Dear readers: this is a post from 2009 – I haven’t had the chance to check the route for this year, but it’s generally pretty close.  Enjoy the marathon, and best of luck to all of you running!

Do you want to be the best Chicago Marathon family or friend ever to cheer?  Do you want to see your runner 5 times on the course?  Do you want to navigate traffic like a pro, and be there to support your runner?  You’ve come to the right place.

About 8 years ago, a friend of mine (who shall herewith only be known as “Morty”) decided to run the Chicago marathon.  Because I am a planner, my friends and I were obsessed with seeing her as many times as possible on the course.

We examined train routes. We had done that before. We examined car routes.  We had done the hideous traffic before, too.

We knew that to be successful, we had to map out the route, in a car, taking into consideration where the Course went, which streets would be closed, and how much time we’d have to maneuver between locations.  We didn’t know it then, but that route would hold true for the next 7 years.

Now, I’m sharing my inside tricks with you.  The Bank of America people publish a lovely Spectator Guide.  If you’re a casual fan, or just want to see your person once or twice on the course, this will work for you.

But if you’re a SUPERFAN, then maybe you’ll want this Guide.  It allows you to see the runners at Mile 4, 10.75, 16, 22ish, and 23ish.  If you use this one, you’re going to miss the start, and the finish.  Adjust it as you see fit.   But I gaurantee you’ll have a great day, and your runner will know how much you support them.

I’ll see you out there!  Questions? Email me at .

Plus Runner’s Chicago Marathon Spectator Guide

Chicago Marathon Maps and Directions


3 thoughts

  1. Thanks for sharing your inside tip on how to be a superfan! I am going to be sitting down this evening and assimilate my plan. Unfortunately, I am trying to follow several people all with different times so I have to figure out a way to “adapt” your strategy to accomodate multiple paces. If I come up with a decent plan I’ll forward it to you…
    Thanks and good luck this weekend!

    1. Holly – Good luck! It gets hard to track “multiples” towards the later miles – if they’re really spread out, I’d skip the stop at 22 and just plant yourself at 16, then head into the finish…after 16, they hit Chinatown, SOX park, and then head back in for the finish…those are the hardest miles, though…just depends on what’s working…use the Pace Groups to give you a “marker” for when you’ll likely see folks! Good luck! I’ll be on the course with a pink igloo cooler at those locations – say hi if you’re nearby!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s