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The 2025 Chicago Marathon Announced Qualification Times… And They’re Fast

Even faster than Boston...

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The Boston Marathon is touted for its challenging qualification times, and achieving the stringent standard is a reason for celebration among marathon runners. While many consider qualifying for Boston one of the most challenging things a marathon runner can do, it seems the Chicago Marathon also wants a piece of that reputation.

The Chicago Marathon organizers recently released the qualifying times for the 2025 edition and made some dramatic changes. These changes were so dramatic that the qualifying times for the 2025 Chicago Marathon are now five minutes faster than the Boston Marathon qualifying times.

The 2025 Chicago Marathon Announced Qualification Times... And They're Fast 1
Photo Credit: Chicago Marathon

Can You Still Run The Chicago Marathon Without Running A qualifying Time?

While running a qualifying time will get you a guaranteed entry into the 2025 Chicago Marathon, it isn’t the only way to get your spot in the iconic race.

One of the most common ways runners get their spot in the Chicago Marathon is through the lottery. The lottery is the non-guaranteed method of entry into the Chicago Marathon but it is ideal for individuals who haven’t met any of the criteria for guaranteed entry.

Alongside the non-guaranteed entry, there are multiple other ways to secure guaranteed entry into the Chicago Marathon, including:

  • Legacy Finisher: “If you have finished the Bank of America Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years you can guarantee your spot in the 2025 Bank of America Chicago Marathon as a legacy finisher.”
  • Charity Program: “Individuals who are interested in running and fundraising on behalf of an official event charity can guarantee their spot in the 2025 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. While fundraising requirements may vary from charity to charity, participants are required to raise no less than $1,250 (USD) if the entry is claimed during the application window and $1,750 (USD) if the entry is claimed following the application window.”
  • Bank Of America Chicago Distance Series: “If you completed all three 2023 Bank of America Chicago Distance Series events (Shamrock Shuffle, Chicago 13.1 and Chicago Marathon) in person, you can guarantee your spot in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.”
  • 2024 Cancelled Entry: “If you successfully completed the process to cancel your 2024 Bank of America Chicago Marathon entry to 2025 through our standard event policy, you must submit a 2025 application to guarantee your spot in the 2024 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.”
  • Pregnancy And Postpartum Policy: “If you successfully completed the process to cancel your 2024 Bank of America Chicago Marathon entry through the event’s Pregnancy and Postpartum Policy, you must submit a 2025 application to guarantee your spot in the 2025 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.”
The 2025 Chicago Marathon Announced Qualification Times... And They're Fast 2

Here Are The Changes To The 2025 Chicago Marathon Qualifying Times

In years past, the Chicago Marathon’s time standards for guaranteed entry were typically five to ten minutes slower than the qualification times for the Boston Marathon. Now, the roles have reversed, and the Boston Marathon times trail those of the Chicago Marathon by five to ten minutes.

Alongside changes to the time standards, the age groups were also changed. The Chicago Marathon standards were typically split into seven age groups. However, there are now 11 groups, spanning every five years after the first age group of 18-34 year olds. 

Interestingly, as the age increases, so does the time difference from the previous standard. You could be facing a 10-minute difference, a 30-minute difference, or no difference at all.

Along with changes to the times and the age categories, women’s standards have been affected more dramatically by the changes than men’s.

The 2025 Chicago Marathon Announced Qualification Times... And They're Fast 3
Photo Credit: Chicago Marathon

Check out the new 2025 Chicago Marathon time standards:

Age GroupMenWomenNon-Binary
18 – 342:55:003:25:003:25:00
35 – 393:00:003:30:003:30:00
40 – 443:05:003:35:003:35:00
45 – 493:15:003:45:003:45:00
50 – 543:20:003:50:003:50:00
55 – 593:30:004:00:004:00:00
60 – 643:45:004:15:004:15:00
65 – 694:00:004:30:004:30:00
70 – 744:15:004:45:004:45:00
75 – 794:30:005:00:005:00:00
80 and over4:50:005:20:005:20:00

Compared to the 2024 Chicago Marathon standards:

Age GroupMenWomenNon-Binary
16 – 293:05:003:35:003:35:00
30 – 393:10:003:40:003:40:00
40 – 493:20:003:50:003:50:00
50 – 593:35:004:20:004:20:00
60 – 694:00:005:00:005:00:00
70 – 794:30:005:55:005:55:00
80 and over5:25:006:10:006:10:00
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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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