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Chicago Marathon Preview

October 5, 2012 6:00 AM

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(Credit: Jim Prisching/Getty Images)

(Credit: Jim Prisching/Getty Images)

105131538 Chicago Marathon Preview

(Credit: Jim Prisching/Getty Images)

By Sara Lugardo

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is rapidly approaching, with runners flocking from all over the world to run the 26.2-mile trek across the streets of Chicago. This is the 35th year of one of the largest road-racing events with 45,000 participants. The race will take place on October 7 and the path will wind its way through the city. Although not everyone is able to run the marathon, there are plenty of ways to join in on the fun as a spectator. Whether it’s viewing the marathon in one of the checkpoint areas along the route or volunteering as a helpful member, there are great opportunities to get in on the action.

 Chicago Marathon Preview

(Credit: chicagomarathon.com)

2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon Health & Fitness Expo
McCormick Place, North Building, Hall B
2301 S. Martin Luther King Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 904-9800
www.chicagomarathon.com

Price: Free
Hours: Events happening throughout the day on October 5 and 6
Click here for volunteer guidelines and registration information.

Online registration is required in order to volunteer for this event. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age with permission from a parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Duties for volunteers include distribution of participant bags and shirts, welcoming runners, scanning barcodes for participants’ packets, stamping packets, categorizing bags or heavy lifting, depending on the individual volunteer. Volunteers must be able and willing to stand for four hours during their sign-up shift and be flexible when working their area.

screen shot 2012 09 18 at 4 10 00 pm1 Chicago Marathon Preview

(Credit: chicagomarathon.com)

Start Corral Volunteers
Location: Start line. Click here for starting line map.

Price: Free
Hours: October 7 (1st shift) – 4:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., October 7 (2nd shift) – 4:45 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Click here to register online.

Start Corral Volunteers regulate access to the Start Corrals for all participants of the marathon. Their job is to help with the forward progression for all 45,000 participants and then assist with the teardown of the start line. Volunteers will pick up any discarded clothing items which will then be donated to the Pacific Garden Mission. Other duties include helping control the flow through pedestrian crosswalks for marathon participants and ensuring easy access through the Corral entrance.

 Chicago Marathon Preview

(Credit: chicagomarathon.com)

Balbo Tent Runner Hospitality
Location: Near Finish Line, Grant Park

Price: $75 per ticket, children 8 and under are free
Hours: October 9 – 5 a.m. to 3 p.m.
See more information here.

The Balbo Hospitality Tent is available to the family and friends of participants in the marathon. The tent offers a covered venue, computer stations for runner updates, access to restroom facilities, a live broadcast of the race and a complimentary continental breakfast and lunch. Beverages and beer are also provided with the ticket price and a discounted rate is offered for groups of five or six for $360. The tent is conveniently located near the start and finish of the race.

 Chicago Marathon Preview

(Credit: chicagomarathon.com)

Charity Block Party
Location: Adams Street near Whitney Young High School, just after Mile 14/Aid Station 10

Price: Free
Hours: October 9 – 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
See more information here.

Many of the participants in the marathon will be running for different charity teams or fundraising on behalf of different causes. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will host a Charity Block Party where a number of the different charities will be assigned a specific area to show their gratitude for the participants. Spectators are welcome to cheer on the charity runners, family or friends. A DJ will provide music for the passing runners and there will be a variety of different booths representing some of the charities being supported.

105131527 Chicago Marathon Preview

(Credit: Jim Prisching/Getty Images)

Bank of America Chicago Marathon 27th Mile Post-Race Party
Location: Just after the finish line in Grant Park’s Butler Field

Price: Free
Hours: October 9 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
See more information here.

This is an outdoor celebration for all runners who pass the finish line. The party is open to the public and features live entertainment. Marathon participants can redeem a free 312 Urban Wheat Ale in exchange for the tear-off portion of their bib number. Food and beverage items can be purchased by runners, family members, friends and spectators alike.

Sara Lugardo is a Korean American who thrives in writing about Asian community news in Chicago. She has a Bachelor’s in Communication and is currently working on her Master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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