About the Chicago Marathon and Its Requirements

A consultant with Lockton Companies since 2013, Gary Rixson specializes in benefit communication and insourcing. In addition to his professional experience, Gary Rixson is an avid runner, and completed the 2012 Chicago Marathon.

Established in 1977, the Chicago Marathon is one of the largest such events in the United States. With a time limit of 6 hours and 30 minutes, the marathon now draws some 45,000 participants each year with goals to set personal best times or world records, or raise money for charity. The marathon’s 26.2 mile length is known for its flat, even course through 29 neighborhoods. It attracts almost 2 million spectators.

In order to ensure a safe and fun marathon for everyone involved, participants must meet a number of qualifications, whether they are running individually or as part of a team for an officially selected charity. For instance, participants must be at least 16 years old when they run, and people 17 and younger must have their parents’ permission. Participants must also be able to complete the course within the time limit and follow the orders of officials, while conducting themselves in a sportsmanlike manner. Finally, participants can only wear their own bib numbers and timing devices to ensure fair, accurate finish times.