CHICAGO – City of Chicago officials, in coordination with race organizers, provided race day reminders and information about security measures to Chicagoans and visitors for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, when 45,000 participants will run through 29 neighborhoods in the 26.2-mile race on Sunday, October 13, 2013. The updates are extensions of Chicago Marathon policies and procedures that have been in place for several years for the event.

 „The Marathon is always a premier event in Chicago and every year we work with the race organizers to plan and build upon our previous success,” said Executive Director Gary Schenkel of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications.  „Spectators, residents and participants are encouraged to be aware of security enforcements and traffic impacts on race day in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable world-class event.”

 “We’re proud that the enthusiasm to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is at an all-time high and that we have the opportunity to showcase this world-class city,” said Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. “In working side-by-side with the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, we have made some enhancements to some of our security procedures. Our participants have been notified and we are confident that our participants, volunteers and spectators will enjoy a wonderful race day on October 13.”

 Security Measures

Several Marathon policies and procedures that have been in place for several years, as well as updated security measures, will be strictly enforced.  Participants will be required to show ID to obtain race packets, use race-issued clear bags to store their personal belongings during the race, and enter the race staging area through designated gateways as part of updates designed to enhance public safety.  Participants must enter Grant Park through security checkpoints at Jackson Drive, Congress Boulevard, and Harrison Street.

 “Every year we look to build upon the past year’s marathon, taking into account our experiences and the experiences of others around the world,” said Superintendent McCarthy. “We have been working with organizers, businesses along the route, race participants and volunteers on our security updates, we have a strong plan in place to ensure the Chicago Marathon is once again a fun, safe event for all involved.”

 More than one million spectators are expected to line city streets along the Marathon route.  As is standard for large events, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) will proactively enact a number of security measures, including relying on trained dogs to detect explosives and deploying undercover officers.  Officers will also conduct random bag checks of spectators carrying backpacks or large bags.  In addition, runners will not be allowed to leave unattended bags or clothing items within Grant Park or along the route. If officers or race officials see an unattended bag along the route, it will be collected and discarded.

 As in years past, general spectators will not have access to the race start and finish areas within Grant Park. Only participants displaying their event-issued bib numbers, credentialed event staff and ticketed guests (where applicable) will have access to these areas.  OEMC will continue to monitor this large-scale event and, as always, CPD will enforce race day restrictions along the route, as well as facilitate traffic.

 Only registered runners are allowed to participate in the Marathon. Any non-registered runner joining the race at any point throughout the route or finish line is, and has been, prohibited.  This safety precaution will be strongly enforced.  In addition, the public is encouraged to visit the Marathon website ( for listings of prohibited items and other policies in place for a safe race day experience.



  Race Day

At this point, weather conditions are expected to be sunny and mild; however, current weather patterns could change as race day approaches so it is best to stay informed and be familiar with the color-coded Event Alert System (EAS), which will communicate the status of course conditions to participants leading up to and on race day.

 “The Marathon brings visitors from all 50 states and more than 100 countries to the city.  As a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon annually attracts national and international crowds to the iconic race, which helps to raise millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes while generating more than $240 million in economic impact for Chicago,” said Commissioner Michelle Boone of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. 

 The race starts in two waves – wave one will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by wave 2 at 8:00 a.m. The elite wheelchair race will begin at 7:15 a.m. and the open wheelchair race will begin at 7:20 a.m. Hand cyclists will take off at 7:22 a.m.  The race starts and finishes in Grant Park and the route extends north to Addison Street, west to Damen Avenue and south to 35th Street.

 Traffic Impacts

Anyone traveling throughout downtown and the various neighborhoods along the route should allow extra time and expect delays.  Motorists should consider alternate routes – such as the expressway system – to avoid the impacts of the race.  Some street and lane closures are already in place in the Grant Park area, including Columbus from Roosevelt Road to Balbo Drive and Balbo Drive from Columbus to Lake Shore Drive. By Saturday, expect additional Grant Park street closures on Columbus, Balbo, Congress, Jackson and Monroe, with most streets in Grant Park reopening by Monday morning.  Street closures along the route will begin at approximately 7:00 a.m. on Sunday and are anticipated to be reopened by 4:30 p.m. or when it is deemed safe to do so.

 Parking restrictions are in effect along the course, beginning early Sunday morning.  For public safety, the towing of vehicles along the route and other posted “No Parking Zones” will be strictly enforced.  Motorists are encouraged to read signage before parking and call 3-1-1 to locate a towed vehicle. 

 As always, public transportation is encouraged.  For more information on CTA services and reroutes, visit or call 836-7000/1-888-YOUR-CTA.

 Additional event-related information is available at

 The public is also encouraged to register for free emergency alerts from the City of Chicago, including severe weather notifications, by subscribing to NotifyChicago 

 Information provided by the Chicago Office of the Emergency Management and Communications

Pictures: Andrzej Mikolajczyk