Spectator Guide

Spectators are a huge part of the racing experience – with so many people lining the streets, it is just as important for spectators to prepare for race day as it is for the athletes themselves.

We have put together a list of the top tips for spectators to remember that will be sure you give their runner that extra kick they need!

Spectator Guide - All Things Expo
  • Date: July 14 – 15, 2017
  • Location: McCormick Place, Hall D1 Lakeside (map)
  • Expo Hours:
    • Friday, July 14: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
    • Saturday, July 15: 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Directions: For directions, please visit the McCormick Place website.
  • Parking:
    • Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon will be partnering with SP+ to offer participants and attendees of the expo a reduced parking fee during expo hours in McCormick Place Lot C. Participants and attendees need to bring their Lot C parking ticket to the expo and visit the Parking Validation booth to receive validation. Once the ticket is validated, parking will cost $10 ($23 without validation) upon exit. There will be no validation for parking lots other than Lot C.
  • Free and open to the public
  • 2017 Exhibitor List & Floor Plan
Spectator Guide - Grant Park Start/Finish Line
Spectator Guide - Viewing on Course
  • Best option to get around on race day is ride the “L”.  There are many spots on course that are easy walking distance to the “L” stops in downtown Chicago. “L” tickets are available through the CTA. For more information click here.
  • Start to Mile 6 (See your runner up to 6 times by only walking 1.5 miles!)
    1. From the Start Line on Columbus, walk north quickly on Columbus Drive to see runners at Columbus/E. Wacker Drive (.5 mile walk to view runners at Mile 1.3 on course)
      • You also get to experience the scenic Chicago River
    2. Walk west on E. Monroe Street to State Street, turn right on State Street and walk north to E. Randolph (.6 mile walk to view runners at Mile 2.5 on course)
      • On the way to State & Randolph, take a pit stop at Cloud Gate also known as “The Bean” on Michigan Avenue just north of Monroe
      • Once you’re at State & Randolph, walk one more block north on State Street to see the iconic Chicago Theatre
    3. From State & Randolph, walk one block south on State Street to Washington (.1 mile walk to view runners at Mile 4.3)
    4. Walk south on State Street along to the course to E. Van Buren (.5 mile walk to view runners at Mile 4.8)
      • See the historic Palmer House Hotel on the way
    5.  Walk east on E. Van Buren until you hit Michigan Ave. Walk 2 blocks south on Michigan Ave to E. Harrison (.3 mile walk to view runners at Mile 5.8)
    6. Hang out on Michigan Avenue “Chicago’s Magnificent Mile” or check out the Buckingham Fountain until your runner finishes just a block away on Columbus (South of E.Jackson)
  • Remember that roads begin closing at 5:00am. Refer to the road closures found here. Spectators can avoid delays by getting real-time traffic and road closure information using the free Waze App. Download it today to get directions to and from the race!
Map Out Your Cheer Stops

Just as a runner studies the course map, it is important for spectators to do, as well. Talk with your runner: where on course do they think they will need the most support? Planning ahead so your runner knows where to expect you gives them that added motivation to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Can you be at multiple points on course? Point-to-point courses require some additional planning, but it can be done.

FREE Runner Tracking

Runner Tracking technology lets you know the progress of your runner on race day. Convenient texts keeps you updated every step of the way. Click here for more information and to sign up. Runner tracking is compliments of Synchrony Financial.

Designate A Post-Race Meeting Area
After the race, reunite with runners in the Family Reunion area at the Finish Line Festival and relish in your runners’ post race accomplishment. With a large number of participants and thousands of excited spectators, it can be difficult to locate friends and family without a plan. It is highly recommended that you designate a meet up location BEFORE the race. The Family Reunion area will have tall, clearly-marked signs by letter (A – Z), so be sure to coordinate and plan to meet at a pre-determined letter.