Chicago Marathon 2018: Route, Course Map, Times, Road Closures, Event Details

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2018

Dickson Chumba hopes to repeat the success he had in the 2015 Chicago Marathon.
Dickson Chumba hopes to repeat the success he had in the 2015 Chicago Marathon.Paul Beaty/Associated Press

An elite field of runners is expected to compete in the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, and that includes Dickson Chumba of Kenya, who has won this race in the past and was victorious in the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year.

The field includes 11 men who have run two hours, seven minutes or better and 11 women who have bettered the 2:25 mark. Chumba won the race in 2015, and his countryman Abel Kirui won the race in 2016. Kirui is also entered in this year's race.

American Galen Rupp will be looking to defend his title from last year, but he'll face stiff competition from Great Britain's Mo Farah. 

Brigid Kosgei and Birhane Dibaba are two of the elite women in the race. Kosgei finished second last year and Dibaba has reached the Chicago Marathon podium twice. Last year's winner Tirunesh Dibaba will not be defending her title. 

While elite runners will attempt to run dynamic and potentially record-setting races, the vast majority of the 45,000 runners are interested in setting personal bests or just finishing the 26.2-mile race.

The marathon will get underway when wheelchair participants take off at 7:20 a.m (CT). Three tiers of runners will follow at 7:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 8:35 a.m.

All runners are expected to finish the race in six hours and 30 minutes or less.

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The race starts and ends at opposite ends of Chicago's Grant Park and wends its way through 29 Chicago neighborhoods. The race route stretches north to Sheridan Road, west to Damen Avenue and south to 35th Street.

Here's a link to the 2018 race route. The course is basically the same as it has been in previous years, but there have been a couple of minor changes.

One of those involves cutting south on Loomis Avenue instead of Ashland Avenue. Runners will also cross the south branch of the Chicago River on Cermak Avenue. In previous years, that occurred on Halsted Avenue.

The City of Chicago has collaborated with marathon organizers for years by closing down a number of city streets so runners and spectators can take part without fear of dodging oncoming traffic and allowing them to concentrate on the race.

Here's the list of streets that will be closed, along with times when those streets will reopen.

Spectators are not permitted at the Grant Park start an finish lines. However, the recommended viewing spots include Grand Avenue between Columbus Drive and State Street, and there is a major viewing area at Michigan Avenue and Roosevelt Road.

Thunderstorms are predicted for Sunday's race, with temperatures in the low 60s, according to the Weather Channel.