Chicago Marathon Prep & Setup

Running the Chicago Marathon?  If so, I KNOW you are super psyched right now, as well you should be!  Most of you are probably out-of-towners or suburbanites who won’t step foot in the CHI until this weekend.  Therefore, most have no idea that the city actually starts setting up for the marathon a week in advance.  The first thing I noticed this week, Streets and Sanitation workers had started dropping barricades.  Shutting down 26.2 miles of major city streets takes a bit of preparation!  You’ll be seeing lots of these on Sunday whether you are running or spectating!!

barricades  image 

I was amazed today as I strolled thru the start area at Congress & Monroe by the “little” things that I saw that are up and ready, that I would NEVER see on race day.  Today the streets look normal and traffic has not yet been rerouted.

Columbus_start   Monroe_start

But the “behind the scenes” I saw tents, trailers and fencing is up.  Lookie here, the Elite Start tent.  You’ll probably never even notice this on race day with all the start line hoopla, the TV cameras + crew members, the starting officials, the massive START LINE setup, the added gates and fencing along the streets, the runners packed in beside you, and oh yeah, the fact that you are only thinking about the 26.2 miles in front of you.

Elite Start

Then a stroll thru Grant Park and the surrounding streets brings port-o-potties galore.  More potties than you can imagine.  More potties than I want to can capture.  More potties than I’ve ever seen previously.  In fact, I’ve ran the marathon here many times and never “see” a fraction of what I saw today.  They are tucked away in every crack & crevice, beneath trees and sometimes just “hidden” in plain sight.  Chicago is preparing to accommodate 45,000 runners and 2 million spectators.  Trust me, when you need one of these, you won’t be able to find one without a  “mile long” line in which to wait.  Good luck.


The tents are going up in Charity Village, Grant Park and the finish area.  Chicago moves closer to “marathon ready” each and every day.

finishline setup  grant park_gates & potties 

Anyone else find it odd that they have to gate off the flowers/trees/shrubs (above) so that people don’t trample them?  Everything in Grant Park is pretty “protected” right now. 



All of this and much, much more is just awaiting your arrival!!

I know many of you might be first timers and/or extremely nervous and that’s totally normal.  It might be helpful to take a minute to read this post HERE with some tips on marathoning in general, the Chicago Marathon and ENJOYING the experience.  I wrote it last year at this time but it’s still a good read.  Smile

** Chicago Is Getting Ready for YOU ** Amanda – TooTallFritz