2019 Chicago Marathon: Route, street closures, public transportation and more

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is Sunday, October 13.

Thursday crews constructed the finish line area, including the bleachers that will hold some of the expected 1.7 million spectators along the marathon route.

Many people travel across the city, from the suburbs, and from all over the country and world to participate in and watch the Chicago Marathon. About 45,000 runners participate.

Four men who will line up on Sunday have run every Chicago Marathon since its inception in 1977.

"People from all over the world come here to run the Chicago Marathon because it's one of the best marathons, and we think it's the best," said Randy Burt, runner.


The start and finish lines for the Chicago Marathon are both in Grant Park on Columbus Drive. The course then runs 26.2 miles through 29 neighborhoods. The race begins in the Loop on the north end of Grant Park, runs north to Sheridan road, west to Damen Avenue and south to 35th Street before looping back to the finish line on the south end of Grant Park.

Click here for the full marathon course map


No parking zones begin at 1 a.m. on Sunday, October 13. Residents should pay attention to no parking signs in their areas for full details and timing.

Rolling street closures will take place between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and roads in Grant Park will be closed longer.

City streets will reopen as the final runners pass through at a 15-minute mile pace. Chicago police will close and open streets. Marathon officials ask all residents not to attempt to block the race course at any point for the safety of the runners.

Click here for the full list of rolling street closures for the 2019 Chicago Marathon


The following spectators areas will be set up near CTA stations for anyone who wants to watch the race.

Grand Red Line station: Miles 1, 3 and 12.5
Exit at Grand Avenue for the Mile 1 spectator area. Walk three blocks west to LaSalle Street for the Mile 3 spectator area, and four blocks west to Wells Street for the Mile 12.5 spectator area.

Monroe Red Line Station: Mile 2
Exit at Monroe Street for the Mile 2 spectator area.

Chicago Red Line Station: Miles 3.5 and 12.25
From the Chicago Red Line station walk three blocks to Chicago Avenue and LaSalle Street for the Mile 3.5 spectator area, and walk four blocks to Chicago and Wells Street for the Mile 12.25 spectator area.

Clark/Division Red Line Station: Miles 4 and 12

Exit at LaSalle Street for the Mile 4 spectator area, or walk one block west to Wells Street for the Mile 12 spectator station.

Sheridan Red Line Station: Mile 8
Exit at Sheridan Road and walk four blocks east to Broadway for the Mile 8 spectator area.

Addison Red Line Station: Mile 8.5
Exit at Addison Street and walk four blocks east to Broadway for the Mile 8.5 spectator area.

Sedgwick Brown Line Station: Mile 11
Exit at Sedgwick Street and walk half a block north to North Avenue for the Mile 11 spectator area.

Washington/Wells Brown, Pink and Orange Line station: Mile 13.5
Exit at Washington/Wells and walk one block west on Washington to Franklin for the mile 13.5 spectator area.

UIC-Halsted Blue Line Station: Miles 14.25 and 17
Exit at the Halsted or Morgan exits and walk two blocks north to Adams Street for the Mile 14.25 spectator area, or walk one block north to Jackson Street for the Mile 17 spectator area.

18th Street Pink Line Station: Mile 19.25
Exit at 18th Street and walk four blocks east to Loomis Street for the Mile 19.25 spectator area.

Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station: Mile 21.5
Exit at Cermak-Chinatown for the Mile 21.5 spectator area.

Sox-35th Red Line Station: Mile 23 and 23.25

Exit at 33rd Street for the Mile 23 spectator area, or walk two blocks east on 35th Street to State Street for the Mile 23.25 spectator area.

35th-Bronzeville-IIT Green Line Station: Mile 23 and 23.25
Exit at 33rd Street for the Mile 23 spectator area, or exit at 35th Street for the Mile 23.25 spectator area.

Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line Station: Mile 25
Exit at Cermak-McCormick Place and walk two blocks east to Michigan Avenue for the Mile 25 spectator area.

Roosevelt Red, Green and Orange Line Station: Finish Line
Exit at Roosevelt Road and walk east on Roosevelt Road toward the Museum Campus and Grant Park for the Finish Line spectator area.

Click here for the full 2019 Chicago Marathon Spectator Guide

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The Chicago Transit Authority will provide extra service for the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Spectators are strongly encouraged to use public transportation to get to the Chicago Marathon, due to the myriad rolling street closures and parking restrictions that will be in place.

CTA will offer additional service on Sunday with longer trains on the Brown, Green, Orange and Blue lines, and more frequent service on the Red, Blue, Brown, and Green lines before and after the race. There will also be earlier service on the Purple Line.

There will be additional bus service on the #3 King Drive bus as well, CTA said.

Riders are also strongly encouraged to purchase their fare, adding value or a pass to their Ventra card if they have one. Disposable day of tickets will also be available from Ventra vending machines at CTA stations, but riders are cautioned that long lines for vending machines are expected.

CTA recommends allowing for plenty of extra travel time and purchasing fares before the race if at all possible.

Click here for more information about CTA service for the 2019 Chicago Marathon

Click here to visit the official website for the 2019 Chicago Marathon


The Chicago Marathon has become a tremendous economic engine for the city.

"It showcases the city in a way that almost no other event can do," said David Whitaker, executive director of Choose Chicago.

In 2018 the marathon generated an estimated $378 million in economic impact. The race draws about 45,000 runners each year, and each is typically accompanied by family and friends.

Like most restaurants, Viaggio on the Near West Side has been booked for months on the night before the race.

"We're gonna be packed to the brim, so it's gonna be great," said bartender Kristen Laccino.

Many runners will also go out after the race to celebrate with family and friends, adding to the economic impact, which city officials expect will be even greater than 2018.

The marathon is also the largest single charity fundraiser in the state with more than $22 million.

"That's Chicago," said race director Cary Pinkowski. "Chicago is an amazing host."
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