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An Event Producer’s Logistical Guide to the Chicago Marathon

October in Chicago doesn’t only mean red and amber hues in Lincoln Park, Oktoberfest celebrations and apple picking in neighboring cities. It’s also time for the Chicago Marathon!

This year’s marathon takes place on Sunday, October 7, and like any large event, requires some logistical IQ. As insider experts, we’ve got you covered.

1. Food & Beverage

If you are planning to go out for dinner during marathon weekend, be advised that downtown restaurants will be packed. This might be the time to try a local dining favorite in one of the neighborhoods, like Longman & Eagle in Logan Square, Monteverde in West Loop or Mordecai in Lakeview. If your heart is set on downtown, apps like Reserve or NoWait can save you that two-hour wait.

2. Maps

If you are cheering or participating in the marathon, use this map to navigate your way around the course. If you are just trying to get around this city, this map highlights your “Do Not Enter” zone. Save yourself.

3. Transportation

Chicago has a great public transportation system. The “L” is likely that fastest way to get around town during this time. Uber, Lyft and Via are all thriving in Chicago, but beware of surge prices over the weekend. If you have your own car, keep an eye out for towing locations during the marathon. Parking enforcement officials are not bluffing.

4. Spectators

The marathon certainly couldn’t happen without the runners, but it also couldn’t happen without the nearly one million cheering spectators. If running isn’t your thing, watching the race from the sidelines is still a thrilling experience. Here is your Spectator 101.

5. Activations

There are a lot of activation points in the post-race party at Grant Park and the Abbot Health & Fitness Expo. Interact with some of your favorite brands or get inspiration for your own next activation by visiting these points.

Hopefully these tips make your Chicago Marathon Weekend a seamless and enjoyable experience. A warm welcome to our city and best of luck to all the marathoners.

AgencyEA is a brand experience agency. EA connects brands with their target audiences through experiential, digital and traditional engagement. Founded in 1999 as Event Architects, agencyEA has worked with esteemed clients such as Hilton Worldwide, Intuit, Google, Clif Bar, Target, Boeing and the Obama Administration.