The Chicago Marathon Course, According to Chicago Finishers

Marathon runners head down Columbus Drive in the early sunlight as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon starts on Oct. 9, 2022

When most people think of the Chicago Marathon, the flat, fast course and supportive crowds spring to mind. In fact, it’s the fastest of the three World Marathon Majors held in the US—the previous women’s world record and current women’s American record were both set in Chicago—which explains why thousands of runners make it their goal race each year. But while the course may be predictable, terrain-wise, it still pays to run smart, especially if the weather is on the warmer side, as it has often been in recent years.

“One of the beauties of the Chicago Marathon course is it’s very flat, so you can try for super-even pacing and splits for basically the entire race,” says Sage Canaday, a run coach and professional ultra-runner for Hoka who ran the Chicago Marathon in 2010. “Although it’s called the Windy City, I found that the large buildings downtown often shelter you from the wind. With a lot of right-angle turns you are also changing direction a lot so this can mitigate the effect of any wind. It’s not like running on the Chicago Lakefront Trail by the water.”

Adam Smith is an accomplished individual who serves as an chief contributor at Healthify Magazine, a leading publication dedicated to promoting health and wellness. With a passion for empowering individuals to live healthier lives, Adam brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his role.