On Sunday, October 10, almost 35,000 elites, jug runners, and also newbie marathoners will certainly charge come the end up line in Chicago’s give Park throughout the Chicago Marathon, a gyeongju so pancake-flat and also well-supported by spectators that quick times are virtually guaranteed.

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This year’s marathon will certainly be especially exciting, offered that the 2020 gyeongju was canceled because of COVID-19.

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Since the marathon’s founding in 1977, the race has witnessed world-class athletes break numerous records, race-day temperatures ranging from together high as the top 80s to together low as the 20s, thousands of sporting activities drinks and energy gelatin being consumed, and also too countless highlights come count.

Here’s a rundown of the marathon—including facts and figures around field size, past winners, and also weather stats—plus a preview of the 2021 race.

How the Chicago Marathon pertained to Be

In 1977, Michael Bilandic, climate the mayor of Chicago and an enthusiasm runner, threw his assistance behind placing on a gyeongju along the downtown roadways of the publicly City. The Chicago Marathon was dreamed increase by 5 founders, consisting of original gyeongju director Wendy Miller, in November the 1976, and officially kicked off on September 25, 1977.

Fees for the debut occasion were just $5, and much more than 4,200 runners proved up come compete—including 8-year-old Wesley Paul, who finished in 3:15:20—making the market Daley Marathon (named after previous Chicago market Richard Daley) the largest 26.2-mile gyeongju in the world at the time. The 1977 men’s winner to be Indiana indigenous Dan Cloeter, that ran 2:17:52, when Texan Dorothy Doolittle won the women’s gyeongju in 2:50:47.

The massive success of that debut marathon not only developed the yearly race because that years to come, yet it also set other running campaigns into motion. Under Bilandic’s hand, what was as soon as an old equestrian trail follow me Lake Michigan was paved right into a five-mile running path, i m sorry eventually became the 18-mile lakefront course that Chicago runners know and love today.



2021 COVID-19 Protocols

To certain the safety and security of every competitors and also the general public, the Chicago Marathon has guidelines in location to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Participants must administer verification of vaccine standing or a an unfavorable result native a check administered in ~ 72 hrs of attendance. Everyone attending the Abbott Health and also Fitness Expo must also administer proof of vaccination or an adverse test and wear a mask.

Once proof has been verified, participants will obtain a wrist band that acts together proof of inoculation or an unfavorable test result, i beg your pardon will enable entrance into occasion venues. The wristband have to be worn transparent the race. Face coverings are urged in every prerace areas. Masks will certainly be available post-finish as well.

Spectators may be forced to wear challenge coverings in provide Park.

Race Size and Weather

While Chicago’s level course absolutely contributed to rapid performances in the past, the contagious atmosphere, vain field, and also weather on gyeongju day has helped, too. In 2007, the race started capping its field at 45,000 participants, make it an ext than 10 times larger than it to be 30 year prior. Every year due to the fact that then, an ext than 40,000 runners have actually participated in Chicago; in 2018, 44,571 runners overcome the complete line in grant Park.

The mean highs/lows in beforehand October because that Chicago are usually in the lows 60s to low 40s.

In 2007, marathoners endured record-high temps the 89 degrees and also 73 percent humidity on gyeongju day. In 1988—the coldest race ever before recorded—they withstood temps together low together 21 degrees. In 1993, participants ran through snow. In 2019, runners had perfect marathon weather, with lows in the high 30s and also highs in the short 50s.


How to obtain into the Chicago Marathon

Registration days usually aren’t announced till race weekend, however in years past, you’d apply for the lottery starting in October, then find out if you acquired in by December. You are guaranteed entrance if you already ran the race five or more times end the last decade. (Find an ext information top top the registration process, including exactly how to operation for charity, ~ above the Chicago Marathon website.)

To secure guarantee entry, you must hit a time standard between January 1 and also when registration usually closes in so late November.

Here space the present time requirements for Chicago, broken down by period group:

16 to 29 years old (3:05 because that men, 3:35 because that women)30 to 39 (3:10 for men, 3:40 because that women)40 to 49 (3:20 because that men, 3:50 for women)50 to 59 (3:35 for men, 4:20 for women)60 to 69 (4:00 because that men, 5:00 because that women)70 come 79 (4:30 because that men, 5:55 for women)80+ (5:25 because that men, 6:10 because that women)

Quick summary of the Course

Because lot of the route is flat as a pancake, and race day mornings room usually brisk, it can be difficult to hold ago in the early miles the Chicago—but no issue how great you feeling from the gun, 26.2 miles is still a long means to go, so appropriate pacing is vital for staying solid through the finish.

The looped course starts and finishes in approve Park along Lake Michigan. After two miles of running with downtown Chicago (the tall structures could reason problems with the general practitioners signal on your watch), runners walk northward for around six miles, then turn ago south, running with Boystown, Lincoln Park, and also Old Town until they fight the halfway point. There, runners change directions and also head east. For miles 14 through 21, runners pass with the West Loop, college Village, small Italy, and Pilsen. After mile 21, runners turn south because that a spin with Chinatown before heading back north toward the end up line in give Park.

Chicago Marathon course map

Past Winners and also Prize Money

Since the event’s founding, Chicago has grown tremendously in size and also talent. The combination of a deep field, quick course, and also a sizable compensation purse has attracted the best of the finest over the years.

In 1982, race organizers awarded winners with prize money because that the very first time; the year, americans Greg Meyer (2:10:59) and also Nancy Conz (2:33:23) every took residence $12,000. In 2019, Lawrence Cherono and also Brigid Kosgei each winner $100,000 for breaking the tape, if wheelchair department winners Daniel Romanchuk and Manuela Schär took home $15,000. Chicago additionally offers a $75,000 bonus for runners who set the food record, and also a $5,000 bonus because that wheelchair athletes who do.

Five marathon people records have actually been collection on the course: in 1984, Steve Jones set the men’s document of 2:08:05; Khalid Khannouchi lowered the men’s record to 2:05:42 in 1999; Catherine Ndereba collection the mixed-gender women’s record of 2:18:47 in 2001; Paula Radcliffe lower that mark to 2:17:18 in 2002; Brigid Kosgei smashed that note with a 2:14:04 in 2019, which tho stands as the world and also course record.

Dennis Kimetto owns the course document for men, 2:03:45, which he ran in 2013.


Here are the past 10 male and female winners, respectively, that the Chicago Marathon:

2019: Lawrence Cherono that Kenya (2:05:45), Brigid Kosgei of Kenya (2:14:04) 2016: Abel Kirui the Kenya (2:11:23), Florence Kiplagat of Kenya (2:21:32) 2015: Dickson Chumba that Kenya (2:09:25), Florence Kiplagat of Kenya (2:23:33) 2012: Tsegaye Kebede the Ethiopia (2:04:38), Atsede Baysa that Ethiopia (2:22:03) 2011: Moses Mosop that Kenya (2:05:37), Ejegayehu Dibaba the Ethiopia (2:22:09) 2010: Samuel Wanjiru that Kenya (2:06:23), Atsede Baysa of Ethiopia (2:23:40)

2019 Chicago Marathon Results

Conditions were perfect in the last edition of the Chicago Marathon, and also times reflected it.

The to mark of the day was Brigid Kosgei the Kenya shattering the civilization record through a 2:14:04. The previous human being record, set by Paula Radcliffe 16 year prior, was 2:15:25. Behind her, the top American finisher to be Emma Bates, who in she second-ever marathon finished fourth in 2:25:27, the ninth-fastest clocking by an American mrs at the time.

In the men’s race, a thrilling critical 400 meters saw Lawrence Cherono that Kenya break the tape in 2:05:45, a thin one-second margin over second-place. Jacob Riley ran a personal best of 2:10:36 to win height American honors, leading 4 other U.S. Guys under 2:11. Riley would certainly go on to qualify because that the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team simply six month later.


Why friend Should obtain Psyched for 2021

At this year’s race on October 10, several optimal American marathoners are gunning for top spots.

Two American females who have actually run top-10 time on the U.S. Leaderboard room toeing the line: Sara Hall, who ran 2:20:32 at The Marathon task last year, and Keira D’Amato, who placed second at the same race through a breakthrough time the 2:22:56. Hall will certainly be chasing Deena Kastor’s American marathon record of 2:19:36. Emma Bates return after she 2019 fourth-place complete in Chicago.

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2017 champion Galen Rupp is back, hope to boost upon his power in Tokyo this summer, whereby he perfect eighth. Suppose to 2018 U.S. Fifty percent Marathon champion chris Derrick in the lead fill as well.

The U.S. Runners have actually their work cut out for them. Seifu Tura and Reuben Kipyego come right into the race v sub-2:04 an individual bests. On the women’s side, fifty percent marathon people record-holder Ruth Chepngetich, through a an individual best the 2:17:09, will certainly make her Chicago debut.