Registrations for the 2021 Chicago Marathon opened on Tuesday 12 January. The 2020 edition of the race was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Whether you're looking for an autumn challenge or attempting to tick off all six marathon majors, here's everything you need to know about applying to the 2021 Chicago Marathon from the UK.
When is the 2021 Chicago Marathon?
The 2021 Chicago Marathon is scheduled to take place on Sunday 10 October 2021.
What happens if the marathon gets cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic?
In response to any questions about the coronavirus pandemic, the organisers of the Chicago Marathon said, 'Event organizers are working closely with the City of Chicago, including the Chicago Department of Public Health, to provide a safe and enjoyable race weekend experience for all event attendees. Preparations for the October 2021 race will align with Chicago’s re-opening framework, including strict adherence to local and state coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines. We recognize guidance is likely to change between now and October 2021. For this reason, the event will provide specific guidelines to registered participants in the weeks leading up to race weekend.'
Will the Chicago Marathon have a smaller field in 2021?
At the moment, organisers of the Chicago Marathon have confirmed they are planning for a field size similar to that in previous editions of the race. That said, organisers have confirmed they are prepared to make adjustments to the field size to align with guidance from public health officials.
What happens if I get a spot and can't run?
Whether it's because of Covid-19 or injury, if you have a spot in the 2021 Chicago Marathon and can't run, you will be able to transfer your entry to a later race. Unlike previous years, runners will have the option to pay an extra service fee and purchase a refundable race entry when applying for the 2021 race.
I had a spot in the 2020 race, am I able to defer?
If you had a spot in the cancelled 2020 race and don't want to run in 2021, race organisers are giving runners the option to defer to the 2022 race.
When does the ballot close for the 2021 Chicago Marathon?
The ballot for guaranteed and non-guaranteed entries to the 2021 Chicago Marathon opened on Tuesday 12 January. Guaranteed entries include runners who have met the age-graded qualifying standards, runners who have finished the Chicago Marathon five times in the past 10 years and those runners who have booked through international tour operators.
When will I find out whether I’ve been successful in the ballot?
All runners who have entered the ballot will find out whether or not they’ve been successful in March 2021.
How much does it cost runners from the UK to take part in the Chicago Marathon?
If you are successful in the ballot, it’s worth noting that you will automatically be charged the 2021 registration fee, which is $230 for non-US residents. At the time of writing, this converts to £168. The registration fee is non-refundable, so be sure you can afford to run the Chicago marathon when you are entering the ballot.
What if I’m unsuccessful in the ballot, how else can I get in?
If you are unsuccessful in the ballot, you can apply to run the Chicago Marathon for charity. Often charity places will require runners to raise between $1250 and $1750. You can also apply to run with an international tour group. Often your entry will be part of a package that includes flights, accommodation and your bib.
I’m pretty quick, can I qualify for Chicago?
If you are a faster runner for your age group, you might qualify for a guaranteed spot at the 2021 Chicago marathon. For the 2021 race, the qualifying times are as follows:
It’s worth noting that races run prior to 1 January 2019 will not be considered and that marathon times outside of the qualifying standards will not be considered.
Submitted applications will be reviewed and verified by the Chicago Marathon organisers and you will be notified within 10 business days. If your application is not approved, you will automatically be entered into the non-guaranteed ballot.
I'm still worried about the event being cancelled...
Read more about the cancellation policy on the Chicago Marathon event website here.
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