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Has anyone ever given this a go? Any tips?

I know the streets close at 7AM and the para-runners start at 7:20. Figure I might try to hop on the course near the start at 6:55 and see how far I can get before being forced off.

Wish they allowed for a 4am ride of the route like the do in LA.

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https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2017/04/17/midnight-marathon-bi...

In Boston and and Los Angeles it's similar to Chicago's now retired LATE Ride.They start long before the marathon begins. I've been involved with the Chicago Marathon in the past and there is an incredible amount of preparation involved in it. I don't think you would get very far if you started on your bike on Columbus Drive at 6:55am. You can ride parts of the course around 4-6am with out too much hassle. Just be prepared to get off your bike and walk it to a off-route street if asked. I've done it.  If there is any interest for starting up a group ride here, let's see. 

Definitely no plans to disobey being directed off the course, but why do you think I won't get far? Because of that or some other reason?

Based on my typical speed, I should comfortably be 15-20 minutes ahead of the wheelchair and handcycles.

Of course, I'm sure you're aware of security measures now in place because of the Boston marathon situation. The marathon course (especially the start/finish area) needs to be secured more than 20 minutes ahead of time. Trust me, the authorities and the marathon course marshals(in the blue outfits) will hurry you along even if you are walking across a route crosswalk especially in the beginning or anywhere if the wheelchair, pro-runners or the remaining 44,000 runners are approaching. Homeland security is in place for this event. 

Are you thinking that you will have a closed course to race through? That's not gonna happen. 

If you ride the route before the race (4-6am) you have to follow the rules of the road and stop for red lights. 

The Chicago Marathon is a festive and enjoyable event to watch and partake in, I recommend it as a bucket-list experience. 

Yah I guess I understand the security at the start/finish. However, I live on the route and haven't seen any serious security measures aside from the closing of the streets to car traffic. Not sure how a person riding or walking far ahead of the pack is a security threat, considering there aren't even barricades along the whole route, but such is life these days.

Okay, let me know how that goes. I will be biking in around 4am in support of some running friends and our viewing party and support group is using our bikes to travel to various marathon route locations. We have to walk our bikes along the route but bike to other locations using parallel streets. Hope to see you and other cyclists there. 

I took some of your advice and avoided the start area.

I jumped on at 6:50AM at Diversey and Sheridan and made it to the UC before a CPD officer directed me off the route. I probably could have jumped back on a few blocks away and made it further without issue, but decided to pack it in. No one said a word to me up until the point and passed through the water stations at about 5mph.

Rode the empty Riverwalk to the LFT and back up and under into the bulge by the Zoo.

That's great, you did about 9+miles on the route. What was your average speed. No problems with cross traffic or stop lights? The weather was a little crummy this year. Maybe this could be a ride idea that grows here. Who knows? 

Somewhere around 18-20. I didn't really want to burn it and catch the attention of the CPD.

Parts of Sedgewick/North/Wells were still a open, but most cross streets were already barricaded. Definitely was fun going the wrong way down an empty Franklin.

OK !  So this will be on event schedule here for October 13, 2019. Great! Thanks!  :-) 

https://www.chicagomarathon.com/participant-information/general-info

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