The Complete Chicago Marathon Database [196 Stats and Facts]

Posted on 30 November, 2021 by Paul Ronto

We’ve compiled 196 stats and facts in one place to provide everything you need to know about the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Chicago Marathon background figures

  • The Chicago Marathon is the fourth-largest race by number of finishers worldwide
  • The Chicago Marathon was first held in 1905 and rand regularly into the 1920’s when it was discontinued.
    • 20 races registered for the first Chicago marathon in 1905, 15 started, and 7 finished the whole marathon. 
  • In 1977 the modern Chicago Marathon series started back up. 
    • There were 4,200 runners in the initial race.
    • In 1995 9,000 runners registered.
    • In 1999 the number jumped to 29,000 runners
    • 2000 saw 33,171 runners.
    • In 2001 the marathon reached its new cap of 37,500 participants. 
    • 2003-2006 the race capped out at 40,000 runners and hit this cap each year. 
    • 2007 the cap increased to 45,000 runners and was met. 
  • Since 1977 the race has been held every year except 1987 and 2020. 
    • In 1987 the title sponsor, Beatrice Foods dropped out as the sponsor and only a half marathon was run
    • In 2007 record-breaking fall heat in Chicago (88 degrees F) caused the race to be shut down early after 3.5 hours. 10,934 runners did not finish the race in 2007. 
      • One runner died, over 30 were hospitalized and nearly 400 needed medical attention.
    • 2020 saw the Coronavirus pandemic and the race was canceled accordingly.
  • 1.7 million estimated spectators
  • 50 U.S. states and over 100 countries represented

Chicago Marathon records

  • World running records have been broken 5 different times during the Chicago marathon. 
  • In 1984, Steve Jones broke the world marathon record with a time of 2:08:05.
  • In 1999, Khalid Khannouchi was the first to surpass 2:06:00 in the marathon with 2:05:42.
  • In 2001, Catherine Ndereba broke the women’s world record in 2:18:47.
  • In 2002 Paula Radcliffe surpassed the women’s record with a 2:17:18. 
  • In 2019, Brigid Kosgei won in a world record time of 2:14:04 which is now the women's course record.
  • The men's course record is 2:03:45, set in the 2013 race by Dennis Kimetto.

Chicago Marathon finisher stats

 

Chicago Marathon Finishers (2000–present)
Year Finishers Male Female
Avg Finish Time
2000 27,870 16,802 11,068 4:21:46
2001 28,390 17,129 11,261 4:19:28
2002 31,093 18,111 12,982 4:19:51
2003 32,395 18,720 13,675 4:25:09
2004 33,033 19,073 13,960 4:26:53
2005 32,995 18,673 14,322 4:26:22
2006 33,618 18,904 14,714 4:25:02
2007 28,815 16,945 11,870 4:52:11
2008 31,343 17,675 13,668 4:46:30
2009 33,475 18,983 14,492 4:27:20
2010 36,159 19,973 16,186 4:43:48
2011 35,670 20,256 15,414 4:40:34
2012 37,455 20,688 16,767 4:32:02
2013 39,122 21,618 17,504 4:32:23
2014 40,801 22,299 18,502 4:33:03
2015 37,182 20,144 17,038 4:33:14
2016 40,608 22,045 18,563 4:34:48
2017 44,508 22,906 21,602 4:47:23
2018 44,584 23,934 20,650 4:34:01
2019 45,956 24,626 21,330 4:29:51
2020 cancelled due to pandemic
2021 26,112 14,228 11,884 4:42:32

Cost of the Chicago Marathon

  • The cost of an entry is $230 for United States residents and $240 for those residing outside of the United States.
  • In 1977 the race cost just $5 to enter.

Chicago Marathon guaranteed entry

Runners can gain guaranteed entry to the Chicago marathon in several ways:

  • You can time qualify by meeting the age-graded qualifying standards. 
Chicago Marathon Guaranteed Entry Times
Age group Men Women
16 – 29 3:05:00 3:35:00
30 – 39 3:10:00 3:40:00
40 – 49 3:20:00 3:50:00
50 – 59 3:35:00 4:20:00
60 – 69 4:00:00 5:00:00
70 – 79 4:30:00 5:55:00
80 and over 5:25:00 6:10:00
  • Qualify for the American Development Program.
American development program qualifying times
  Half Marathon Marathon
Men 1:11:00 2:35:00
Women 1:20:00 2:55:00
Mens Masters (age 40+) 1:15:00 2:43:00
Womens Masters (age 40+) 1:25:00 3:05:00
  • Legacy finishers (anyone who has completed the Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years) has a guaranteed spot.
  • Charity runners who are fundraising for an official charity as part of the Chicago Marathon Charity Program.
    • While fundraising requirements may vary from charity to charity, participants are required to raise no less than $1,250 (USD)
  • International runners (non-U.S.) participating in the International Tour Group Program.
  • Runners who have completed the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K four or more times since 2000 and have signed up for the current Shamrock Shuffle.

Non-guaranteed entry drawing for the Chicago Marathon

Runners who do not qualify for a guaranteed entry can apply for the non-guaranteed entry drawing. 

  • The lottery costs nothing to enter.
  • Only one application per person is allowed.
  • The event will select names from the full pool of non-guaranteed entry applicants and notify runners of their selection status through email.

Chicago Marathon route

  • The Chicago marathon winds through 29 Chicago neighborhoods and past all 4 major sports stadiums. 

Who are the Chicago Marathon race sponsors?

  • Bank of America
  • Nike
  • Abbot
  • TCS
  • Advocate Health Care
  • Gatorade Endurance
  • Wanda Sports
  • American Airlines
  • BioFreeze

Chicago Marathon charity program

  • Since 2002, over 106,000 runners have raised more than $207 million for local, national, and global causes.
  • There are over 170 charities that participate in the Chicago Marathon charity program.
Year Charity
Count
Charity Runner
Count
Funds Raised
2002 14 1,674 $2,950,000
2003 19 2,527 $4,540,000
2004 29 2,449 $4,740,000
2005 43 3,000 $6,317,000
2006 60 4,500 $9,500,000
2007 85 6,600 $9,985,482
2008 110 6,745 $9,209,000
2009 123 8,768 $10,183,855
2010 150 9,842 $12,109,000
2011 162 10,192 $13,400,000
2012 170 10,693 $15,300,000
2013 140 10,712 $15,000,000
2014 195 9,107 $17,300,000
2015 172 9,549 $18,700,000
2016 170+ 9,313 $16,900,000
2017 180 10,525 $18,500,000
2018 170 11,625 $22,700,000
2019 172 12,000+ $27,100,000

Deaths during the Chicago Marathon

  • 1998: Kelly Barrett (43) from Littleton, Colorado - Hyponatremia
  • 2000: Danny Towns (45) from Edmond, Oklahoma - Cardiac arrest
  • 2001: Luke Roach (22) from Seattle, Washington - Heatstroke
  • 2003: Rachael Townsend (29) from The Plains, Ohio - Mitral valve prolapse
  • 2007: Chad Schieber (35) from Midland, Michigan - Mitral valve prolapse
  • 2011: William Caviness (35) from Greensboro, North Carolina - Cardiac arrest

Other major marathon stats

About RunRepeat

The Chicago Marathon is one of the most prestigious races in the world. RunRepeat is here to help you find the right shoes for race day. Whether it’s marathon shoes, race-specific shoes, or carbon-plated shoes we want to help you do your best next time you’re on the streets of Chicago or any other race for that matter.  

Interested in learning more about shoes?  Check out our shoe buyer’s guides or our pages on road running shoes, trail running shoes, or even just sneakers.

Use of content

  • We are happy to give interviews on the topic at any time. For this purpose or for print-use questions please reach out to Paul Ronto at paul@runrepeat.com.
  • Feel free to use material from this page in any web coverage of the topic, we just ask that you refer, and link back to this source.

References

  • https://events.hakuapp.com/events/d200b3f467d464339c25/charity_partners
  • https://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/content/newsroom/press-releases/2021/10/the-application-window-for-the-2022-bank-of-america-chicago-mara.html
  • https://www.chicagomarathon.com/apply/frequently-asked-application-questions/
  • https://assets-chicagomarathon-com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2019_BACM_American-Development-Program-Instructions.pdf
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Marathon
  • http://www.marathonguide.com/results/browse.cfm?MIDD=67211010
  • https://www.choosechicago.com/articles/sports-and-recreation/the-chicago-marathon/
  • https://www.runnersworld.com/chicago-marathon/
  • https://www.runnersworld.com/races-places/a28775244/chicago-marathon-faq/
  • https://www.letsrun.com/news/2021/10/17-elites-added-to-2021-chicago-marathon-field-including-japanese-nr-holder-kengo-suzuki-as-14-elites-withdraw/
  • https://assets-chicagomarathon-com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/5_2021_World-and-US-Records.pdf
  • https://assets-chicagomarathon-com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/4_2021_Course-records.pdf
Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.