Every October, the Windy City transforms into a runner’s paradise as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon takes center stage. Whether you’re lacing up your sneakers to tackle the 26.2 miles or joining an enthusiastic cheering squad, the Chicago Marathon is an event that kickstarts the fall season like no other. In this guide, we’ve got you covered with all the essential information for the 2023 Chicago Marathon.
Where to Fuel Up for the Race
Before you embark on your marathon journey, it’s crucial to load up on carbs. Here are some fantastic dining options to get you ready for the race:
Chicago staple serving traditional Italian fare in a space with wood floors and white tablecloths.
Quartino’s menu features amazing pizzas that are all finished in a 600 degree Wood Stone stone hearth fire deck oven, yielding a crispy crust, a good textural chew and fresh balanced flavors. Our favorite is the ‘Funghi’ (mushrooms). Buon Appetito!
Known for its succulent steaks, Shula’s is offering special pasta dishes from October 6th to the 8th. Try the Gnocchi Al Brivido or Spaghetti Barese for a hearty carb-loaded meal!
On Saturday, October 7th, fuel up with a “Fuel Up Pasta Buffet” from 5pm to 8pm. Customize your pasta dish with various sauces and enjoy a side salad or lemon orzo salad!
From October 6th to 8th, indulge in carb-fueled dishes like Spaghetti with Wagyu Meatballs or a Tuna Poke Bowl. After the race, enjoy a Victory Tomahawk Steak or a special Wagyu Bacon Cheeseburger at the bar!
Located conveniently near the starting line, The Evie offers a 15% discount for marathon runners on October 8th. Also, savor dishes like the 30-day dry-aged charred prime beef ribeye or chili honey-glazed Faroe Island salmon!
Celebrate your runner’s high with afternoon tea service on Sundays. Enjoy a tower of seasonal bites and a selection of alcoholic tea drinks while listening to live jazz music!
Located on the 24th floor of the Carbide & Carbon Building, this rooftop bar offers a unique absinthe-inspired experience. Sample absinthe varieties and savor elevated bites like milk bread lobster rolls and white chocolate panna cotta!
Join this establishment on October 6th and 7th to craft your personalized pasta dish for just $28! On the morning of the race, savor a convenient grab-and-go breakfast. Plus, don’t miss out on The Florentine’s generous offer of complimentary bottomless brunch beverages for runners on both October 8th and 9th.
After the marathon on October 8th, head to The Godfrey Hotel for a Recovery Brunch. Your race bib will get you a free beer, and the menu features a carving station, pasta station, sliders, tacos, sushi, and more!
On October 7th, indulge in Pistu Pasta before the race. Then, on October 8th, show your race bib to receive a free draft beer and 20% off your group’s bill!
The Chicago Marathon Experience
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is one of the world’s most prestigious marathons and a part of the World Marathon Majors. With 45,000 runners representing over 100 countries and 1.7 million estimated annual spectators, it’s a thrilling event to witness. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your Chicago Marathon experience:
When: The 2023 Chicago Marathon takes place on Sunday, October 8th, 2023.
Race Start: The marathon begins in waves at Grant Park, with various start times. Plan accordingly:
- Marathon Wheelchair Start | Men: 7:20 a.m.
- Marathon Wheelchair Start | Women: 7:21 a.m.
- Marathon Handcycle Start: 7:23 a.m.
- Wave 1 Start | Red: 7:30 a.m.
- Wave 2 Start | Blue: 8 a.m.
- Wave 3 Start | Orange: 8:35 a.m.
Spectator Areas: While spectators cannot enter the race start and finish areas in Grant Park, there are great viewing spots along the course. Check out Grand Avenue, State Street, Michigan Avenue, and various official cheer zones.
Explore Chicago: The marathon course winds through 29 vibrant Chicago neighborhoods. Cheer on runners in Pilsen, Chinatown, Northalsted (Boystown), and more! Take public transportation to support them at key points along the route.
Meeting Runners: If you want to meet runners after the race, head to the Runner Reunite area in Grant Park, accessible through Entrance Gate #1 or Entrance Gate #4.
Getting Around: Use Chicago’s excellent public transportation system to navigate the race day road closures. The CTA ‘L’ trains provide easy access to the start, finish, and various points on the course.
Be sure not to skip the Post-Race Party at Grant Park – Butler Field, where you can exchange your bib ticket for a refreshing complimentary Goose Island beer. Additionally, kick off the festivities at the Finish Festival in Jackson Park for a fitting start to the celebration.
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon transcends being a mere race; it’s a jubilation of determination, community, and the essence of Chicago! Whether you’re participating as a runner or a cheerleader, seize the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in this extraordinary event. It offers a chance to embrace the city’s finest offerings.