You are receiving this e-mail because you have access to CARA's Michelob Ultra Marathon Day VIP Experience. Below is the information you need to attend this event on October 13 in conjunction with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
Attendees must pick up their CARA VIP WRISTBAND'S at the CARA booth (#135) during marathon expo weekend.
Attendee Information
The CARA Michelob Ultra Marathon VIP Experience is an exclusive area for runners, friends and family on Marathon day in Chicago. It's a comfortable start to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and a fun post-run atmosphere to reunite at a convenient location.

Location : Palmer House Hilton ( 17 East Monroe St., Chicago | Exhibit Hall, 4th floor)

Event Times:   5:30a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Doors open at 5:30 a.m. 
  • Beer Last Call at 3:30 p.m.
  • Event closes at 4:00 p.m.

  • Indoor Gathering Space
  • Indoor Restrooms
  • Private Gear Check
  • Hydration: water & Gatorade
  • Private CARA Port-A-Potties in Grant Park (at Michigan Ave. and Van Buren St.)
  • Post-race Amenities: Stretching and injury prevention screenings provided by NovaCare Rehabilitation, Michelob Ultra Beer, Truly Sparking Spiked Seltzer, Snack Gift Bags from FreshThyme Famers Markets, NormaTec Recovery Boots, free medal engraving and more!
CARA's Michelob Ultra Marathon VIP Experience is SOLD OUT. Tickets are no longer available, including guest tickets. There is no waiting list. Please review our guest policy below.
Runner Access: VIP All-Access Wristband
Attendees must pick up their CARA VIP WRISTBAND'S at the CARA booth (#135) during marathon expo weekend. There is no event day pick-up for those running the marathon.

Wristbands may only be picked-up by the registered ticket holder may not be transferred to another person.

Guest wristbands must be picked up at the Marathon Expo at the CARA booth by the runner/full ticket holder, and will not be available for pick-up on event day at the Palmer House.

CARA training program ticket holders who are not running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, but plan to attend VIP, may pick-up their wristbands at the expo or on event day beginning at 5:30 a.m.

Friends & Family / Guest Access FAQ:
Can my friends and family meet me at VIP after the race?

Yes, they may join you at VIP after the race. No ticket is needed for these persons to meet you post-race at VIP. If they are to make use of the event's amenities (beer, snacks, etc.) they need a ticket. Please note, guest access is intended for your spectating friends and family. Guest access is not intended for non-ticketed persons who also ran the marathon or for groups or clubs to use VIP as their group's post-race meeting spot without purchasing tickets.

Can my friends and family come in before the race?

No, the room and all spaces on the 4th floor are private to ticketed runners only pre-race. Guest ticket holders may not come in until after the start.

Can I get a beer or snacks for others?

No, we ask that you do not collect beer or food for non-ticket holders as we will then run out for runners who finish later. Please be respectful of your fellow marathoners.

Can my friends and family join me before the race?

Friends and family may NOT enter VIP prior to the marathon start and may not use any space on the 4th floor pre-race (including 4th floor lobby areas). Please do not bring guests to the fourth floor pre-race so fellow runners have plenty of space to relax and prepare for their races. We want to protect this space for your marathon preparations. Guest may gather in the hotel main floor lobby prior to the start.
General FAQ:

How far is Palmer House from the Start?  0.3 Miles

How far is Palmer House from the "27th Mile" Finish Line Party?   0.4 Miles

Why did CARA choose the Palmer House?  The Palmer House is the closest event space to the start and finish that had a space large enough for CARA, and that was available for rent for 2019.


How many restrooms are available?  Eight sets of multi-persons restroom (4 on fourth floor, 2 on third floor, 2 on fifth floor)

Where are CARA's start line toilets?  Outside Start Corral Gate 2 ( corner of Michigan Ave. and Van Buren St ). Cross Michigan Ave. and walk south to Van Buren. Toilets on on the east side of the road within the park.

Where can I change clothes?  Please use Palmer House restrooms if you need to change.

How was the VIP toilet location chosen?  The Bank of America Chicago Marathon event staff determines the location and informs CARA where we may place our private toilets.

Is there beer?  Yes, Michelob Ultra and Truly Hard Seltzer is available to those with a CARA All-Access wristband or guest wristband.

Is there food?  Yes, several of CARA's partners will be providing product samples post-run within a gift bag. Attendees should expect snacks, not a full meal.

What is available pre-run?  Water and Gatorade.

Is there coffee available?  Coffee is not provided within the VIP Experience. There is a  Starbucks  inside the lobby of the Palmer House Hilton.
May I bring in outside food and drink?  Personal food items are allowed.  However, no coolers or outside alcohol may be brought into the event.


Can I check a bag?  Yes

What size/type of bag?  Attendees may check one bag of any reasonable size or type. You are not required to use the Chicago Marathon gear check bag. 

Do I need my Marathon gear check tag?  Yes, we do ask that you use your Marathon gear check tag to identify your bag. However, we will have additional tags available if needed.

When is gear check open?  Bags may be checked as early as 5:30 a.m. and must be picked up no later than 4:00 p.m.

What happens if I don't return?  If you do not return to retrieve your bag it will be taken to the  CARA Office  where it may be picked up during regular business hours beginning Tuesday, 10/15 until Monday, 10/21. The CARA office is closed on Monday, 10/14 with no option to retrieve between Sunday 10/7 after 4pm until 10am Tuesday, 10/15.
Transportation | Directions
Location:   Palmer House Hilton

Address:   17 E. Monroe St., Chicago, IL 60693

Hotel Web Site:    Click Here

Room:   Exhibit Hall, 4th Floor. Take the lobby elevators to the 4th floor of the building.

Parking:   If you plan to drive, please plan ahead and check with parking authorities on pricing and hours of operation. Information on parking from SpotHero is located here .

Public Transportation:    CTA Website  |  Metra Website

Click transportation stop links for walking directions from there to the Palmer House Hilton.

DIVVY Stations:  Location Map
The Chicago Area Runners Association, CARA, is a non-profit organization committed to serving and advocating for the local running community. We are Chicagoland’s running club, providing accessible opportunities for all runners to train, race, learn, be social and volunteer.

CARA is the nation’s third-largest running club, serving as the voice of local runners, as well as providing over 1,300 dates of programming and events per year. Learn more at .
Chicago Area Runners Association
549 W Randolph St., Suite 704
Chicago, IL 60661 | 312-666-9836