2025 Chicago Marathon Qualifying Times Faster Than Boston

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Chicago Marathon released their 2025 time qualifications today and they are fast, fast, fast. Five minutes faster than Boston Marathon qualifying times, to be exact.

By way of background, the Chicago Marathon has a myriad of ways to gain entry to the race including charity entry, a lottery system, and earning a qualifying time at a previous marathon, which is certified as a qualifier. In today’s race update email, a link included the newly announced the 2025 time qualifier chart, which had some dramatic changes.

2024 Chicago Marathon Qualifying Times

Age group Men Women Non-binary
16 – 29 3:05:00 3:35:00 3:35:00
30 – 39 3:10:00 3:40:00 3:40:00
40 – 49 3:20:00 3:50:00 3:50:00
50 – 59 3:35:00 4:20:00 4:20:00
60 – 69 4:00:00 5:00:00 5:00:00
70 – 79 4:30:00 5:55:00 5:55:00
80 and over 5:25:00 6:10:00 6:10:00
2025 Chicago Marathon Qualifying Times
Age group Men Women Non-binary
18 – 34 2:55:00 3:25:00 3:25:00
35 – 39 3:00:00 3:30:00 3:30:00
40 – 44 3:05:00 3:35:00 3:35:00
45 – 49 3:15:00 3:45:00 3:45:00
50 – 54 3:20:00 3:50:00 3:50:00
55 – 59 3:30:00 4:00:00 4:00:00
60 – 64 3:45:00 4:15:00 4:15:00
65 – 69 4:00:00 4:30:00 4:30:00
70 – 74 4:15:00 4:45:00 4:45:00
75 – 79 4:30:00 5:00:00 5:00:00
80 and over 4:50:00 5:20:00 5:20:00

 

My time qualifier went from 3:50 for a guaranteed entry in 2024 to 3:35 for a guaranteed entry in 2025, a 15-minute jump.

One of the reasons for the dramatic decreases is that the Chicago Marathon also changed from a 10-year window to a 5-year window. So, some runners will only see a 10-minute jump, but if you’re one of the lucky ones like me, you better start that speed training because entry just got a lot more difficult.

The Chicago Marathon is now more challenging to earn a guaranteed entry into than the Boston Marathon, as all times require a 5-minute faster qualifying time. This is unprecedented and will certainly result in some unhappy Chicago runners.

Remember that entry through the lottery and through a charity are both viable options. The Marathon has stated that entries will still be a mixture of all entry types, so presumably the ratios should remain the same for entrants.

Another change to the Marathon admissions is the addition of the “High Performance Program”. This program has a capacity of 150 runners and offers a variety of amenities such as reduced entry fees, a dedicated hospitality tent, and a corral between the professionals and Corral A.

Qualifying standards Marathon
Men sub 2:25:00
Women sub 2:45:00
Non-binary sub 2:45:00
Masters – Men sub 2:35:00
Masters – Women sub 2:50:00
Masters – Non-binary sub 2:50:00

 

It is unclear how these new times will impact Corral placement and entry numbers, but we will inevitably find out in 2025. If you are running the 2024 Chicago Marathon, enjoy the last year of the old standards and let’s all start training now for the new ones.

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Mandi has been running for over 25 years and has participated in the Chicago, Detroit, and Boston Marathons. Mandi regularly competes in regional events and enjoys being a part of several running groups including CARA and the Badgerland Striders. She is a co-host on the Ten Junk Miles podcast and looks forward to hosting the Chicago Athlete Podcast. An RRCA certified coach and Les Mills certified instructor, Mandi is also a coach with Chicago Athlete Coaching. Mandi is a local government attorney by weekday and race warrior by weekend.

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