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Registration opens for 2021 Chicago Marathon

Next year’s marathon is scheduled for Oct. 10, organizers said in a news release Thursday. This year’s race was canceled because of COVID-19.

Runners participate in the Chicago Marathon, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Chicago.
Runners pack the route during the 2016 Chicago Marathon. This year’s race was canceled because of the pandemic. Race organizers are moving ahead with plans for a 2021 on the same scale as in years past, but acknowledge public health concerns may curtail the number of runners allowed to participate.

Planning for the 2021 Chicago Marathon is off to the races, organizers announced Thursday, after this year’s event was canceled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The 43rd running of the race is now scheduled for Oct. 10.

As part of a tiered application process, registration opened Thursday for those who deferred their registration and others who plan to run on behalf of a charity.

A second open enrollment period will be announced in January.

Last month’s marathon was nixed for only the second time in the race’s history and relegated to the virtual realm over public health concerns.

A marathon spokeswoman said organizers are now “preparing for an event at the size and scale we’ve seen in the past.” The race typically draws at around 45,000 runners, as well as spectators and supporters that line the route and gather at the finish line.

With cases of COVID-19 spiking again, organizers said they’re working closely with city officials on plans “that align with Chicago’s public health and safety guidance.” That could ultimately limit the number of participants, the spokeswoman acknowledged.

“We are moving forward with hope and optimism,” said Carey Pinkowski, executive race director. “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 Bank of America Chicago Marathon back to our city streets.”

Entry fees are $205 for U.S. residents and $230 for runners from other countries.