The Chicago Marathon is held every October in Chicago. This race has the fourth-largest number of finishers in the world. Those who want to participate must meet a qualifying time or be selected through a lottery. However, there are exceptions to this rule for legacy finishers, elite runners and charity representatives.
If you are just interested in the festivities, you can line up along the streets of Chicago to cheer the runners. You might even want to take part in the post-race celebration around the city, including the Biofreeze 27th Mile Post-Race Party in Butler Field with live music, food and beverages. The Chicago Marathon is an annual event, and you don't want to miss out on the fun. Whether you are participating in the race or cheering from the streets, check out the Chicago Marathon site for more details.
General spectators are only allowed in certain areas along the route. Runners will need an event-issued bib number or credentials to enter the start and finish areas of the race. If you are waiting on a marathon participant, you can reunite at the post-race party in Grant Park. However, you must pass through a bag screening and additional security.
All visitors are welcome to purchase a ticket for the Balbo Hospitality Tent. In the tent, guests can experience pre-race and post-race meals, recovery massage therapy, private gear check and finish-line seating. For the runners, there are several amenities along the route, including toilet facilities, Gatorade stations and a medical tent.
The Chicago Marathon makes its way throughout 29 neighborhoods of the city. Whether you are running or watching, you can experience this event as it attracts visitors from around the world. The start and finish lines are both located at Columbus Drive and Monroe Street in Grant Park. This 26.2-mile route extends from the north to Sheridan Road, west to Damen Avenue and to the south on 35th Street.
If you want to attend the Chicago Marathon, you will need to plan your trip in advance. Throughout the weekend, the city of Chicago closes several streets for parking. For those with an RV, you might want to find a suitable place to park the vehicle and take transportation to the event. Chicago offers excellent public transportation for the runners and spectators to use during the event. An RV rental is a great choice for those who want to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can find several RV parks in the suburbs to leave your vehicle and head off to the race. With an RV rental, you can cheer on the runners and still have your own space to relax at the end of the day. If you are a runner, camping in an RV with a kitchen is an excellent way to make your own food and get the right nutrition before hitting the racecourse.
• Pine Country RV & Camping Resort
This RV park is located in northern Illinois, and it is a great place to spend a night in the suburbs. The campground is easily accessible to the major highways, and it is only a short drive to Chicago. Pine Country has over 100 sites with 30- and 50-amp electric hookups. There are some amenities that you will want to enjoy after spending time watching the race, including showers and a pool.
5710 Shattuck Rd
Belvidere, IL 61008
• Race View Farms
This RV park is family-owned and -operated, and it is located on 160 acres. The park is situated near the Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway. Each site features 30-amp electric hookups and pull-through sites. This spot is a popular place for race car fans, and it can be a great park to spend the weekend for those who want to watch the marathon. Race View Farms is located in Joliet, which is connected to Chicago by two Metra train lines.
19100 West Schweizer Road
Joliet, IL 60436
• Blackwell Camping
Blackwell is located in the Chicago suburb of Warrenville. It features 20-amp electric hookups. In addition to camping out for the race, you can enjoy some of the amenities of the park, such as fishing spots and hiking trails. There is a dump station for your convenience, and firewood is available for purchase. The park also features a bathhouse with flushing toilets. This spot is an excellent alternative to spending your night in the city. If you want to head into Chicago, the nearby towns of Naperville and Lisle are also connected to Metra lines. For the Chicago Marathon weekend, Metra train lines offer special schedules to get visitors to the downtown area.
Warrenville, IL 60555
If you want to experience the Chicago Marathon via RV, you will need to stay outside the city. You can find many RV parks in the suburbs. At these campgrounds, you can leave the rig and take public transportation into Chicago. Once you are finished with the race, you can head back and enjoy an evening in a comfortable and quiet campground. With an RV rental, you don't have to settle for a cramped hotel room because you can relax and get back to nature in your own RV.
If you do want to stay in a hotel near the race route, there are several participating hotels throughout the city. You can choose from boutique hotels or budget motels. Chicago has no shortage of rooms for the event. You can even find many of the leading hotel chains in the suburbs. If you are looking for a cheaper rate, you will want to make a reservation well before race day. For those participating in the race, the Chicago Marathon offers travel and housing deals for runners.
Chicago is a major transportation hub. If you are traveling by RV or car, the major interstates make it a convenient drive from anywhere. These major highways and interstates include the I-90 or Kennedy Expressway, I-94 or Dan Ryan Expressway, I-55 or Stevenson Expressway, I-290 or Eisenhower Expressway and I-294 or Tri-State Tollway.
If you are flying into the city to pick up your RV rental, Chicago is the home of two international airports. Chicago O'Hare International Airport is the largest airport, and it is just 16 miles from downtown Chicago. Chicago Midway International Airport is the city's regional airport, and it is located 11 miles from the downtown area.
For those staying in one of the suburban RV parks, you can get to Chicago from either Amtrak or Metra train lines. All the trains make a stop at Union Station, which is a short walk to Grant Park.
If you are thinking about parking during the race weekend, you should be aware of the parking restrictions. It is strongly recommended to use public transportation. For those who want to drive into the city, you need to allow extra time for street closures and heavy traffic congestion. The closest Chicago Marathon parking options to Grant Park are available at Millennium Park, Grant Park North, Grant Park South and the Millennium Lakeside garages.
There are no official tickets for the race. Anyone in the city can line up along the race route to cheer on the runners. In fact, there are over a million people who watch the race in person. If you want preferred seating, you can purchase special event tickets to the Balbo Hospitality Tent. With these tickets, you can get bleacher seating at the finish line and an opportunity to enjoy amenities during the festivities.
Runners have to meet certain qualifications to run in the race, and the registration is often filled within minutes of opening to the general public. If you want to learn more about the running qualifications, please check out the official website.
Heading to the Chicago Marathon this year? Make sure to tag RVshare or send your photos to [email protected] You might be surprised to see your photos featured on the site's social media or blog.
Make sure to check out @ChiMarathon on Twitter and Instagram and the Chicago Marathon on Facebook for updates.