Date: 10/7/18

Start Time: 7:30am

Avg Temps (f): 48/66

Time Limit: 6.5 hours

Lessons Learned from Race Reports

  • If traveling there, no need to rent a car since public transportation is great and it’s fairly easy to find a hotel near the start/finish, or along public transportation lines
  • Sharp turns in the early miles, so be prepared, especially with lots of runners around you.
  • Wave starts with corrals, and in waves, so it helps spread out the field (35,000+ runners)
  • Feels chillier downtown near the start because of tall buildings
  • Weather can be all over the place, so be prepared for hot or cold, or rainy, windy…
  • Not many hills, but several bridges with steel grates, which are usually covered with carpet. Still makes for different footing from regular roads.
  • GPS might not work well in early miles among tall downtown buildings
  • Book a hotel close to the start/finish to allow for minimal travel time before and after the race
  • The race feels crowded at the beginning and throughout, even with the wave starts
  • If it’s calling for warm temps, be prepared for it to warm up quickly and use ice and water at aid stations to cool down
  • Have a good plan for finding family/friends at the end, as the finish line is very busy and can be confusing and overwhelming to a tired runner


Type: Loop course all over the city, starting and finishing in Grant Park.

Start/Finish Info: Only runners allowed in start/finish area. Corrals closed 10 minutes before start, so get there with plenty of time.

Hills: Minimal, very flat, fast course. Biggest hill is ~25 feet of gain from mile 22-23. The total elevation gain is 243 ft.

Map/Elevation: Link to Map

Aid stations

Locations of water stations: 20 aid stations 1-2 miles apart, with both water and Lemon-LIme Gatorade Endurance Formula

Locations of electrolyte stations: Gatorade Endurance Carb Energy Chews at mile 13.2 and Gatorade Endurance Energy Gels at mile 18.2. Bananas at miles 29.5-23.5.

Spectator access

Access Locations: See the Spectator Guide

Boston qualifier?

Yes, and part of the World Marathon Majors

Race reports

Ayu F’s 2017 race report

Adela S’s 2016 race report

Race Website