In 1976 a small band of running enthusiasts met at the Metropolitan YMCA on LaSalle Street to plan a marathon in Chicago. Backed by the athletic enthusiasm of the new Chicago Mayor, Michael Bilandic, and the leadership of Lee Flaherty, this founding group realized their vision on September 25 1977, hosting 4,200 local participants in the first Chicago Marathon. It has since expanded to 45,000 registered runners and an estimated 1.7 million on-course spectators.

The flat course begins and ends in Chicago’s historic Grant Park, sweeping through 29 diverse and colorful neighborhoods including Lakeview, Greektown, Little Italy, Pilsen, Chinatown, and Bronzeville. The loop course and abundance of public transport options enable friends and family to cheer their runners on at many locations along the course.

Runners outside the Chicago Theatre

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a long history of hosting the world's fastest runners and has been the site of two men's world records (by Steve Jones who ran 2:08:05 in 1984, and by Khalid Khannouchi who clocked 2:05:42 in 1999) and two women's world records (in 2001 when Catherine Ndereba ran 2:18:47, and in 2002 when Paula Radcliffe clocked 2:17:18).

Inaugural running

1977

  • RECENT PARTICIPATION
    YEAR FINISHERS MALE FEMALE
    2003 32,361 18,690 13,671
    2004 33,082 19,105 13,977
    2005 32,868 18,602 14,266
    2006 33,633 18,910 14,723
    2007 25,543 15,348 10,186
    2008 31,343 17,678 13,665
    2009 33,703 19,077 14,626
    2010 36,088 19,946 16,142
    2011 35,775 20,284 15,471
    2012 37,475 20,681 16,794
    2013 39,122 21,595 17,527
    2014 40,659 22,242 18,417
    2015 37,459 20,207 17,252
    2016 39,313 22,032 17,281

Course records

Men 2:03:45 (Dennis Kimetto, KEN, 2013)
Women 2:17:18 (Paula Radcliffe, GBR, 2002)
Men's Wheelchair 1:26:56 (Heinz Frei, SUI, 2010)
Women's Wheelchair Women: 1:41:10 (Tatyana McFadden, USA, 2015)

Prize purse

US$753,000 (US$100,000 to male & female champions)

Wheelchair prize purse: US$31,000 (US$10,000 for male & female champions)

Largest field

40,659 finishers (2014)

Estimated spectators

1.7 million

HIGHLIGHTS

Leaderboards
Current Champions
Latest News
Previous Champions
Six Star Finishers
Media Resources