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Spectator Information

If you’re not participating or volunteering, come watch and cheer on thousands of amazing racers taking on the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K.

The Chicago Half Marathon & 5K is one of the largest racing events in Chicago. Just as all athletes should properly prepare for race day, so should spectators. It’s not uncommon for many to show-up to the area where the race takes place without a plan, quickly growing frustrated and overwhelmed.

A few tips to help the Sunday race viewing experience:

  • Know exactly what corral your athlete will be in, and set a meeting point and time to say your goodbyes!
  • Plan your logistics, both into Jackson Park and throughout the course. Public transit, parking garages, cabs and/or Divvy bikes are all great options – assuming you know which roads remain open to the public.
  • Learn your athlete’s estimated time to reach specific parts of the course, especially at spectator-friendly spots.
  • Know what your athlete will be wearing, to easily spot them on the fly.
  • Bring a snack, money for coffee, apply sunscreen and wear comfy shoes!

Where to Watch

Start Line

Spectators can gather to cheer on athletes near the start line which is situated on S Cornell Dr. just north of E Hayes Dr. Keep in mind that there will be limited space along the sidewalk path so plan accordingly.

Along Lake Shore Drive

There are a couple of areas where spectators can conveniently gather to cheer on athletes. Make sure to review the course maps which can be found in the Athlete Guide and on each race page of the website.

  • E 47th St. gives you great views of runners heading north and has a parking lot conveniently located near the viewing areas.
  • E Oakwood Blvd. is another great spot where you can see racers heading north on Lake Shore Drive and south after the turnaround, on their way back towards the finish line.
  • E 31st St is another great viewing area that allows you to view racers heading north on Lake Shore Drive before the turnaround, and south for the second half of the race.

Finish Line

One of the best spots to cheer on athletes is when they’re about to cross the finish line and accomplish their ultimate goal. This year, the finish line will be situated on the west side of The Golden Lady with athletes heading north on S Richards Dr. from E Marquette Dr. Spectators will be able to view finishers on the west side of the street for easy access to the finish festival.

Before reaching the finish, racers will fly through the HOKA Zone for the last mile of the race. Spectators can get great views of racers on E Marquette Dr. between S Richards Dr. and Lake Shore Drive.

Athlete Tracking

Spectators can track athletes’ progress through the course via Athlinks. You can also sign-up for SMS updates. Read more about SMS updates below.

SMS Updates
Gives updates to spectators of an athlete via text when they pass by a split point AND THERE IS CELL connection on the timing box – spectators should sign up for updates in advance.

Sign up for SMS Alerts

  • Timing Split SMS Updates  –  In order to get SMS updates when an athlete crossing a timing split, please visit Athlinks (USE LINK ABOVE) to sign up for alerts.
    • Note – There may be lag time on SMS alerts based on cell signal availability.

Additional Information

  • Please be respectful of the security and the fence lines. They are there to ensure the safety of the runners.
  • Please do not stand directly at the end of the finish chute.
  • Plan a meeting spot inside the park to congratulate and meet up with runners.
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