Chicago Marathon 2018 – Application

As I mentioned in my previous post I’m planing to run 2 World Marathon Majors in 2018.  You can read about my Berlin application and acceptance in HERE.

The application opened up on the 24th of October 2017 and it was closed on the 30th of November 2017.

If you planning to run the race there are a few options to enter the race. Loads of options for Guaranteed entries are available and there are also the Non-Guaranteed Entry ( Lottery ).

 Guaranteed Entries:

  • Time qualifiers who have met the event’s age graded qualifying standards (not me ).
  • Legacy finishers who have completed the Chicago Marathon five or more times within the last 10 years ( not me ).
  • Runners who cancelled their 2017 entry through the event deferment opportunity   ( not me ) .
  • Charity runners who are fundraising for an official charity as part of the Chicago Marathon Charity Program ( could be me ) .
  • International runners (non-U.S.) participating in the official International Tour Group Program ( could be me ) .
  • Runners who have completed the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K four or more times since 2008 and have signed up for the 2018 Shamrock Shuffle ( not me ).

Non-Guaranteed Entry:

If you don’t qualify for any of the above or just simply don’t have / want to spend money on fundraising / tour operators then your only option is to apply for the Lottery.

I was really hesitant about what to do. I knew well that I want to run the race no matter what. I was thinking about signing up for the lottery and if I don’t get drawn out then I will sign up with the same travel agency I used for New York ( 2:09 Events ). But unfortunately when the announced their 2018 prices I was surprised that they not offering the ” flight + entry” option any more. It turns out there was some changing in the rules so they only can offer ” hotel + entry” or the full package. I’ve done some calculations and for me and hubby the full package would have been well over £3000!  £1941 for me and £1599 for hubby for 4 nights, this price includes flights, hotel and my entry fee. Plus all the spending money we wanting to take. I really can’t justify spending this much money just to run the race and just for 4 nights :/

So after being disappointed I’ve decided to try my luck with the lottery. I’ve applied for it on the 24th of November.

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 19.52.43

I was thinking if they draw me out I only have to pay $220 to register , which is not too bad at all. They are notifying the runner about their results on the 12 of December. Which coincidently is my Name day. maybe luck will be with me this time.

But then after the application the more I thought about it the more worried I become. What if they don’t draw me out? I dint have luck with London x2, Tokyo x1 and Berlin x1. So as you can see I’m not succesful at all.

At this point I started to look into the Charity options. Most charity takes on International runners and their pre-lottery fundraising minimum is only $1000 (£750) which will increase to at least $1500 post-lottery.  In the next few days I was calculation which option is the best, should i risk not getting in with via the lottery then I will need to pay out $1500 for the charity. You read it right, I pay out the charity funds, wont do any fundraising. The reason behind this is I feel really bad about asking money from others for my races. I have 10 months to save up the $1000 which is easy doable, I can easily pay in over $100 / month. I could pay it off right now but I’m not in the rush.

Whilst I was searching for the perfect charity I came across Team Paws. everybody who knows me they know that i love  animals, especially dogs. If i see any video on Facebook about homeless or injured dogs I’m starting to tear up. So after reading up about Team Paws I knew that they are the perfect charity for me.

TEAM PAWS Chicago is a charity racing and fundraising team benefiting PAWS CHICAGO, the Midwest’s largest No Kill humane animal shelter. With TEAM PAWS Chicago’s support, since PAWS’ founding in 1997, the number of homeless dogs and cats killed annually in Chicago has dropped by more than 80 percent.

I’ve applied to be a charity runners for Team Paws on the 28th of November. Their sign up fee was $100 which includes loads of great stuff. Will explain it a bit later.

So because I already had my name in the ” lottery ” I had to ask the charity to contact the organisers and cancelled my lottery application and transfer it to the charity panel. Within a few hours I’ve received the below email stating that I am running the marathon 🙂 The fundraising minimum need to be reached by the 18th of September 2018.

Screen Shot 2017-12-05 at 19.53.00

They are raising funds for an incredibly thing, and it really worth every penny for me.

As I said earlier I had to pay a $100 registration fee, but for that I’ll receive the below perks:

  • Guaranteed Charity Entry into the 2018 BOA Chicago Marathon  After you register with TEAM PAWS Chicago, you will receive a link to claim your entry with the BOA Chicago Marathon.  Your spot in the marathon is not complete until you complete this step and you will have one week after receiving the link to complete.  Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of your spot. 
  • Official TEAM PAWS Chicago Singlet  All TEAM PAWS Chicago members receive a TEAM PAWS Navy singlet.
  • Official TEAM PAWS Chicago Fan Club Shirt  Use these shirts to easily find your biggest fans along the race route!  The quantity of shirts you will receive is dependent on your entry type as follows
    • Self-Secured Entrants = 1 shirt
    • Pre-Lottery Entrants = 3 shirts
    • Post-Lottery Entrants = 3 shirts
  • TEAM PAWS Chicago Marathon Gift
  • TEAM PAWS Chicago Finishers Medal
  • 2 Tickets to the TEAM PAWS Chicago PAW-sta Party Held on Thursday, October 4, 2018 (BOA Chicago Marathon Weekend)
  • PAWS Professional Board Membership Fee Waived for One Year  TEAM PAWS Chicago members will receive waived fees for one year if they join the PAWS Chicago Professional Board (value $250).  To see a listing of requirements and more information, please visit our website HERE. 
  • FREE Entry into the PAWS Chicago 5K Walk/Run  All TEAM PAWS Chicago members will receive one complimentary registration into Chicago’s largest dog-friendly walk.  We will also have a group photo and members get to start at the front of the runners’ corral.  
  • Social Events  Meet fellow team members on fun runs, happy hours, dog-friendly events, and group fundraising opportunities. 
  • Guided Mentorship  Receive personal guidance from our seasoned pros, our Shepherds, who are not only past TEAM PAWS Chicago participants but also top fundraisers.  
  • Training Enjoy training and nutrition resources from our coaches and discounted training from our partners.
  • Fundraising Tools  Fundraising is easy with a personal fundraising web page, coaching, and resources to help you reach your fundraising requirements.

As you can see there are loads of stuff for that $100 and it’s totally worth it. It’s great that they are paying for my race entry fee ( $220 ) and I also looking forward to their Paw-sta party. Hubby can get of the supporter Tshirt and cheer me on all the way round.

Some people would say that I’m crazy spending this much on for races but I only live once. I run whilst I can and I spend the money whilst I can easily afford it, without using any credit cards and go into debt.

Hotel already been booked via and we are staying in the Chicago Lake Shore hotel for 4 nights, from the 4th of October 2018.  The price for that is £388 ( $522)  which induced all the local taxes already.

Flights hasn’t been booked yet, but they are currently on £710 for 2 people. Will buy this after the new year, we are not in a rush at all.

Just a quick summary of the costs for the different options, it’s for 2 people but only 1 running.

 Lottery  Tour Operator  Charity
 Entry  £163 ($220)  £382 ($500)  xxxx
 Hotel  £388 ($522) xxxx £388 ($522)
 Flights  £710 ($954) xxxx £710 ($954)
 Tour operator fee:  xxxx  £3118 ($4191) This includes the hotel and flights x2  xxxx
 Charity fundraising   xxxx xxxx  £750 ($1000)
  Total £1261 ($1695)  £3500 ($4704)  £1848 ($2476)

As you can clearly see the Lottery option is still the cheapest option, but then if I wouldn’t have get drawn out then the charity fee goes up from $1000 to $1500,  but still wold have been cheaper than the tour operators. Don’t get me wrong I loved my New York experience with 2:09 events, this time I simply didn’t chose them because of the massive price difference, from that money I’m saving for not using them ( £1652 ) we can use that for race merchandise, spending money, food money whilst we there  or even use some of it to pay off my Berlin entry.

As soon as I have any more update about Chicago I’ll let you all know 🙂



1 Comments on “Chicago Marathon 2018 – Application”

  1. Pingback: Ironman Bolton ’19 – Back from deferment – Gabi Runs

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