The Chicago Marathon is one of the most popular races in the world, and subsequently, the demand for one of the 40,000-plus bibs is sky high.
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Applications for guaranteed entries will be accepted from March 8 until 2 p.m. on April 12, 2016. Guaranteed entries are extended under the following criteria:
Legacy finishers: Runners who have finished the Chicago Marathon at least five times between 2006 and 2015 can get guaranteed entry in 2016.
Time qualifier: Men who have run a verifiable sub-3:15 marathon and women who have run a verifiable sub-3:45 marathon after Jan. 1, 2014 can get guaranteed entry.
2015 deferments: For those who completed the process to defer their 2015 entry.
Charity program runners: For those who opt to run and fundraise for one of the official charity partners.
International Tour Group runners: For international runners who opt to join a tour group (more information to come on this option).
For those who don’t qualify for guaranteed entry, you can apply for the lottery. Applications are accepted from March 15 through April 12 at 2 p.m. CT, with a random lottery to be conducted after that.
Entry fees for U.S. residents are $185, and for non-residents it’s $210.
The Chicago Marathon first initiated a lottery in 2014 due to high demand. That year, more than 70,000 runners applied, with more than 40,000 getting a bib that year. The race is one of the largest marathons in the world and one out of six World Marathon Major races.