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Chicago Marathon hopeful about 2021 mass participation race

Organizers are forging ahead with planning their 2021 and runners will be accepted through a tiered entry system

The Chicago Marathon registration has been postponed.

As 2020 draws to a close, the pandemic has yet to be resolved. Unfortunately, few World Majors ran in 2020, and the two that did (Tokyo and London) both had extremely small fields. However, the Chicago Marathon is optimistic about the possibility of running a mass participation race next fall. Organizers announced recently that they’re moving forward with planning the October 10, 2021, race. 

Brigid Kosgei breaking Paula Radcliffe’s marathon world record at Chicago in 2019

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A new application system

The Chicago fields are set to be selected through a tiered application system, which is now open to a limited number of people and will open to the public in January. According to Inside the Games, a limited application window will also open to runners who deferred their 2020 entries. The 5K is set to take place the day before, on October 9. Organizers told ITG, “We are moving forward with hope and optimism. The health and safety of participants, volunteers, spectators and the Chicago community remain at the forefront of our planning, and we are doing everything we can to safely bring the Chicago Marathon back to our city streets.”

Chicago Marathon
Photo: Chicago Marathon.

RELATED: Boston Marathon will not take place in spring 2021

No spring world majors for 2021

With the spring remaining uncertain, Boston has pushed their race to the fall, along with London. Both races historically ran in April, with Berlin, Chicago and New York taking the fall spots. Tokyo typically runs in March, but is now also scheduled for October. With all of the majors slotting themselves into a six-week period, the quality of the fields will certainly be diluted, but the return of mass participation races will be a welcome change.