City Cast

The Best Spectator Spots to Watch the Chicago Marathon

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on October 3
 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

The 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. (Kamil Krzaczynski / AFP / Getty)

More than 45,000 runners are expected to run in Sunday’s marathon. The 26.2-mile course starts and ends in Grant Park, winding through several neighborhoods. So where should spectators see runners? We mapped out some of our favorite spots.

Bank of America Chicago Marathon route

Bank of America Chicago Marathon route. (Courtesy of the Chicago Marathon)

Watch runners cross the 5K mark while chowing down on something sweet from the Doughnut Vault.

Find a shady and cool spot to catch your runner early in the race around the namesake park at miles 6 and 10.

Expect lots of activity around the northernmost part of the course at miles 8 and 9. Chill out with a treat at Wake ‘n Bakery.

While runners loop through the neighborhood at miles 14 and 17, spectators can make signs, sip on complimentary coffee, and dance to Greek and American music.

Many runners love this leg of the race because of the crowd’s support. Get a pick-me-up at Cafe Jumping Bean and be ready to cheer at mile 20!

That energy carries to mile 21, where spectators can hop on and off the Red Line to get to other mile markers.

Miles 23 and 24 take runners through the historic South Side neighborhood, the birthplace of gospel music and the lottery.

With the finish line in sight, miles 25 and 26 get crowded. Take your runner to a celebratory brunch at Honeyberry Cafe.

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