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Chicago Marathon Implements New Registration Process

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 21, 2014 7:10PM

Photo by Benjy Lipsman

After last year's registration crashed their online systems, organizers of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon decided to change the registration process for the 2014 race.

Instead of the first-come, first-served registration that slammed the sign-up servers, this year's race will feature a lottery system to distribute many of the 45,000 race bibs. Those who do not fall into a number of categories with guaranteed registration will have to vie for a change to race on October 12.

In order to be guaranteed a spot in the marathon, runners must be a part of the following groups: Time Qualifier, Chicago Marathon Legacy Finisher, Charity Program participants, International Tour Program participants, and Wheelchair Athletes.

To earn automatic entry on account of time qualification, runners must be able to verify a finish time of less than 3:15 for men or 3:45 for women, sometime since January 1, 2012. Legacy Finishers can lock up a bib on account of having finished the Chicago Marathon in five of the past 10 years, regardless of their race time. The Chicago marathon attracts thousands of runners from abroad, and those who choose to sign up for an International Tour Group Program will be guaranteed a spot in the race. Many runners choose to run to raise money for charity, and runners participating in an affiliated charity program can also bypass the lottery. Finally, all wheelchair participants have a spot assured for them.

For those who do not fit into any of the groups listed above, they can enter the lottery in hopes of securing a race bib. Race hopefuls can register anytime between Wednesday, March 5, and Monday, April 7, with the runners being notified on Monday, April 14 whether or not they will be among the 45,000 lining up in Grant Park next fall.

Race entries will cost $185 this year, with foreign racers paying $210.