Chicago River Marathon & Half Marathon

September 8, 2019



The Chicago River Marathon and Half-Marathon is a regatta that will challenge the toughest of rowers who seek an adventurous row that rivals the average head race. The Full Marathon will start and end in the Bridgeport neighborhood and extend north to the Albany Park neighborhood before heading back straight south to finish near the start. The course covers the dynamic range of Chicago’s neighborhoods, surveying the changing landscape from industrial to natural prairie land. Rowers will race through Chicago’s famed downtown and will pass architecturally significant buildings like the Willis Tower, Civic Opera House, Merchandise Mart, The Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and Aqua Tower. The course will also lead rowers past the sites of Chicago’s four city boathouses. Perhaps most remarkably, the course runs under or past every single one of the city’s historic moveable bridges, of which Chicago has the most of any city in the world!

The Half-Marathon course also starts in Bridgeport, but does not pass north of Kinzie St. Rowers will still race through downtown, passing the same architectural landmarks as the Full Marathon, but will then proceed southward rather than northward.

In 2016, the Chicago River Marathon partnered with The Paris Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) to celebrate Paris and Chicago as sister cities and to expand the reach of The Rowing Exchange. Now in its 8th year, The Rowing Exchange was started by Susan Hackett  and is chaired by Stephanie Leese Emrich of The Paris Committee of CSCI. In addition to the 2016 event, it has seen University of Chicago Crew student rowers participate in La Traversée de Paris annually and in June of 2012, a Chicago tour row by the Parisian rowers from Aviron-Marie.

Please direct all inquiries to


Registration is now open!

Course map available for viewing and download here.


5:00 Full Marathon launch

5:30 Full Marathon start

6:30 Half Marathon launch

7:00 Half Marathon start

10:00–10:30 Start of medals ceremony (approx.)

11:00–11:30 Start of “after party” brunch at Duck Inn (optional)


Information will be added on a rolling basis as the event date nears. Please direct all inquiries to




The South Loop Hotel in Bridgeport is close to our launch site at 2754 S Eleanor St and to the CTA orange line which runs to the loop.

The Palmer House is also conveniently located near the Chicago Riverwalk, the site of most of our preferred viewing locations.

Viewing Locations

There are a number of comfortable viewing locations along the river. The most accessible locations are those along the Chicago Riverwalk at river level along Wacker Drive. We recommend any of the following:

  • Public viewing steps at Wolf Point: 343 W Wolf Point Plaza
  • Public viewing steps on Riverwalk between Clark and Lasalle, 120 W Wacker Dr.
  • Riverwalk between Michigan and Columbus. Check out the nearby “McCormick Bridgehouse and Museum” at 99 Chicago Riverwalk,  for historical perspective on the Chicago River!

We’re currently reaching out to restaurants along the Riverwalk and will add available options soon.

Awards Ceremony


Gold medals will be awarded to winners of all events and silver medals will be awarded to second-place finishers in all events with more than two entrants. Check back for more information on the timing of the 2019 awards ceremony.



Gold Level

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If you are interested in becoming an additional sponsor of the 2019 Chicago River Marathon and Half Marathon, please contact us at

Lincoln Park Boat Club is a volunteer-run, tax exempt, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Every dollar of sponsorship contribution to the LPBC and the Regatta goes toward helping us continue our strong tradition of providing rowing and paddling opportunities for everyone. Not only do we support competitive and recreational boating, but we are proud of our partnerships with the Chicago Park District and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Through these partnerships we sponsor rowing and paddling experiences for adaptive athletes and youth from all over the city in the safe and welcoming environment of the Lincoln Park Lagoon.