Chicago Area Runners Association...Serving Local Runners Since 1979

Learn How CARA Membership Helps the Local Running Community

  • › Train for an Early Summer Half Marathon!

    We’ve helped thousands of runners achieve their half marathon goals, and we can help you too! Training begins April 30th! Start Summer out in top shape. Our Early Summer Half Marathon Training is a 12-week program that will help you complete the 13.1 mile distance. Like all of our training programs, our expert Group Leaders will provide you with the guidance, knowledge, and motivation to help you successfully completely your race!


  • › Run the Ribbon Mile

    The inaugural “Run the Ribbon" Mile was a huge success and this unique event will be back and better than ever in 2016!  We are taking this run to the night in 2016. On July 23, 2016 we will be under the lights at Maggie Daley Park in Chicago.  

    The race will offer youth, open and all-comer categories. The event is limited to 300 participants. Race proceeds will benefit CARA’s advocacy programs to help fund running amenity improvements in our community.


  • ›Sign-up for Summer Marathon Training Now!

    Since its start in 1989, CARA has helped thousands of runners complete the 26.2 mile course of the Chicago Marathon and other fall races. We've helped aspiring marathoners and seasoned veterans make it to the finish line, and we can help you, too. Registration is now open. Training begins June 11.

    Sign-Up Now!


CARA People

Meet Stephanie & Mark

Read the story of the CARA couple, Stephanie and Mark, from start to finish! The Chicago Area Runners Association is full of amazing people, and sometimes that results in a little match-making magic! Lean how CARA members and Site Coordinators got Stephanie and Mark together and how they helped all the way to their wedding DURING the Chicago Marathon!

› Hear the Wedding Bells

Meet Jessica

As the older of two siblings, I like to think my younger brother Bill looks up to me. But when he took up running and I was left watching from the sidelines as my baby brother crossed yet another finish line, I decided to give following in his footsteps a try (literally!) and signed up for my first 5k.

› Following in My Brother’s Footsteps … For 3.1 miles

CARA Runners' Choice Circuit

The CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit has been developed to promote participation local races, to create a competitive structure for area runners and has long been a source of camaraderie for local runners and within and between local running clubs.

Date  Race
Mar 19 Live Grit Lakefront 10 Miler
April 3 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K
April 10 The Good Life Race 5K
April 24 Ravenswood Run 5K
May 7 Quarryman Challenge 10 Miler
May 28 Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile
June 4 Cosley Zoo Run for the Animals 10K
June 26 Downers Grove 5 Miler
July 4 Elmhurst Running Club 4 on the 4th
July 31 NU Run for Walk 4.1 Miles
Aug 21 Windrunner 10K
Sept 11 Alpine Races Half Marathon
Sept 24 Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K
Oct 9 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Oct 29 Lake Bluff PTO Pumpkin Chase 5K
› Learn More About CARA Circuit Races

Need to Know

Upcoming Races

Volunteer Now

Get involved with CARA through volunteering. Become a training Group Leader, CARA Roads Scholars mentor, support local races, partner events and community clean up activities. Learn more.

Help your fellow runners to achieve their goals by becoming a CARA Group Leader

Be a CARA Ambassador and represent the CARA running community across and suburbs!

Find more CARA volunteer opportunities

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Proud CARA Sponsors

Thanks to our title sponsors!