Organizers of canceled Chicago Marathon announce ‘virtual experience’ for runners

Registered runners are being encouraged to create their own 26.2 mile course and submit their times.

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Thousands of runners participate in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon October 12, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois.

Bank of America Chicago Marathon organizers have a created “virtual marathon.”

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Runners whose hopes were dashed by the cancellation of the Chicago Marathon are being encouraged to run 26.2 miles on their own and submit their times.

Bank of America Chicago Marathon organizers announced Tuesday that anyone who’d signed up for the marathon is eligible for the “virtual marathon.”

“People will create a course in their own neighborhoods or on a treadmill and then they can submit their results and see how they track with other people participating in the experience as well,” marathon spokeswoman Alex Sawyer said.

Runners can download a “digital bib” and submit their marathon times between Oct. 6 and Oct. 11, which would have been marathon Sunday.

Race organizers announced July 13 the 2020 race would be canceled due to the pandemic.

Anyone who was signed up for this year’s marathon has until Sept. 2 to select whether they want a full refund or the opportunity to push their race bib to 2021, 2022 or 2023, Sawyer said.

If runners don’t select one of those options before the deadline, they’ll automatically be issued a refund — $205 for U.S. residents and $230 for people from out of the country, Sawyer said. 

The race has averaged about 45,000 finishers over the past few years. 

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