Category Archive: Chicago Half Marathon

2019 Athlete Guide Now Available

Welcome to Race Week of the 11th Annual Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K produced by Life Time.

While you’ve been putting in the training miles, our production team has been making preparations to make this year’s race the best one ever!

Whether you’ll be running the half marathon or the 10K distance, we can’t wait for you to take part in this truly Chicago race experience race; not to mention the Spring Market Finish Festival in gorgeous Maggie Daley Park.

Check out the Athlete Guide for detailed schedules, packet pick-up dates and times, course information and more!

> View the 2019 Athlete Guide here

Please keep an eye on our website, Facebook page and emails for any additional updates before the race. We’ll see you at the Start line!

2018 Athlete Guide Now Available

Get ready for the 2018 Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K taking place Sunday, May 20! We’ve been making preparations to make this year’s race the best one ever!

Whether you’ll be running the half marathon or the 10K distance, we can’t wait for you to celebrate the 10th running of this special race and experience race weekend; not to mention the Spring Market Finish Festival venue out of gorgeous Maggie Daley Park.

Check out the Athlete Guide for detailed schedules, packet pick-up dates and times, course information and more!

> View the 2018 Athlete Guide here

Please keep an eye on our website, Facebook page and emails for any additional updates before the race. We’ll see you at the Start line!

Made In Chicago – Champions!


10K and Half Marathon State Championships Coming to Chicago

Chicago, IL  (March 22) — The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, and Chicago Half Marathon & 5K produced by Life Time® Healthy Way of Life, are partnering with the USA Track & Field (USATF) – Illinois Association to host state champioinships. Together with Life Time, the nation’s premier healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment brand, USATF – Illinois will be a driving force in providing a premier race experience for local developing athletes.

Set for Sunday, May 20, the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K will host this years’ USATF – Illinois 10K Championship. While on Sunday, September 23, the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K will host the USATF – Illinois Half Marathon Championship.

“Life Time has grown the interest and demand for a quality race experience using an athlete first approach and including participants of all abilities” said Gregory Evans, Long Distance Running Chair for USATF – Illinois Association. “USATF Illinois is proud to bring the national governing body to the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K and Chicago Half Marathon, adding another level of benefits to the participants and other race partners.”

“Partnering with USATF – Illinois is the next step as we continue to build on providing quality, premier race experiences for our athletes.” said Life Time Run Brand Manager, Dan Lakin, says of the USATF – Illinois partnership,  “Life Time is dedicated to improving our local communities, and providing events that are best-in-class. Whether an elite athlete or a beginner,  Life Time and USATF provide a vehicle to foster athletes at every level along their healthy way of life journey. We’re excited to to welcome the State Championships to Chicago at this years’ event and for years to come.”

An estimated 8,000 runners are expected to participate in this year’s Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K and another 13,000 are expected to take on the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K this September.  In addition to age group and masters awards; each race will offer a prize purse to the top 3 men and women:

10K Championship Half Marathon Championship
1st Place $500 $1,000
2nd Place $250 $500
3rd Place $250 $500

To place in a championship race, registered participants must be a current member of USATF at the time of the race. Information on USATF membership and it’s benefits may be found at

About the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K

The Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K, in its 10th year, benefits the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Participants will run either 13.1 miles or 10K (6.1 miles) starting along famed Grant Park traversing South along Columbus Drive, and run through Museum Campus and along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront before finishing in Maggie Daley Park. In its inaugural year, 1900 people signed up for the race, today it is one of the most in-demand racecs in Chicago selling out at just over 8,000 participants.
More information is available at

About the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K
The Chicago Half Marathon & 5K, in it’s 22nd year, highlights Chicago’s south shore. Stepping off from historic Jackson Park, participants traverse through Hyde Park before navigating along a traffic-free Lake Shore Drive. The Chicago Half Marathon is a flat and fast course offering up stunning views of Chicago’s famed skyline and a triumphant finish at the foot of the “Golden Lady” (Statue of the Republic).
More information at

Both races are part of the Chicagoland Half Marathon Series which includes the Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K (May 20) and the Chicago Half Marathon & 5K (September 23) and awards participants for completing 2 half marathons within the same year. 

About Life Time®, Healthy Way of Life

Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across 131 destinations in 37 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation’s only Healthy Way of Life brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompasses the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages. For more information visit 

About USATF – Illinois

USATF – Illinois seeks to promote the sport and its local athletes across the state, and is one of 57 USATF Associations across the country. Visit for more information.

Based in Indianapolis, USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world’s oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. Information on USATF membership and it’s benefits may be found at

How a Grassroots Push Became a Global Movement

Global Running Day is a day celebrated all around the world. It is a time for people of all different ages, backgrounds, and abilities to come together to celebrate the sport of running. In total, about 145 different countries participate and run on this day.

Originally known as National Running Day, the event has traditionally fallen on the first Wednesday of the month of June. The inaugural event took place in 2009 and was heralded in an informal manner “befit(ting) running’s grassroots heritage and most runners’ belief that running is a lifetime activity best practiced regularly throughout the year” states Scott Douglas for Runner’s World.

For the most part, running has taken a back seat in the spotlight vehicle with an audience consisting mainly of pros and elites. There was the emergence in the 70’s of the fitness wave thanks to athletic celebrities such as Steve Prefontaine and Joan Benoit who sparked interest in the average joe. Not to mention the birth of Nike, which continues to hold the crown globally in running shoe sales. To the detriment of men and women’s’ self esteem everywhere, the 90’s brought with it Kate Moss and the “thin chic” era. For a couple of decades after there seemed to be a hole in the endurance world perpetuated by the polarization of health from fitness as well as a humanization of accoladed elites who’s legacy were tarnished by doping charges.

What brought upon the reemergence of endurance sports? Well, there are several matters to point out. The mid 2000’s brought an explosion across the nation of themed, shorter distance events such as The Color Run and the Hot Chocolate Series which expanded the almost exclusive world of running to amateurs and beginners alike. These “fun runs” brought together runners of all ages, levels and ethnicities on a common ground whether it was a local fundraiser, school event or favorite theme (we see you runDisney).

Furthermore, social media platforms have truly opened the world stage. One thing is to read Brad Pitt’s weight loss and muscle toning transformation for the movie Troy and the other is to read Average Joe from high schools’ amazing transformation. It has allowed the real and the genuine to prevail. It has also allowed there to be a plethora of  techniques, nutrition plans and fitness regiments available for each type of person to choose from. In addition, just as the world has become more available, our local communities have in turn become more “runner-friendly”.  Abandoned overpasses and overgrown lots have been cleaned and transformed allowing anyone a safe and free space to escape from the daily routine.

“Global Running Day is a day for people around the world to celebrate the joys of running. The key is to share your passion for the sport and inspire others to get moving.”

Collectively, we have joined together as a global running community. Thousands of run clubs, fitness shops, intramural clubs, after school programs even local bars meet every week across the nation to run. Fitness once again reigns. Today, Global Running Day has over 100 different sponsors from all across the globe who support the overall mission behind this day. Some of these sponsors include 023 Run Club, Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), Abbott, Boston Road Runners (BRR), Conqur, Maratona di Roma, Running for all European Athletics, and many others. Not only does this day aim to unite people from all over the world with the sport of running, but also to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for everyone.

  • CK & AT
 “2016 Global Running Day – Houston Marathon.” Chevron Houston Marathon. N.p., 02 May 2016. Web. 26 May 2017.
“Global Running Day.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 May 2017. Web. 26 May 2017.

Million Kid Run

In the spirit of Global Running Day, people of all different ages and abilities are encouraged to pledge to run. With these different age divisions comes one for the kids. The Million Kid Run is an aspect of Global Running Day that aims at getting one million kids from all over the globe to participate in running. The whole idea behind it is to get kids moving and keep them active. In 2016, there were over 600,000 kids who pledged to run (672,030 to be exact). Not bad for the first year the idea was introduced! This year, our goal is to increase that number even more.

While the concept of the Million Kid Run is one that was just recently introduced during Global Running Day in 2016, the initiative of getting kids to be more active was introduced years ago. In 2010, the campaign that aimed at reducing childhood obesity rates for the younger generation was introduced by President Obama. Leading this Let’s Move movement was first lady, Michelle Obama. The overall goal of this campaign sought to diminish obesity rates as well as raise awareness to this growing problem in a generation that our country was faced with. The health, fitness, and lifestyle of our youth is something that Michelle Obama has set out to improve.

“The physical and emotional health of an entire generation and the economic health and security of our nation is at stake.”

Obesity and health problems go hand in hand. A person who is obese faces the increased risk of chronic health problems including diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart problems. The Let’s Move initiative seeks to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle for kids all across the world in order to ensure that they are able to live their lives to the fullest potential. The Million Kid Run is no exception to this campaign. The Million Kid Run reinforces what Let’s Move stand for: a healthy and active lifestyle for all children.

Our event at the Grant Park Plaza is located in a family-friendly area, where we encourage people of all ages to come out and run. This day emphasizes the importance of running and staying active in a fun and carefree way. There is no winner or loser and no specified pace in which participants must run. This ensures that there is a simplified purpose behind the run: to see the fun side of fitness and a healthy lifestyle. We aim to inspire kids to celebrate a healthy and fun lifestyle with people from all around the world!




Works Cited:

“Global Running Day.” Global Running Day. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2017.

National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 31 May 2017.


I’ll Give You (13.1) Reasons Why You Should Run a Half Marathon

Athlete running during half marathon

Since 2003, participation in half marathons has been steadily increasing. If your skepticism or questioning in your abilities is holding you back from running in one of these races, we are here to convince you otherwise.




  • To say you did. How great is it going to feel when you cross that finish line, and you can look at your friends, family, and YOURSELF, and say “I did it. I actually did it.” Not only will you have a newfound feeling of accomplishment, you will also have some bragging rights.


  • To get that medal. I mean…have you seen those things?! The medal you receive for finishing a half marathon is something that you can show off and cherish for the rest of your life. No matter how much time goes by, that medal will serve as a reminder of something that you proudly accomplished earlier in your lifetime.


  • To check it off your bucket list. Everybody has one or more thing(s) that they want to accomplish at some point in their lifetime. If running a half or full marathon isn’t on it, it should be! Completing a half or marathon is something that some people dream of doing one day. Why not join in?!


  • Because you can. Thomas Jefferson once stated that “if we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” If you believe that completing a half marathon is impossible, rid yourself of that mindset. You truly can do anything you set your mind to, and running a half marathon is no exception.


  • To inspire others. The opportunity to inspire action and change in others is a feeling that cannot compare to most others. There are those around you who will be moved by the risk you are taking and might even be inspired enough to run a half marathon of their own one day!


  • You might actually like it. Don’t just assume that you are going to hate it. Look at the glass half full because you could actually enjoy participating in a half marathon. Stop looking at all the negatives that you think could come with it, and start looking at the positives!


  • To feel a part of something bigger than yourself. Half marathons draw in anywhere from hundreds to thousands of participants. Not only will you be participating with all those who are running with you, but also all the people around the world who run in these races as well.


  • The perks. Not only do you get a flashy medal, but you also get a t-shirt and other perks that your specific race has to offer. Most races offer food and drink after your race is over along with some live entertainment! Who doesn’t love free stuff? J


  • The scenic and fun races you can participate in. There are races all over that you can compete in. Whether you want to run along the beach in Miami or run along Lake Shore drive in downtown Chicago, there are always beautiful sites to be seen.


  • You want to run a full marathon one day. If your goal is to run a full marathon one day, build up to it. Starting off with a half marathon is a great way to see where you’re at when it comes to your progress in running a full!


  • Because others can’t. There are some people out there who would love the opportunity to participate in a half marathon, but they physically cannot. Run for those who can’t.


  • You never have to do it again. Simply put, if you run it once and don’t enjoy it, no one will force you to do one again.


  • Get in shape. We aren’t going to sugar coat it…13.1 miles is not a short distance. BUT, that’s why there are training programs that have been created to make sure you are in the shape you need to complete a half marathon. If you are looking to shed some calories and get yourself in shape, running a half marathon is the perfect way to do it.


13.1) Because really…why not? So, after reading all of this, why not run a half marathon?


Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.”- Louis D. Brandeis


Race Recovery Needs

“IT’S FINALLY OVER” seems to have been the consensus we heard throughout the Spring Market Finish Festival on Sunday. As thousands of runners meandered their way from the Finish to the venue grab food and drinks, there were some who simply plotted down on a nice stretch of grass and called it a day. The human body is a magnificent structure unparalleled to any in the animal kingdom. In its top shape, we are invincible.

But like all finely tuned structures, maintenance and recovery are key. We know that the days following an event there are those who opt from anywhere between: A) I am doing NOTHING for the next couple of days to B) a nice 3 mile run on Tuesday will be just what I need! Please see below on some great recovery tips to get you safely back on the run!



For beginners and pros alike, there is nothing more important than allowing your body to rest after a big race. The amount of exertion and pressure placed on muscle and joints on race day calls for an equal amount of rest. Getting back on the road or a machine can actually increase your risk of injury or performing bad workouts as you may still be sore or sensitive from the event. We understand that you just completed heavy mileage and you don’t want to lose your stamina. That’s completely fine but take it slow if you can’t stay away- use cross training and fill your next days with alternate exercises such as swimming or yoga or a nice long walk to keep your muscles active without heavy exertion.



Have you ever seen a brake pad when it needs to be changed? Ok, so that might be a dramatic example but your body is worn out after a race; not only because of race day but due to the cumulative days of training leading up to it. Your body needs maintenance. Massages and stretches are highly recommended in the days that follow. This will help your body’s circulation to heal your body naturally. If you are feeling extra soreness, ice baths or baths with Epsom salt are an easy and efficient solution. Avoid anything that will weigh heavy on your knees or feet.



You have been training for months and have put your heart and soul into pushing yourself across that Finish line. On race day, a huge amount of endorphins are released and can often leave you feeling fatigued or event lightly depressed in the days that follow. Some runners have experienced feeling lost or unbalanced. This is normal. There is a recovery period emotionally as well as your body stabilizes from overworking the endorphins. We have seen that continuing your routine will help to create a sense of continuity and balance. Continue meeting up with friends or your run group but maybe go for a yoga session or a low interval boxing class to keep your energy levels up.



Running long distance can heavily deplete your body’s antioxidant and energy reserves. During your recovery period, you want to eat foods that will aid your body in replenishing these reserves. Whole grains and protein will help your muscles recover and repair while being easy to digest in case you still feel uneasy after the race. Avocados, cottage cheese with fruit, nuts, not only rich in potassium but in monosaturated fats can help boost overall cardiovascular health. Hydration is also key! Replenish your body with lots of water as well as vitamin-rich drinks such as fruit smoothies or pure juices to elevate your electrolytes and antioxidants.



Most importantly, take pride in your accomplishments. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t make your goal time or pace. Take the time to go through your training and race day and jot down what worked for you and what didn’t. Reflect on how you felt throughout the race and how you can improve. Post and share with your family and friends who’s support and encouragement kept you going mile after mile. We all run for different reasons- remember those reasons. The beauty of the human experience is that there is always another day, another race, another chance for improvement. YOU are invincible!


Gustafson, Kristin. “7 Post-RaceRecovery Tips.” Web blog post. Active Network, LLC. Retrieved May 23, 2017

Another Race in the Books!

Runners head south on N Columbus Drive

From all of us at Life Time Athletic Events, we want to thank you for sharing your Sunday morning with us. The 2017 Chicago Half Marathon and 10K event was a wonderful experience on our end and we have received nothing but radiant and positive feedback from our athletes. What started as a slightly gloomy, humid morning blossomed into a brilliant and gorgeous spring day which showcased the beauty of our city for our runners. Athletes enjoyed the fruits of their labor at Maggie Daley Park where a hearty breakfast buffet, refreshing cold beer, great music and local vendors awaited athletes and spectators alike!


2017 Highlights Video

Thank you to the crew at We Fly Miami for this stunning video footage of the event.


2017 Overall Winners



Don’t miss out on these limited, early bird prices for the 10th annual Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K on Sunday, May 20, 2018.

Entry Fee Breakdown

Register NOW! 

Weather and EAS Update!

Good evening athletes!

As runners, we have to be ready for almost every kind of weather situation and on Sunday our 2017 Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K holds the possibility of throwing a few different weather experiences your way. As of this evening, we are currently GREEN on our Emergency Alert System. Nevertheless, even though we have our fingers crossed that it will be a sunny and dry morning, it might not work out that way. We wanted to remind you about a few things you can do to prep for a rainy half marathon or 10k race.

A bit of wind, rain, sun, clouds … basically the usual unpredictable weather of Chicago! Expect the unexpected, plan for the worst, and hope for the best! As they say in show business… The race must go on!

10 Tips for Running in the Rain

  1. Stay away from the water as much as possible before the race. Do your best to get to the race on time, but find as much cover as possible until the final race calls to get into the corrals. Bring an umbrella and then toss it to a friend or relative not running right before jumping into the corrals. Stay dry as long as you can, but don’t forget to do some dynamic warm-ups before you start on your run!  Maybe a trash bag or inexpensive and fashionable “poncho” will do the trick to keep you dry. Keep those shoes out of puddles as much as you can too.
  2. Dress in layers if it’s cold, but be sure not to overdress. It’s important that you wear SMART layers. Wear enough to keep you comfortable throughout the race, but make sure you don’t get too hot as the run goes on. Wearing a wind shell made of a waterproof material as your top layer can be a great way to keep your core temperature up and hold in your body heat. This tip will be HUGE to consider if it’s raining or cold outside. Say no to cotton- it is not rain friendly and will bog you down.
  3. Make yourself visible. Those “extra” neon clothes that you have been dying to wear might just come in handy after all. When it rains, it gets darker, making it harder for others to see you. Making sure you are always visible to fellow runners as well as bystanders to ensure your safety during the run is essential. Plus, when else are you going to get to wear those neon leggings?
  4. Reduce your chances of chafing excessively. Use bodyglide or petroleum jelly when you’re dry. It’s a good idea to put it on in the car before you head to the Start line. Think about where you may have body parts rub against fabric or even against itself. If you decide to go with shorts, it might be a smart idea to throw on some compression shorts underneath to prevent the chaffing! Some places to consider: above the heel, toes, under arms, between thighs… we think you get the picture.
  5. Cover that head. One of the most annoying and distracting things is water dripping across your face for the entirety of the run. We would hate for you to miss the view of the beautiful city of Chicago during the race! Keeping the water out of your eyes using a light runner’s cap or a visor will help you focus on the ground and the course ahead of you so you don’t stumble on anything or anyone.
  6. Get a grip! If the bottom of your shoes has a smooth, flat surface, you risk the chance of slipping while running. Having grooves in the soles of your shoes is a huge factor that can help you run faster, better, and safer. This will allow you to get a better overall grip on the road you are running.
  7. Glasses might not help you see. If you wear glasses, be sure to bring your windshield wipers. Just kidding, but be ready for them to fog up because of the rain. So, either wear your contacts or have something dry in your shorts (maybe inside of a plastic bag) to dry your glasses from time to time.
  8. Protect those electronics! We know you want to take those selfies, but don’t forget to put that phone in a waterproof case or a Ziploc bag to make sure you can snap that shot after crossing the line wearing your beautiful finisher’s medal. After all, a damaged smart phone can make for a long rest of your run.
  9. Hydrate during the run. Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean the water is getting in your body. So, make sure you are using the aid stations we have out there accordingly. We have Gatorade Endurance and water at each of the aid stations along the way. Say hi and thank you to the volunteers out there braving the same conditions you are too.
  10. Check in some clothes into gear check. Make sure you pack some extra clothes to change into after the race. We want you to hang out at Maggie Daley Park for the Spring Market Finish Festival after you’re finished!


Emergency Alert System

This race will utilize the EAS (Emergency Alert System), encompassing a color-coded system to reveal live race conditions. Participants will notice flags posted throughout the race venue, at the finish line and at each aid station on race day. In addition, EAS updates will be communicated through PA announcements, social media and web posts and/or dedicated emails.


From all of us at Life Time Athletic Events, we want to wish you all a safe and wonderful event tomorrow!  We hope you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed producing for it. Take in the sights and smile for the cameras; see you all in the morning!

Download the Chicago Spring Half Marathon Race Day App

We’re excited to announce that the Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K is now part of the new Race Day powered by Athlinks app.

The Race Day powered by Athlinks mobile app allows you to:

  • Check out schedules, explore the course and find all the information you need to plan your day.
  • Live tracking for participants and spectators**.
  • View race results live as the race is taking place.
  • Receive all of the latest event news as it happens.
  • Sponsors/Vendors – find exhibitors in the Finish Festival

Download the app today!



**Live Tracking:

  • Participant:
    • Download the Race Day App
      • Ensure location services are enabled
    • Select the “Track” icon.
    • Choose “Competitor”
    • Enter your bib number and select “Login”
    • Select “Start Tracking” as you lineup to start the race.
  • Spectator:
    • Ensure your athlete has downloaded the Race Day App.
    • Download the Race Day App
    • Select the “Track” icon.
    • Choose “Spectator”
      • Using the magnifying glass in the top right corner, type the name or bib number of the participant you wish to track.
    • Track your participant and meet them at the Finish Line!

Note: Rosters are updates at noon EST each business day leading up to the race.