The Bank of America Chicago 13.1 is Chicago’s newest half marathon with its inaugural event in 2022 after being postponed due to the pandemic. The vision of the half marathon was to reimagine running events in Chicago, extending beyond the lakefront and creating a festival-like race experience for runners and community members alike.
The race is a step in the right direction around the evolution of Chicago’s running culture and is a celebration of Chicago’s exceedingly popular West Side.
The Bank of America Chicago 13.1 Race Details
When: June 4, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Where: Garfield Park, Chicago
Race Website: chicago13point1.com
The Bank of America Chicago 13.1 Course
The course begins in Garfield Park, home of the Garfield Park Conservatory, one of the nation’s most extensive botanical conservatories. The course is shaped like a horseshoe with Garfield Park in the center.
The first six miles of the race take runners north to Humboldt Park, known for its beloved lush green space and culturally rich community, and back to Garfield Park.
The back half of the race takes runners to Douglass Park, named for abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and is home to 218-acres of outdoor recreational fields and playgrounds, ponds, and gardens. Runners exit Douglass Park at mile 10, and make their way down to the finish line for the race day festival.
Over the 13 miles, there are eight aid stations with water and Nuun hydration.
The West Side of Chicago
Most other popular Chicago half marathons have built their courses along Lake Michigan. Chicago’s west side is home to former warehouses, printing, and garment districts which have been more recently converted into culinary destinations as well as home to company offices of Google and Uber.
The West Side is also home to the United Center, where the Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Bulls play.
While Chicago’s west side has exploded in popularity to residents and culture, the running community had yet to make its mark before the Bank of America Chicago 13.1.
The Bank of America Chicago 13.1 Race Day Festival
While most parties you attend don’t begin at 8:00 am, when you’re running a half marathon, you should start celebrating as soon as you cross the finish line. The Race Day Festival is held in conjunction with the race for both event participants and community members. The event takes place at Garfield park and hosts Chicago’s best with live music, stretching clinics, yoga, food and drink.
All finishers receive a Nike race shirt and an official finisher’s medal.
The West Side eighborhood
After the race, take time to explore the west side. Some of the organizer’s recommendations are Monday Coffee in Garfield Park, founded by Amanda Christine Harth and Felton Kizer. The coffee is brewed and bottled in small batches in Chicago and roasted in Grand Rapids, MI. Nellies near Humboldt Park which is home to avena de coco, or coconut oatmeal. Or the beelove cafe, where they serve up not only sweet treats and drinks, but also jobs supporting their not-for-profit mission to the community.
June 4, 2023 at 7:00 AM
The race sees around 6,000 runners.
You can read our Best Chicago Half Marathons article.
Here’s a list of nearby hotels to the half marathon.
This article was produced in partnership with Chicago Event Management, producer of the Bank of America Chicago 13.1.