I … MORE

    Going into the Chicago Marathon, I was confident that this would be a quintessential “big city” marathon experience. And I was right, as the race went off exactly as I expected. It was very organized and polished – the race felt like it was very professionally done. Of course, being one of the “6 majors” where some of the best runners in the world compete for fame and fortune, one would expect that the organizers have all of their ducks in a row.

    I’m going to finish this later.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Donnie FIRST-TIMER '19

    My second time to get selected for Chicago but my first time to participate and it was worth the expense and trip. This was only my 7th marathon but it … MORE

    My second time to get selected for Chicago but my first time to participate and it was worth the expense and trip.
    This was only my 7th marathon but it was probably the best to me or in a tie with Disney. Chicago knows how to put on a marathon. Disney is Disney and if they didn’t have the characters and Disney magic, Chicago would clearly be the best that I have run. I am sure faster runners would prefer Chicago

    The expo was good. I was expecting something a bit larger knowing Chicago is one of the six world majors but we have all noticed expos have shrunk in size over the last few years. It wasn’t small I guess I just built it up in my mind. One good thing is most vendors were running vendors and not someone trying to sell me windows. We stayed at the host hotel and there was bus transportation to the expo.

    Race day. Very organized. We were blessed with almost perfect marathon weather this year. All that preface weather stress for nothing. There are four wave starts if you count the wheeled start. But three wave starts for runners. I think each wave had five corrals. I also believe most corrals were honor system in that when you register you tell them your estimated finish time and you are seeded based on what you list, no proof of time is required. There was water and lots of restrooms available preface. The course is very flat and what few inclines are there aren’t noticeable. Not eve the on at the finish. Water stations are large and placed on course at perfect intervals. Water and sports drink are at all stations. The sports drink is not watered down some of the later stations have sports gels, gummies, or bananas. There are also plea to of unofficial water stations as well as spectators handing out anything from water, candy, fruit, Gatorade, pretzels, and beer. This event has the best spectator support of any that I have run no matter the distance or location. Most of the time the crowd was two to five people deep. Even in the lass supported areas you still had spectators. Pace teams were available (I should of stuck with mine and I might of made my 4:00, probably not). With 45,000 runners the course is almost always crowded. Finish line – also crowded. Medals, b
    Heat blanket, water, apples, bananas, and Gatorade are all handed out. The chute to exit the secured runner area could of been wider as we were bottlenecked and at times stood still. Not good for an exhausted body.
    There was a post race festival but I didn’t visit.
    Overall an awesome event and one of if not the best one I have been fortunate to run. Two things I will never forget. While Chinatown is cool, the mixture of Asian food spices/smells are not great when you are nearing the end of your energy reserves. Also I will always remember your shoes sticking to the course at the water stops due to all the Gatorade on the ground. You don’t have this at your local race as the drink is always so watered down. One world major down five to go? Well a poor runner can dream…………….
    See you in New York in three weeks.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    Profile photo of Vinicius Isola
    vinicius-isola FIRST-TIMER '19

    Cheering all way through, aid stations were plenty and service was great. Bathrooms were also plenty and well located. Organization was just perfect. For an event with 45k people, I … MORE

    Cheering all way through, aid stations were plenty and service was great. Bathrooms were also plenty and well located.
    Organization was just perfect. For an event with 45k people, I didn’t see any glitch.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    enigma20 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Typical big city race which means very congested running in the early miles, but lots of crowd support. There are plenty of good places to cheer on your runner and … MORE

    Typical big city race which means very congested running in the early miles, but lots of crowd support. There are plenty of good places to cheer on your runner and easy to find them at the end.
    The course was mostly flat, with a hill near the end. The bridges have metal gratings, but are generally covered with large carpets. There are several turns on this course. My watch was messed up early due to all the buildings, so plan accordingly. The wind was strong and contributed to my second half demise.
    On course support was great. Plenty of places and the water vs gatorade was clearly marked.
    The convention center for the packet pickup was crazy to get around due to all the traffic. I would probably try to take public transportation next time.
    Overall, it was a pretty good experience if you’re into running. 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    jahbrink FIRST-TIMER '19

    Easy, flat course. Great production, aid stations, security. Tons of crowd participation! So much fun!! Make sure your bib is showing and smile a lot. They take great pictures. And … MORE

    Easy, flat course. Great production, aid stations, security. Tons of crowd participation! So much fun!! Make sure your bib is showing and smile a lot. They take great pictures. And they hand you a beer at the finish line. Thanks Goose Island!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     

    Chicago is a must for all marathoners. The event is well-run and the course is super fast in a decent weather. It was in the 60s with on-and-off rain when … MORE

    Chicago is a must for all marathoners. The event is well-run and the course is super fast in a decent weather. It was in the 60s with on-and-off rain when I ran it in 2018. The corrals are well organized and I didnt feel like I needed to do much weaving around other runners. I ran on the blue tangent line the entire race but still ended up running .2 over. GPS does not work well because of the tall buildings so I purchased a stryd foot pod to really on for an accurate pace. It worked like a charm and I would highly recommend it. The expo is huge! The finish area was well organized. I stayed at a hotel right along Grant Park so it was an easy walk to the start and from the finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    jboro89 FIRST-TIMER '18

    – this course is fantastic, block after block the race was packed with fans – great for family/friends to spectate as they can get many different places along the course … MORE

    – this course is fantastic, block after block the race was packed with fans
    – great for family/friends to spectate as they can get many different places along the course
    – the weather was perfect, cool and a little overcast
    – it was my first marathon and I’d love to run it again

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    joolee88 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I would highly recommend this run for all first timers! This was my first full marathon, and it was great! From the expo to the course to the people cheering … MORE

    I would highly recommend this run for all first timers! This was my first full marathon, and it was great! From the expo to the course to the people cheering on the side, it was a race I will remember. This may be my first and possibly last marathon but I am so glad I choose this one to do. Running through an unfamiliar city made me more curious and it kept me going. Although after mile 18 was all mental, I am so happy I finished it!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     

    Ran for a charity organization - Opportunity Enterprises. The group I trained with sucked me into marathons! Charity Village was awesome for a first timer. Great, huge crowd support and … MORE

    Ran for a charity organization – Opportunity Enterprises. The group I trained with sucked me into marathons!

    Charity Village was awesome for a first timer.

    Great, huge crowd support and plenty of aid stations!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    cinmetsruns941 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This was my first major marathon and it did not disappoint. Highly organized. Great crowd along the entire course. No words to describe the energy there. The course is flat. … MORE

    This was my first major marathon and it did not disappoint. Highly organized. Great crowd along the entire course. No words to describe the energy there. The course is flat. My only complaint is the course is crowded. Otherwise this is a must do race. It will be an experience you’ll never forget.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     

    I volunteered as a course marshall at mile marker 25 and loved watching Sir Mo fly by me to win this race and break a record. As a former runner … MORE

    I volunteered as a course marshall at mile marker 25 and loved watching Sir Mo fly by me to win this race and break a record. As a former runner of this race, I appreciated seeing the front of the pack. The race is well run and the city of Chicago does a fantastic job. Great hotel and food options near the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    samanthadolen FIRST-TIMER '17

    This race is first class. The city goes all out for it and the neighborhoods provide great energy. The expo is great and the race is well run. The course … MORE

    This race is first class. The city goes all out for it and the neighborhoods provide great energy. The expo is great and the race is well run. The course is flat and well supported. This is a race you must do.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    RevKay FIRST-TIMER '18

    This race was so well organized that it helped keep me calm. I loved all 20+ uniques neighborhoods and the millions of spectators. Aid stations were multiple blocks long so … MORE

    This race was so well organized that it helped keep me calm. I loved all 20+ uniques neighborhoods and the millions of spectators. Aid stations were multiple blocks long so there was no real congestion, fabulous race. Can’t wait to run again.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    sandtar79 FIRST-TIMER '14

    I love the crowd support in big city races. I appreciated that there were buses around the city that were designated to take you to the expo. That really helped … MORE

    I love the crowd support in big city races. I appreciated that there were buses around the city that were designated to take you to the expo. That really helped streamline the process. The race shirts were incredibly boring. Plain black with white writing. I actually donated mine the moment I got home because there was nothing special about it. I really enjoyed the after party.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    markzagorin REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Well organized with great crowd support. The feel is a huge friendly group run where everyone is there to lend a hand. Well worth all the effort. The course is … MORE

    Well organized with great crowd support. The feel is a huge friendly group run where everyone is there to lend a hand. Well worth all the effort. The course is flat and the scenery changes every few blocks as you change neighborhoods.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    BrooklandRunner FIRST-TIMER '14

    I had a good time racing Chicago. It was flat and fast as advertised. I didn't set a PR, but I did BQ. I achieved my goal of running the … MORE

    I had a good time racing Chicago. It was flat and fast as advertised. I didn’t set a PR, but I did BQ. I achieved my goal of running the three American World majors. Great race, great crowds, and lots of fun. I love Chicago!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
  1. Races
  2. Bank of America Chicago Marathon