CHICAGO – City of Chicago officials and Bank of America Chicago Marathon organizers are reminding the public of the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 7, when more than 40,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are expected to travel through 29 neighborhoods for the 26.2-mile race, requiring street closures and parking restrictions throughout the route. Plans are in place for a safe and successful Chicago Marathon weekend, which includes the International Chicago 5K on Saturday. Residents, spectators, participants and motorists are urged to be mindful of the traffic impacts as well as safety measures in place for these events.
"The City of Chicago continues to adjust the plan and execution of this yearly event, with coordination between race organizers, City agencies and our public safety partners to ensure the least impactful and safest event possible for Chicago residents and visitors,” said Executive Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC). “We also ask the public’s assistance in playing a role in reporting any suspicious activity to 911.”
The Chicago Marathon is an iconic event in the city, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the Chicago economy and since 2002 has helped to raise more than $185 million dollars for various charitable causes.
“Chicagoans and those around the world come together on race day to celebrate hard work, commitment and athletic prowess,” said Carey Pinkowski, Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. “We create a safe and memorable day while transforming 26.2 miles of roadway into an international, lauded event – and we do so with the full participation of our City partners. We are grateful for the collaboration and expertise of countless City agencies throughout the 41 years of putting on this event.”
The International Chicago 5K will be on Saturday, October 6 and will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Daley Plaza. Seven thousand runners will run a 3.1 mile course through downtown, ending in an area near the Chicago Marathon finish line.
Race Day Information for Participants and Runner Reunite
As race day approaches, it is recommended to stay informed and be familiar with weather conditions and the color-coded Event Alert System (EAS), which will communicate the status of course conditions to participants leading up to and on race day. The race starts and finishes in Grant Park. The first wave begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by the next group at 8:00 a.m., and the final group will begin at 8:35 a.m.
The location for the Runner Reunite section will be along Columbus Drive adjacent to the 27th Mile Post-Race Party.
Traffic Impacts/Street Closures
***NEW IN 2018: This year, the event will introduce several changes to the 26.2-mile course. These changes were designed to improve the race day experience for participants and enhance the safety and security of those on and near the course route. Download a 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon course map here.
With thousands of participants and spectators along the route, as well as street closures prior and during the race, those traveling throughout downtown and the various neighborhoods should allow extra time, expect delays or consider alternate routes – such as the expressway system - to avoid the impacts of the race.
Street closures in the Grant Park area began on Monday, October 1, with the closure of Balbo Street from Columbus Drive to Lake Shore Drive at 10 a.m. Additional street closures in the race day start/finish line area can be expected thereafter, including on Tuesday when the Balbo Street closure is extended to Michigan Avenue and on Wednesday when Jackson closes from Columbus Drive to Lake Shore Drive. Columbus Drive closures begin Thursday, October 4, with Roosevelt Road to Congress Parkway closed at 4 a.m. and Congress Parkway to Monroe Street closing on Friday, October 5 at 4 a.m. On Saturday, the Columbus Drive closure extends to Randolph Street at 6 a.m. and Monroe Street from Michigan Avenue. to Lake Shore Drive will be closed at noon. In addition, street closures along the route will begin at approximately 7 a.m. on Sunday and are anticipated to be reopened by 4:30 p.m. or when it is deemed safe to do so. Full lists of street closures and race day routes are available here.
Beginning early Sunday morning, parking restrictions will be in effect along the course. For public safety and traffic flow, the towing of vehicles along the route and other posted “No Parking Zones” will be strictly enforced. Motorists are encouraged to read signage before parking and should call 3-1-1 to locate a towed vehicle.
As always, public transportation is encouraged if heading to the Marathon or other destinations in the impacted areas. For more information on CTA services and reroutes, visit www.transitchicago.com or call 836-7000 from any area code/1-888-YOUR-CTA.
The City has worked with licensed Transportation Network Providers (rideshare services) to ensure that pick-up and drop-off locations are available throughout the city, in geo-fenced areas that are a safe distance off the route.
Safety is always a primary concern and several security measures and restrictions that have been place for several years will be strictly enforced. Participants will be required to show an ID to obtain race packets and must use race-issued clear bags to store their personal belongings during the race. Runners must enter the race staging area at one of the seven designated gateways in Grant Park through security checkpoints at Michigan Avenue near Congress Drive, Jackson Drive, Van Buren Street, Congress Boulevard, and Harrison Street.
"As we do every year, the Chicago Police Department has worked with organizers, businesses along the route, race participants and volunteers to ensure the Chicago Marathon is once again a fun, safe event for all involved,” said Deputy Chief Eric Carter.
Race organizers expect more than 1 million spectators to line city streets along the Marathon route. Chicago Police will be deploying uniformed and plainclothes officers as well as implementing other safety measures to ensure a safe event. Officers will also conduct random bag checks of spectators carrying backpacks or large bags. As in the previous year, runners will not be allowed to leave unattended bags or clothing items within Grant Park or along the route. If officers or race officials see an unattended bag along the route, it will be collected and discarded.
Only participants displaying their event-issued bib numbers, credentialed event staff and ticketed guests (where applicable) will have access to the race start and finish areas within Grant Park. Spectators should be aware that they will not have access to these areas. Only registered runners are allowed to participate in the Marathon. Non-registered runners joining the race at any point throughout the route or finish line is prohibited and will be strictly enforced. For more information, including race-day restrictions and policies, visit the Marathon website at www.chicagomarathon.com.
Over the past few weeks, the City’s public safety departments have met with property managers and security staff along the route to remind them about reporting suspicious activity and to inform them about connecting with the City’s federated camera network. They were also encouraged to join the CP3 initiative, which provides a centralized platform for the private sector and first responders to communicate critical information to first responders across all City agencies with the goal of saving time, life and property during an emergency incident.
OEMC will continue to monitor weather conditions and the Chicago Police Department will enforce race day restrictions along the route as well as facilitate traffic. The public is encouraged to register for free emergency alerts from the City of Chicago, which include severe weather notifications, by subscribing to NotifyChicago at www.notifychicago.org.
If You See Something, Say Something
The City reminds the public to be aware of their surroundings report suspicious activity. If you notice something suspicious, notify onsite security or call 9-1-1. If You See Something, Say Something™ is a national anti-terrorism public awareness campaign that emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities.
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