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The 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a registered runner, there are two options available in regards to your registration. The Chicago Marathon portal to make this decision will close on September 2, 2020.

  1. You can choose to defer your guaranteed race entry to the 2021, 2022, or 2023 Chicago Marathon.
  2. You have the option to have your 2020 race entry fee refunded.

Before you decide, we want to help you understand how each option works.

If you choose to defer your guaranteed entry to next year or beyond, you'll have a secured spot on the Mercy Home Heroes team for that race. Any funds you raise this year will not carry over and you will need to reach the fundraising minimum in the year you choose to participate.

If you choose the refund option, know that you will not receive your Heroes registration fee back. That fee was non-refundable as it covers expenses such as your Heroes jersey, CARA training plan and other expenses. The refund option will return your race entry fee to Mercy Home and you will need to secure your own entry to future Chicago Marathons.

Our hope is that our Heroes choose the option to defer and continue to fundraise for the kids at Mercy Home this year. Our plan has always been to run 26.2 miles no matter what on October 11, and that hasn’t changed. Many Heroes have already put so much hard work into the training and we’d love to see it culminate with the incredible feat of conquering a marathon.

Running 26.2 miles with a CARA training group or completing the marathon on your own are the two options available right now. The Chicago Marathon is expected to release their virtual race plans soon, and we will provide updates as those details emerge.

In choosing to defer entry to a later Chicago Marathon, we are urging Heroes to continue to raise critical funds and go the extra mile for our kids this year. There are still amazing fundraising incentives that each Hero can win:

  • A sweet pair of goodr sunglasses for reaching the LOWER fundraising minimum
  • A stylish Mercy Home Heroes vest for reaching the ORIGINAL fundraising minimum
  • An amazing Nike hooded jacket for going $1,000 or more over the original fundraising minimum

    *donations must be received by 11:59 p.m. Oct. 11 to qualify for the 2020 incentives, which are cumulative - so Heroes can earn all three!

We know 2020 has been a very challenging year. It has been extremely difficult on the kids we serve at Mercy Home. They have faced so much adversity in their lives. Now, like the rest of the world, they must learn to navigate the new normal created by a global pandemic.
In these stressful times, they truly need the great therapeutic treatment our Home provides. With the uncertainty surrounding the school year and E-learning, they need greater academic assistance. And with record-setting unemployment, their families need emergency relief such as food, clothing and more.

Every time our Heroes secure a donation to their fundraising page, they provide these resources for our kids and their families. By running for the Mercy Home Heroes this year, our Heroes give our kids hope, healing, and opportunity.

It is our hope that our Heroes choose to defer their guaranteed entry, but we want everyone to do what is in their best interest. If you don't make a decision by Sept. 2, you'll automatically default to the refund choice.  

If you have any questions, please reach out to Jim Harding at JimHar@mercyhome.org before making your choice. We are more than happy to speak with you about this and address any questions or concerns you may have. Please note, you cannot change your decision once it has been submitted to the Chicago Marathon.

Thanks again for choosing to be a Hero despite all the obstacles placed in front of you. Without our Heroes, our kids wouldn't have the safe, loving Home that they deserve.