2022 details TBA. Stay tuned! 

CARA Marathon VIP

Summer Marathon Training Program participants do NOT need to register to attend.


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Date & Time

Sunday, October 9, 2022

5:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


An exclusive VIP area for CARA runners on marathon day in Chicago


Palmer House Hilton

17 E. Monroe St.

Chicago, IL

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  • Comfortable indoor climate-controlled space to relax pre and post-race 

  • Private toilet area near the start corrals

  • Indoor Restrooms at the Palmer House Hilton

  • Hassle-Free Private Gear Check at the Palmer House Hilton

  • Pre-Race and Post-Race Hydration (Water and Gatorade Endurance)

  • Stretching and injury prevention screenings provided by Rush Physical Therapy

  • And more!


(See details below for notes on the status of some traditional amenities)


Event Details

Event Day Schedule (Tentative)

  • 5:30 a.m. - Venue Opens (Pre-Race)

  • 5:30 a.m. - Gear Check Opens

  • 10:30 a.m. - Post-Race Amenities Begin

  • 4:00 p.m. - Gear Check Closes / Venue Closes


  • Indoor Space: Palmer House Hilton Exhibit Hall 

    • 17 East Monroe St (Chicago)​

    • 16,909 square feet of indoor space

  • Outdoor Private Start Corral Toilets​

    • Located at Michigan Ave.​ & Van Buren St.


  • $45 - CARA Supporter Level Members Tickets (Registration Required)

  • $0 - CARA Summer Marathon Training Program Participant Tickets (Registration NOT Required)

  • Charity Partners (Charity partner runners, contact your charity team leader for details)

  • Ticket sales close 10/7 at 11:59 p.m.

Ticket Access:

  • Capacity is being limited to provide a safe and comfortable environment.

  • Tickets are only available to:

    • CARA Summer Marathon Training Program Runners (guaranteed access, no registration required)

    • CARA Supporter Level Members

    • Official CARA Charity Partners (registration accessible by private link available from charity team leaders)

  • Tickets are available to eligible persons only, no exceptions.

  • Tickers available until capacity is reached.

  • Tickets may NOT be purchased on behalf of others, and shoe tags may not be transferred to others. A photo ID of the named ticket holder is required to enter.

  • Training program runners not participating in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon are asked not to attend, unless volunteering, to help limit the number of people gathering.

Guest Policy (2021):

  • For 2021, guest may NOT enter the venue or be present on the venue floor. Friends or family may not meet you within VIP in 2021. They will be barred from entry. Please meet your friends and family in public hotel spaces on the ground floor or outside the Palmer House.

  • Friends and family are encouraged to volunteer to gain access to the room. Details coming soon.

Shoe Tag Pick-Up:

  • Registered attendees who do not have a shoe tag must check-in at the help desk at the event to pick-up their tag. This includes training program runners who did not pick up a tag, did not receive a tag, or lost their tag. 

  • CARA will NOT have pick-up at the Abbott Health and Fitness Expo in 2021.

  • A mailing option will be available during registration from September 1 until September 27th. Shoe tags will be mailed out after the September 27 deadline. 

  • Training program runners who did not pick up a shoe tag or lost it, may log into their registration after 9/1 to have it mailed to them if they do not want to need to pick it up on event day.

Gear Check Provided:

  • Indoor VIP gear check provided at the Palmer House.

  • Participants can check a bag of any reasonable size.

Food & Beverage:

  • Snack goody bags from various CARA partners will be available.

  • Participants can purchase additional food/meals from the Palmer House in the main lobby.

  • Participants may bring in personal food items.

  • Coffee is not available at VIP. There is a Starbucks inside the Palmer House lobby.

Changes for 2021:

  • Please note our guest policy. No guest are allowed in 2021 in the room or on the venue floor as we have a limited capacity for COVID19 safety.

  • Beer and medal engraving are NOT included in 2021. Due to COVID19, it is our goal to limit amenities that result in prolonged congregating post-race, or will have the need for prolonged removal of masks.

  • Tickets are only available to CARA Supporter Level Members, marathon training program runners, and our charity partners as we limit capacity.

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Entrance Requirements: Attendees must meet requirements 1 through 5 to attend and enter CARA Marathon VIP.

  • 1. CARA 2021 Summer Marathon Training Shoe Tag:

    • Attendees must have a 2021 CARA Summer Marathon Training Program Shoe Tag attached to one shoe at all times while at the event. Tags must be worn on shoe, and should not be carried or attached to a bag.

  • 2. Check-In Pass & Photo ID:

    • Attendees must be prepared to show their photo ID and "Check-In Pass" on their phone (or printed) upon initial entry pre-race. Access to check-in passes will be provided by email prior to the event. Attendees must have photo ID available that matches the name on their Check-In Pass. Persons may not enter the event by using another persons shoe tag.

  • 3. Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID Test:

    • In conduction with the policy to participate in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, all attendees at CARA Marathon VIP are required to provide proof of a complete COVID-19 vaccination series or a negative COVID-19 test result to attend CARA's Marathon VIP event. Registered participants who are not fully vaccinated are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result for a test administered within 72 hours of attending (Sunday, October 10). The event defines “fully vaccinated” as individuals who are two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

    • Marathon participants will complete their screening as part of the official Chicago Marathon packet pick-up process at the Abbott Health and Fitness Expo. A Chicago Marathon provided wristband or bib provided after screening will serve as proof of eligibility to enter CARA Marathon VIP.

    • Those not screened by the Chicago Marathon at the expo must show proof of vaccination (hard copy, photocopy or digital version of an immunization record) or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of attending the event at CARA Marathon VIP Help Desk before entry.

    • Individuals unable to prove full vaccination or negative test will be barred from entering the venue.

    • This policy recognizes COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Accepted COVID-19 tests are those that have received FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) and include RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, lateral flow, and rapid antigen tests.

    • Individuals based in the United States can visit www.vaccinefinder.org for more information on COVID-19 vaccines and to find a vaccination location.

  • 4. Mask:

    • Participants must wear an appropriate mask at all times while indoors at the event, except while eating or drinking, regardless of vaccination status. Face coverings must be two-ply at a minimum and cover the mouth and nose securely. Single-ply neck gaiters and face shields are NOT acceptable facial coverings.

  • 5. Additional Health Safety Guidelines:

    • Do not attend if you are feeling sick or ill, and or have a fever, or if you are unvaccinated and have been in contact with someone unrecovered from COVID-19.

    • Persons from high-risk groups for COVID-19 complications should consult their physician before attending.

    • Participants are encouraged to avoid traditional forms of physical contact (handshakes, high-fives, hugs, partner stretching, etc.), as well as close group gathering (group pictures, etc.).

    • Do not spit or blow nose at the event.

    • Do not share personal items, such as hydration, energy gels, towels, etc.

    • Participants may be required to exit the event should their actions not meet expectations and or they are creating risk for themselves or others