How To Watch Chicago Marathon


Spectator Tips for the Chicago Marathon

Attending the Chicago Marathon as a spectator is an exhilarating experience, filled with cheers, excitement, and support for the runners. If you’re planning to be a part of this iconic event, here are some essential tips to enhance your spectator experience:

  1. Plan your viewing strategy: With over 40,000 runners and a 26.2-mile route, it’s important to plan where and when you want to watch the race. Research the course map and schedule, and choose a few key spots that offer great viewing opportunities.
  2. Arrive early: To secure the best spots along the route, make sure to arrive at least an hour before the race start. This will give you ample time to find a good vantage point and avoid any last-minute hustle.
  3. Stay hydrated and fueled: Just like the runners, it’s important to take care of yourself during the marathon. Bring water and snacks to keep yourself energized and hydrated throughout the day.
  4. Bring signs and noise makers: Show your support for the runners by making creative and encouraging signs. Noise makers such as cowbells and whistles can also add to the festive atmosphere of the event.
  5. Be prepared for diverse weather: Chicago’s weather can be unpredictable, so dress in layers and bring rain gear if necessary. Always check the forecast before heading out to ensure you’re prepared for any weather conditions.
  6. Know public transportation options: Navigating through the city during the marathon can be challenging, so familiarize yourself with the public transportation routes and schedules. This will help you get to your chosen viewing spots easily.
  7. Respect the volunteers and officials: The Chicago Marathon relies on the hard work and dedication of numerous volunteers and race officials. Be respectful and appreciative of their efforts, and follow any instructions given to you for a smooth and enjoyable experience.
  8. Cheer loudly and enthusiastically: The runners thrive on the support and encouragement from the spectators. Cheer loudly, clap, and shout motivational messages to energize the participants and contribute to the incredible race day atmosphere.
  9. Capture the memories: Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the special moments of the marathon. Document the determination on the runners’ faces and your own excitement as a spectator.
  10. Share the experience: Lastly, share your experience on social media using the official Chicago Marathon hashtags. Let your friends and family know about the amazing race day atmosphere and inspire others to participate or cheer on the runners in the future.

By following these spectator tips, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy the Chicago Marathon to the fullest. So, grab your gear, gather your friends, and get ready to be a part of this incredible event!

Best Places to Watch the Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon offers numerous fantastic spots for spectators to catch the excitement of the race. Here are some of the best places to watch the marathon and cheer on the runners:

  1. Grant Park: Start your marathon experience at the iconic Grant Park, where the race kicks off. Witness the energy and anticipation as the runners begin their 26.2-mile journey.
  2. Mile 14 – Lincoln Park: Head north to Lincoln Park, where you’ll find an excellent viewing point around Mile 14. The park’s picturesque surroundings and lively atmosphere make it a popular spot for spectators.
  3. Mile 16 – Boystown: Experience the vibrant and inclusive atmosphere of Chicago’s LGBTQ+ neighborhood, Boystown. This section of the route is known for its enthusiastic crowd and lively entertainment.
  4. Mile 20 – Pilsen: Immerse yourself in the rich culture and vibrant community of Pilsen. This neighborhood offers a unique viewing experience, with lively music, elaborate decorations, and delicious food.
  5. Mile 23 – Chinatown: As the runners enter Chinatown, the streets come alive with colorful decorations, traditional performances, and mouthwatering Asian cuisine. Cheer on the participants and immerse yourself in the cultural ambiance.
  6. Finish Line – Grant Park: Join the electric atmosphere at the finish line in Grant Park. Witness the excitement and emotion as the runners complete their marathon journey. Be prepared for an unforgettable experience as you witness the triumphant finishes.

These locations offer a mix of diverse neighborhoods, stunning scenery, and lively crowds, creating an unforgettable spectator experience. While these spots are popular, don’t be afraid to explore other parts of the route to discover hidden gems and find your personal favorite viewing location.

Remember to arrive early to secure a good spot and be familiar with the route map to ensure you don’t miss the runners as they pass by. Bring your cheering spirit and enjoy being a part of the incredible support system that motivates and energizes the participants throughout the marathon.

Whether you choose to stay at one location or move along the route, cheering on the runners as they pass by, your presence and support will undoubtedly make a difference in their marathon journey. So, find your spot, join the crowd, and witness the determination, resilience, and sheer joy that makes the Chicago Marathon one of the most renowned races in the world!

How to Get to the Chicago Marathon Start and Finish Lines

Attending the Chicago Marathon as a spectator is an exciting experience, but it’s important to plan your journey to the start and finish lines to ensure a smooth and enjoyable day. Here are some tips on how to get to these key locations:

Start Line:

The Chicago Marathon typically begins in Grant Park. Here are some transportation options to help you reach the start line:

  • Public Transportation: Utilize Chicago’s extensive public transportation network, including the “L” trains and buses. Check local schedules and routes to find the most convenient option for you. Remember, it may be crowded, so allow extra time for travel.
  • Rideshare Services and Taxis: Ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft are widely available in Chicago. You can arrange for a drop-off near the start line, but anticipate heavy traffic on race day.
  • Biking: Consider cycling to the start line if you live within a reasonable distance. Chicago has bike-friendly routes and rental services available for easy access.

Finish Line:

The finish line of the Chicago Marathon is also located in Grant Park. Here’s how you can get there after the race:

  • Public Transportation: Similar to getting to the start line, public transportation is a reliable option to reach the finish line. Check the local schedules for any modifications or delays due to the marathon.
  • Rideshare Services and Taxis: Ride-hailing services can be a convenient way to reach the finish line, especially if you’re tired after a long day of spectating. Be aware that demand may be high, so be patient as you wait for your ride.
  • Walking: If you’re in the vicinity of Grant Park or nearby areas, consider walking to the finish line. It’s a great way to take in the post-marathon atmosphere and avoid potential traffic congestion.

Regardless of your chosen mode of transportation, it’s essential to plan your journey in advance, taking into account potential road closures, public transportation schedules, and race day traffic. Allow extra time to navigate the crowds and find your preferred viewing spot along the route.

Remember to stay alert and follow any instructions given by race organizers, volunteers, or law enforcement officials to ensure the safety of both the runners and spectators. By planning ahead and making the necessary arrangements, you can focus on enjoying the incredible atmosphere and cheering on the participants as they complete their marathon journey.

What to Bring to the Chicago Marathon as a Spectator

When attending the Chicago Marathon as a spectator, it’s important to come prepared with essential items to ensure your comfort and enjoyment throughout the day. Here’s a list of what to bring with you:

1. Comfortable Clothing and Footwear:

Dress appropriately for the weather conditions on race day. Layer your clothing so you can adjust accordingly if it gets warmer or cooler. Don’t forget a light rain jacket or umbrella in case of rain. Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be on your feet for extended periods.

2. Snacks and Drinks:

Bring some snacks and drinks to keep yourself fueled and hydrated during the marathon. Pack light and easy-to-carry items such as energy bars, fruit, trail mix, and water. Consider reusable water bottles to minimize waste.

3. Sunscreen and Hat:

Protect yourself from the sun’s rays by applying sunscreen before leaving home. Bring a hat or cap to shield your face from the sun and stay cool throughout the day.

4. Portable Chair or Blanket:

If you plan on spending an extended period at one location, consider bringing a portable chair or a blanket to sit on. This will provide comfort and relaxation while you wait for the runners to pass by.

5. Camera or Smartphone:

Capture the memorable moments of the marathon by bringing a camera or smartphone. Take photos of the runners, the energetic crowd, and the scenic views along the route. Share your experiences with friends and family on social media.

6. Maps and Schedule:

Have a copy of the Chicago Marathon route map and schedule with you. Familiarize yourself with the course so you can plan where and when to catch the best moments of the race.

7. Cash and ID:

Carry some cash with you for food or merchandise purchases along the route. It’s also a good idea to bring your ID in case you need to prove your age or access restricted areas.

8. Signage and Noise Makers:

Show your support for the runners and create a festive atmosphere by making signs with encouraging messages. Noise makers like cowbells or clappers can add to the excitement and energize the participants.

Remember to pack your belongings in a lightweight backpack or a comfortable bag that you can easily carry throughout the day. Be mindful of security regulations and only bring essential items to maintain a hassle-free experience.

By coming prepared with these items, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy the Chicago Marathon as a spectator. Sit back, relax, and soak in the incredible atmosphere as you cheer on the runners in this iconic event.

Viewing Options for Chicago Marathon Live Stream

If you’re unable to attend the Chicago Marathon in person, don’t worry! You can still be a part of the action and catch all the thrilling moments of the race through live streaming. Here are some options to view the Chicago Marathon online:

1. Official Chicago Marathon Website:

The official Chicago Marathon website provides a live stream of the race, allowing you to watch the event from the comfort of your own home. Simply visit their website on race day to access the live stream and enjoy the excitement in real-time.

2. TV Broadcasts:

Check your local television listings for coverage of the Chicago Marathon. Major sports networks and local news channels often broadcast the race live or provide highlights and recaps of the event. Tune in to follow the progress of the runners and catch the most exhilarating moments.

3. Streaming Services:

Some streaming services, depending on your location, may offer live coverage of the Chicago Marathon. Services like NBC Sports, ESPN, or CBS All Access might provide a live stream of the race, allowing you to watch it on your computer, smartphone, or smart TV.

4. Social Media Platforms:

Follow the official Chicago Marathon accounts and related running communities on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. They often provide live updates and videos during the race, giving you a glimpse of the action as it unfolds.

5. Mobile Apps:

Download the official Chicago Marathon app, available for iOS and Android devices. This app provides live tracking of the runners, race updates, and live streaming options. Stay connected to the event even on the go and never miss a moment of the action.

Make sure you have a reliable internet connection to enjoy the live stream without interruptions. Settle into a comfortable spot and immerse yourself in the excitement of the Chicago Marathon from wherever you are.

While watching the race online is a great alternative, keep in mind that nothing compares to the energy and atmosphere of being there in person. If possible, make plans to attend the race in future years to fully experience the inspiring spirit of the Chicago Marathon firsthand.

Stay connected, cheer on the participants, and enjoy the incredible display of athleticism and determination that the Chicago Marathon has to offer!

How to Follow Chicago Marathon Results Online

As a spectator of the Chicago Marathon, it’s exciting to keep track of the runners’ progress and see how they fare throughout the race. Thankfully, you can easily follow the Chicago Marathon results online to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. Here’s how:

1. Official Chicago Marathon Website:

The official Chicago Marathon website is the go-to source for all race-related information, including live tracking and real-time results. Visit the website and navigate to the “Results” section to access detailed information about the runners, their times, and their positions throughout the race.

2. Mobile Apps:

Download the official Chicago Marathon app, available for iOS and Android devices. The app provides live tracking of the runners’ progress, allowing you to search for specific participants and receive real-time updates on their positions and times. Stay connected to the race even on the go.

3. Live Timing Services:

Several online platforms provide live timing services for marathons, including the Chicago Marathon. Websites like Athlinks, RaceJoy, and ChronoTrack offer live tracking and results for the participants. Input the runner’s name or bib number to access their individual stats and follow their progress.

4. Social Media:

Follow the official Chicago Marathon accounts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. They frequently post updates, including highlights and leaderboards, as the race unfolds. Engage with fellow spectators and running enthusiasts through the comments and share the excitement together.

5. Local News Channels:

Keep an eye on local news channels and their websites for updates on the Chicago Marathon results. They often provide live coverage and real-time results, ensuring you’re informed of the latest developments throughout the race.

Remember to have a stable internet connection to access the results online without interruptions. Stay updated and cheer on your favorite runners as they strive towards the finish line.

Following the Chicago Marathon results online allows you to be part of the race from afar. While nothing compares to the atmosphere of being there in person, the thrill of tracking the runners’ progress and celebrating their achievements can still be enjoyed virtually.

So, grab your devices, stay connected, and immerse yourself in the excitement of the Chicago Marathon by following the results online!

Where to Find Chicago Marathon Highlights and Recap Videos

If you missed the live action of the Chicago Marathon or want to relive the highlights of the race, don’t worry! There are several places where you can find Chicago Marathon highlights and recap videos. Here are some options to catch up on all the exciting moments:

1. Official Chicago Marathon Website:

Visit the official Chicago Marathon website to find highlight videos and recaps of the race. They often feature professionally produced videos that showcase the key moments, highlights of the winners, and inspiring stories of the participants. Explore the website’s media section to access these videos and relive the magic of the Chicago Marathon.

2. Social Media Platforms:

Follow the official Chicago Marathon accounts on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. They regularly post highlight clips, recap videos, and interviews with participants and winners. Engage with the running community and share the excitement as you watch or rewatch the most thrilling moments of the race.

3. Local News Channels:

Check the websites and social media channels of local news stations that covered the Chicago Marathon. They often publish highlight reels and recap videos of the event. Visit their websites or search for their official YouTube channels to access these videos and get a comprehensive overview of the race.

4. Running and Sports Websites:

Running and sports websites frequently cover major marathons like the Chicago Marathon. Websites such as Runner’s World, LetsRun, and FloTrack offer race highlights, recap articles, and videos that provide insights into the race day experience and showcase the standout performances.

5. Television Broadcasts and Sport Networks:

Television broadcasts and sport networks often air comprehensive coverage and recaps of the Chicago Marathon. Check your local listings and sports channels to see if they are broadcasting or providing on-demand access to highlight shows or recap programs. This is a great way to watch the race and catch up on all the excitement.

Whether you missed the live race or simply want to relive the incredible moments, these platforms provide a wide range of options for finding Chicago Marathon highlights and recap videos. Take advantage of these resources and immerse yourself in the energy, triumphs, and inspiring stories of the Chicago Marathon.

So, sit back, grab some snacks, and get ready to experience the best of the Chicago Marathon through these captivating and engaging recap videos!

Chicago Marathon App: Your Guide to the Race

Enhance your Chicago Marathon experience with the official Chicago Marathon app. This mobile application serves as your comprehensive guide to the race, providing essential information, live tracking, and interactive features that will keep you connected and informed throughout the event.

Stay Informed with Race Updates:

The Chicago Marathon app keeps you up-to-date with important race information, including schedules, course maps, and spectator guides. You’ll have access to detailed information about the race route, start and finish areas, and points of interest along the way. Stay informed with event updates, last-minute changes, and announcements directly from the race organizers.

Live Tracking of Runners:

One of the standout features of the Chicago Marathon app is the live tracking functionality. You can track your favorite runners or search for specific participants to follow their progress in real-time. Whether you’re cheering from the sidelines or watching from home, the app allows you to monitor their pace, estimated times at various checkpoints, and overall race position. Stay engaged and get instant updates on the runners that matter to you.

Interactive Course Map:

Explore the interactive course map within the app to familiarize yourself with the marathon route. The map highlights key locations, aid stations, entertainment zones, and points of interest. You can zoom in and out, toggle between satellite and map view, and plan your spectating strategy accordingly. This feature ensures you don’t miss any exciting moments along the course.

Race Results and Leaderboards:

The Chicago Marathon app provides quick and easy access to race results and leaderboards. Find out the latest standings, search for individual runners, and view their times and rankings. Stay up-to-date with the progress of the elite athletes and see how the participants are performing throughout the race.

Social Interaction and Sharing:

The app allows participants and spectators to engage with each other through live feeds and social media integration. Share your experiences, photos, and messages with others using race-specific hashtags. Connect with fellow race enthusiasts, support the participants, and celebrate the marathon spirit together.

Download the Chicago Marathon app on your iOS or Android device to maximize your experience as a spectator. Be sure to check for updates closer to race day to ensure you have the latest version of the app with all the enhanced features.

From live tracking to interactive maps, the Chicago Marathon app is your go-to resource for all things related to the race. Stay connected, stay informed, and make the most of your Chicago Marathon experience with this invaluable mobile companion.

Spectator Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts for Watching the Chicago Marathon

As a spectator, it’s important to be respectful and considerate of both the runners and fellow spectators during the Chicago Marathon. Follow these do’s and don’ts to ensure a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone:


  • Cheer and encourage: Support the runners by cheering loudly, clapping, and shouting words of encouragement. Your enthusiasm can provide the participants with a much-needed boost.
  • Respect barricades and designated areas: Stay behind the barricades and respect any designated spectator areas. This ensures the safety of both the runners and spectators and helps maintain the integrity of the race.
  • Follow instructions from race officials: Pay attention to any instructions given by race officials, volunteers, or law enforcement personnel. They are there to ensure the smooth running of the event and the safety of everyone involved.
  • Be mindful of personal space: Leave enough room for others to move around and find their viewing spots. Avoid blocking the view of fellow spectators or impeding the progress of the runners.
  • Clean up after yourself: Dispose of any trash or waste properly in designated bins. Help maintain the cleanliness of the spectator areas and leave no trace behind.
  • Show respect for the host city: Chicago is a gracious host to the marathon, so show respect to the city and its residents. Avoid any disruptive or disrespectful behavior that may tarnish the race experience for others.


  • Don’t cross the race route: Avoid crossing the race route while the participants are running. Wait for a safe and designated crossing point to access different areas of the course.
  • Don’t interfere with the runners: Be mindful of the participants’ concentration and focus. Avoid stepping onto the race course or getting too close to the runners, as this may distract them or impede their progress.
  • Don’t use unauthorized transportation: Avoid using bicycles, skates, hoverboards, or any other unauthorized modes of transportation along the race route. These can create safety hazards for both runners and spectators.
  • Don’t bring pets: As much as you may love your furry friends, it’s best to leave pets at home during the marathon. The large crowds and loud noises may cause stress or discomfort to animals.
  • Don’t block the view of others: Be mindful of your positioning and avoid obstructing the view of other spectators. Ensure that everyone has a fair chance to see the runners as they pass by.
  • Don’t litter: Dispose of any trash properly and avoid leaving any litter behind. Help keep the race route and spectator areas clean and enjoyable for everyone.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you can contribute to a positive and supportive atmosphere during the Chicago Marathon. Respect the efforts of the runners, share in the excitement of the event, and create a memorable experience for all involved.

How to Support and Cheer on Chicago Marathon Runners

The Chicago Marathon is not only a physical challenge for the runners but also an opportunity for spectators to show their support and encouragement. Here are some effective ways to support and cheer on the participants during the race:

1. Bring Positive Energy:

Before the race begins, mentally prepare yourself with a positive mindset. Be enthusiastic, energetic, and ready to spread contagious cheer to the runners. Your positive energy can make a significant difference in their experience.

2. Make Signs and Banners:

Create colorful and creative signs or banners with inspiring messages for the runners. Your signs can provide an extra boost of motivation, making the participants feel appreciated and supported along the challenging course.

3. Learn and Call Out Names:

Many runners display their names on their bibs. Take the time to read their names as they pass by and cheer them on personally. Hearing their names can provide a personal touch and show that you are genuinely invested in their journey.

4. Clap and Cheer Loudly:

Show your enthusiasm by clapping and cheering loudly as the runners pass by. This provides an instant burst of energy and encouragement that can help them push through any fatigue or doubts.

5. Be Part of a Cheer Squad:

Join or form a cheer squad with family, friends, or other spectators. Coordinate cheers, create synchronized chants, or use noisemakers such as cowbells to create a vibrant and motivating atmosphere for the runners.

6. Offer Refreshments:

Bring along small treats such as candies or oranges to offer to the runners. Many appreciate the gesture and find it uplifting to receive a boost of energy from a friendly spectator.

7. Share Inspiring Messages:

Speak words of encouragement or shout motivating phrases to the runners. Let them know that their hard work and dedication are inspiring and that you believe in their ability to overcome any challenges.

8. Be Respectful and Considerate:

While showing your support, be mindful of the runners’ focus and concentration. Avoid stepping onto the race course or getting too close to the participants. Respect their personal space and avoid any distractions that may hinder their progress.

9. Stay Until the End:

Continue your support until the last runner crosses the finish line. Every participant deserves recognition and applause for their dedication and effort. Being present until the race ends ensures that everyone receives the same level of support and celebration.

By following these tips, you can make a meaningful impact on the Chicago Marathon runners and contribute to their incredible experience. Your support, cheers, and positive energy can help motivate them to push through the miles and achieve their goals. So, gather your cheering squad, bring your signs, and be ready to make a difference in the runners’ journey.