News Release
City Services

August 29, 2013

City Officials And Race Organizers Announce Participant And Security Updates For The 36th Annual Bank Of America Chicago Marathon

OEMC Media Affairs    312.746.9454

Jeremy Borling, Bank of America Chicago Marathon    312.992.6614

CHICAGO - City officials and race organizers today announced participant and security updates for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Participants will be required to show ID to obtain race packets, use clear bags for personal belongings and enter the race staging area through designated gateways as part of updates designed to enhance public safety for the 26.2-mile race that winds through several lakefront and downtown neighborhoods on October 13.

The updates are extensions of Chicago Marathon policies and procedures that have been in place for several years, and the enhancements build upon the extensive experience and best practices in the City’s hosting of large-scale public events.

“Chicago has a strong record of successfully and safely hosting large-scale events that attract hundreds of thousands of people, including the recent Air &Water Show, Lollapalooza and the Blackhawks championship celebration,” said Gary Schenkel, Executive Director of the Office and Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC). “We are working with race organizers and City departments to implement common sense measures that ensure a safe event for participants, spectators and businesses along the route.”

The City and marathon organizers are beginning outreach efforts to partners and businesses along the route, race participants, volunteers and fans from around the world as part of a comprehensive campaign to inform the public about these updates.

“As is the case each year, our top priority is the safety of all marathon runners, volunteers, spectators and staff members,” said Carey Pinkowski, Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon .“ We worked with the City officials and the Chicago Police Department to update our procedures so that everyone can enjoy one of the premier races in the world.”

In addition to picking up their own bib packets at the two-day Health & Fitness Expo in advance of the race, runners will receive a free clear bag, which will be the only bag runners are allowed to use on race day to carry items such as clothing and food into Grant Park. Participants must enter Grant Park through security checkpoints at Jackson Drive, Congress Boulevard, and Harrison Street.

More than one million spectators are expected to line city streets along the marathon route to cheer runners and wave encouraging signs. As is standard for large events, the Chicago Police Department will proactively enact a number of security measures, including relying on trained dogs to detect explosives and deploying undercover officers. Officers will also conduct random bag checks of spectators carrying backpacks or large bags. In addition, 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.

As in years past, general spectators will not have access to the race start and finish areas within Grant Park. Only participants displaying their event-issued bib numbers, credentialed event staff and ticketed guests (where applicable) will have access to these areas.

As always, CPD will facilitate traffic flow and enforcement on race day along the route.

In its 36th year and a member of the World Marathon Majors, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon annually attracts 45,000 participants from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. As a result of its national and international draw, the iconic race assists in raising millions of dollars for a variety of charitable causes while generating $219 million in economic impact to its host city.

Additional event-related information is available at

The public is also encouraged to register for free emergency alerts from the City of Chicago, including severe weather notifications, by subscribing to NotifyChicago at

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The Office of Emergency Management and Communications was established in 1995 to coordinate the City’s delivery of Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services resources. OEMC operates Chicago’s public safety communications system, managing emergency situations and coordinating major events, 3-1-1 and 9-1-1 Communications Operations. OEMC is also the host to Notify Chicago, a resource for residents to subscribe to receive text alerts related to traffic disruptions, severe weather, health and major incidents. For more information visit our website at or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook/coemc.