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)|
Avg Finish Time
|2020||cancelled due to pandemic|
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|
|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|
|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
- Advocate Health Care
- Gatorade Endurance
- Wanda Sports
- American Airlines
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.
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
- Check out facts and stats on all 6 world marathon majors.
- What’s it take to become a Six Star Marathon finisher.
- Learn everything you’d want to know about the Boston Marathon.
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.
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