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Run because you can!

Magellan Ready to Run 20 Miler


September 21st, 2014
6:30 am

Join CARA for the 8th Annual Magellan Ready to Run 20 Miler to find out if you're ready to face the ultimate challenge this fall - the marathon.

On September 21st, join us as we run the best fully supported Chicagoland 20 mile training run on the Chicago Lakefront Path. This fully supported 20-miler mimics the marathon experience, complete with the hydration and gels available on the course at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. You won't be running loops to complete your 20-miles. We have an excellent point-to-point course for runners, complete with post-race transportation. Also included in this great race day experience:

  • timed pace groups
  • eight on-course aid stations, plus one at the start and finish (10 total)
  • gear check
  • exclusive finisher's shirt to all runners who complete the Ready to Run 20 Miler
  • FREE Stewart's coffee at the start (5:30 - 7:15 a.m.) and finish (8 a.m. - 12 p.m.)
  • finish line party to celebrate your last long run before the Bank of America Chicago Marathon
  • post-event stretching and injury analysis with NovaCare Rehabilitation

Will you be ready to run?

Register Today!

Fees are as follows:

2014 Summer Marathon Training Participants: FREE*
CARA Members $35
Non-Members $65

*Although the event is free, runners in the Summer Marathon Training program must register to attend.

Online Registration Closes Thursday, September 18 at 11:59 PM!


Ready to Run features a point-to-point course, starting on the north end of the lakefront path and finishing on the south end. The event will begin near the Wilson Lakefront Parking Lot and finish in Jackson Park (behind the Museum of Science and Industry).

Check out the course map here or view it on Map My Run.

The course will be supported no later than 12 p.m. (noon). This closing time represents a 16:30 minute/mile pace. The maximum pace to meet the cutoff for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is a 14:53 minute/mile.

Parking and Transportation
Runners should plan to park near the starting line. Click here for a parking map!

Paid parking will be available in the Wilson and Foster lots. This is metered parking, however you are not limited to two or three hours. If you plan to park in one of these lots, please give yourself extra time. There is only one pay box in each lot and it can take a little bit of time for each person to pay. Free parking is also available along Simmonds Drive, between Wilson and Foster.

If you plan to take public transit, be sure to double check the bus/train schedules. For suburban runners, Metra will not be running early enough to get you to the starting line on time. CTA riders have a few options, including the Red Line (Wilson stop) and the 81-Wilson bus. You will have a short walk (about half a mile) from either the Red Line stop or the bus stop. Plan your trip online here.

After the event, buses will be running between the finish line (Jackson Park) and the starting line, with an additional stop downtown. Runners taking public transit will have additional options after the run, as more CTA/Metra lines and routes will be running. If you're taking public transit, be sure to use the trip planner to organize your plan.

Aid Stations
There are eight on-course aid stations, one aid station at the start and one at the finish, for a total of 10 aid stations. Each on-course aid station will offer both water and Gatorade. The aid station near mile 12 will also serve gels.

Wave Start
To ensure your safety, the Ready to Run 20 Miler uses a wave start. Waves will include approximately 50 runners and will go off every 30 seconds. Waves will be indicated by your bib color. You can also find your wave number and start time on your bib. You will receive your wave assignment at packet pickup. For the safety of all runners involved, waves will not be changed.

Group leaders will be carrying signs with each wave number and pace. Please find your appropriate wave in the staging area to get Ready to Run!

Remember, this is not a race. Pace Groups leaders are there to help you maintain a steady pace for the length of the run.

Gear Check
Gear check will be available at the starting line. Participants will drop their gear (with gear check tag) at a bus at the starting line. Gear will then be transported to the finish line for pickup. It is important to check your gear at the appropriate bus to ensure it is available for you at the finish line! Buses will be labeled with a range of numbers that correspond to your bib number. Please note, the first gear bus will be leaving the site at 6:30 AM, so plan accordingly and arrive early. With the volume of gear checked for an event like this and our finish line setup, we are unable to provide covered gear check. Please plan accordingly in case of inclement weather. If wet weather is forecast, we recommend using a waterproof bag for your gear check.

Spectator Info
Help your spectators plan their day by clicking on the Spectator Info tab to the left.

Post-Run Party
Celebrate your accomplishments and slide into the taper at our post-run party! Runners can pick up their one-of-a-kind finisher's shirt, enjoy some Lagunitas Runner's High-P-A (21 and older) and get post-run stretching with NovaCare Rehabilitation. City Farms Grill will be on-site, cooking up some delicious post-run food. Runners will have the option to purchase the Amish Chicken Salad Wrap, Slow Smoked BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich or Veggie Wrap fro $7.00. Pre-orders are taken at the time of registration.

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    CARA website photos courtesy of Chad Marek,, copyright 2007.