What Time Does the Chicago Marathon Start?


NOTE: NBC Chicago will offer a live stream with complete 2019 race coverage beginning at 7 a.m. on Oct. 13 right here.

Thousands of runners will hit Chicago streets this weekends as they prepare to run 26.2 miles and experience the city in an entirely new way. 

Whether you’re running, watching, or just trying to get around the city, here’s what you should know. 

What time does the Chicago Marathon start?

A runner’s start time is based on their assigned start wave. Wave 1 begins at 7:20 a.m. (full schedule below).  

The start line is located in Grant Park at the intersection of Columbus Drive and Monroe Street. 

5:30 a.m. – Gear check opens

5:30 a.m. – Start corrals open

7:20 a.m. – Wave 1 (Red) start corrals close

7:20 a.m. – Marathon Wheelchair Start (men)

7:21 a.m. – Marathon Wheelchair Start (women)

7:22 a.m. – Handcycle Start

7:23 a.m. – Athletes with Disabilities Start

7:30 a.m. – Wave 1 Start

7:45 a.m. – Wave 2 (Blue) start corrals close

8:00 a.m. – Wave 2 Start

8:10 a.m. – Wave 3 (Orange) start corrals close

8:35 a.m. – Wave 3 Start

*Times are subject to change.

How long will the Chicago Marathon last? 

Runners must be able to complete the 26.2-mile distance in six hours and 30 minutes and must maintain a 15-minute per mile pace or faster. 

What can I do after the race? 

The finish line is located on Columbus Drive south of Balbo Drive in Grant Park, though spectators aren’t allowed in the area. Instead, head over to a post-race party in Grant Park. 

9:30 a.m. – Grant Park opens to spectators

9:30 a.m. – Biofreeze 27th Mile Post-Race Party starts

4:00 p.m. – Gear check closes

4:00 p.m. – Biofreeze 27th Mile Post-Race Party ends

What is the route for the marathon?

A map of the course is available here

Fast Questions With 2018 Chicago Marathon Champ Mo Farah

What streets will be closed and when? 

(For alternate routes and transportation updates click here)

Ahead of the Race 

Jackson Boulevard from Columbus Drive to Lake Shore Drive will be closed beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday. 

Balbo Avenue between Columbus Drive and Lake Shore Drive was closed beginning at 10 a.m. Monday. That closure was extended Tuesday to Michigan Avenue. 

Columbus Drive will close at 4 a.m. Thursday from Roosevelt to Congress. At 4 a.m. Friday, Congress to Monroe will also be closed. 

On Saturday, the Columbus Drive closure extends to Randolph beginning at 6 a.m. and Monroe Street from Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive will close at noon. 

Race Day 

Columbus Dr.: Start to Grand Ave. 7-10:00 a.m. 

Grand Ave.: Columbus Dr. to State St. 7-10:00 a.m. 

State St.: Grand Ave. to Jackson Blvd. 7-10:30 a.m. 

Jackson Blvd.: State St. to LaSalle St. 7-10:30 a.m. 

LaSalle St.: Jackson Blvd. to Stockton Dr. 7-11:30 a.m. 

Stockton Dr.: LaSalle Dr. to Fullerton Dr. 7-11:45 a.m. 

Fullerton Dr.: Stockton Dr. to Cannon Dr. 7-11:45 a.m. 

Cannon Dr.: Fullerton Dr. to Sheridan Rd. 7-11:45 a.m. 

Sheridan Rd.: Diversey Pkwy. to Belmont Ave. 7-11:45 a.m. 

Inner Lakeshore Dr.: Belmont Ave. to Sheridan Rd. 7 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Sheridan Rd.: Inner Lakeshore Dr. to Broadway 7 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

Broadway: Sheridan Rd. to Briar Pl. 7 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. 

Broadway: Briar Pl. to Diversey Pkwy. 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Clark St.: Diversey Pkwy. to Fullerton Pkwy. 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Clark St.: Fullerton Pkwy. to Webster Ave. 7 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 

Webster Ave.: Clark St. to Sedgwick St. 7 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. 

Sedgwick St.: Webster Ave. to North Ave. 7 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

North Ave.: Sedgwick St. to Wells St. 7 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Wells St.: North Ave. to Walton St. 7 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

Wells St.: Walton St. to Wacker Dr. 7 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. 

Wacker Dr.: Wells St. to Franklin St. 7 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. 

Franklin St.: Wacker Dr. to Monroe St. 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Monroe St.: Franklin St. to Jefferson St. 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Jefferson St.: Monroe St. to Adams St. 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Adams St.: Jefferson St. to Damen Ave. 7 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. 

Damen Ave.: Adams St. to Jackson Blvd. 7 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. 

Jackson Blvd.: Damen Ave. to Halsted St. 7 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. 

Halsted St.: Jackson Blvd. to Taylor St. 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Taylor St.: Halsted St. to Loomis St. 7 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. 

Loomis St.: Taylor St. to 18th St. 7 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. 

18th St.: Loomis St. to Halsted St. 7 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

Halsted St.: 18th St. to Canalport Ave. 7 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. 

Canalport Ave.: Halsted St. to Cermak Rd. 7 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. 

Cermak Rd.: Canalport Ave. to Wentworth Ave. 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Wentworth Ave.: Cermak Rd. to 33rd St. 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. 

33rd St.: Wentworth Ave. to State St. 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. 

State St.: 33rd St. to 35th St. 7 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

35th St.: State St. to Indiana Ave. 7 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Indiana Ave.: 35th St. to 31st St. 7 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

31st St.: Indiana Ave. to Michigan Ave. 7 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. 

Michigan Ave.: 31st St. to Roosevelt Rd. 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Roosevelt Rd.: Michigan Ave. to Columbus Dr. 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Columbus Dr.: Roosevelt Rd. to Finish 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

*Parking restrictions will also be in place along the course beginning early Sunday morning.

What other events should I know about?

Friday, October 11

Abbott Health & Fitness Expo; Packet pick-up

9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

McCormick Place, North Building, Hall B

Saturday, October 12

Advocate Health Care International Chicago 5K

Race start: 7:30 a.m.

Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.

Learn more at chicago5K.com

Abbott Health & Fitness Expo; Packet pick-up

9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

McCormick Place, North Building, Hall B

What is the weather supposed to be like

Partly sunny, windy and cold in the morning for the start of the Chicago Marathon with temps in the upper 30s to low 40s. Wind chill readings near 32 degrees. Partly sunny and cool in the afternoon with less wind. Highs in the low to mid 50s. Check here for an updated forecast as race day nears. 

How can you see race results?

You can find your race finish and splits times by searching by your name or event bib number on the marathon’s race results page.

Where can you meet family and friends after the race? 

Spectators are not allowed at the finish line. However, those who purchase Balbo Hospitality tickets will have access to seating in the finish line bleachers. 

Runner re-unite is located on Columbus Drive adjacent to the Biofreeze 27th Mile Post-Race Party. Alphabetical signs will be staged to help facilitate meeting locations between runners and spectators.

How can you watch the Chicago Marathon live?

Download the NBC Chicago app or the Bank of America Chicago Marathon app to watch the race live and see runners as they cross the starting and finish lines. 

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