Chicago Marathon 2014 Registration Info Released!



Well, folks, it happened: after all that mess with last year’s registration, the Chicago Marathon has gone to the lottery system.  Well, not entirely.  You can obtain a guaranteed entry if you run with a registered charity, are a Chicago Marathon “Legacy,” participate with one of the marathon’s international tour partners, qualify to be part of the wheelchair athlete program, or have a qualifying time.

Weirdly, there are no categories based on age for the qualifying times. If you are a male, regardless of age, you can qualify to run Chicago with a 3:15 marathon.  If you are female, it’s 3:45.

Like the Boston Marathon, Chicago requires that you qualify with your marathon time (as opposed to, say, the New York City Marathon, which accepts half marathon times, too). Unlike Boston, they don’t consider how awesome you might be as a 80-year-old female running a 3:48 marathon; it’s 3:45 or nothing, Grandma!

grandma in chicago

Chicago’s decision to guarantee entries for time qualifiers isn’t surprising, it’s just disappointing that its cut-offs are so arbitrary, not taking into consideration the ages of runners.  Personally, I’m bummed because the qualifying time for Chicago is the exact same as what I would need to run to qualify for Boston.  Hopefully the Chicago Marathon will still offer a large number of lottery spots, and hopefully Chicago will be easier to get into via lottery than New York.

The lottery entry period lasts from midday March 5 through midday on April 7, 2014. There is no lottery fee like the NYCM, but–like that marathon–if an applicant’s number is drawn, his or her credit card will automatically be charged. Hopefully this will prevent non-serious applicants from registering for the lottery, thereby wasting spots.  By April 14, 2014, lottery applicants will apparently be notified whether or not they have been selected.  Also like the NYCM, successful lottery winners can defer their registrations to 2015, but will still have to pay both the 2014 and 2015 registration fees. The 2014 Chicago Marathon registration fee is $185 for U.S. residents ($10 more than 2013).

Fingers crossed!

Details here:

6 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon 2014 Registration Info Released!

  1. Welp, we can thank the geniuses at for scheduling an infrastructure inspection on the day of registration for one of the world’s largest marathons. Though truthfully, this lottery was due soon and it was just a matter of time. Sad face.

    • I know–frustrating. Due to some weird glitch, last year I was able to sneak into the Chicago Marathon registration system a few minutes before it officially opened. I snagged a spot. A friend of mine tried registering right when it opened and she ended up getting caught up in the quagmire.

      Even though I don’t like the idea of the lottery, it *is* more fair than first come, first served. Or at least more random.

  2. It is so frustrating of all the hoops runners are having to jump through to race. I am happy I have a guaranteed entry this year, but it is only a matter of time before it becomes even stricter. Chicago is great for first-time runners and this lottery might prevent people from attempting it – instead choosing a different fall marathon.

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