Will Van Dyke

Will Van Dyke is a top competitor in CARA Runners' Choice Circuit Races in the 70-74 year-old age group as well as overall. Part of what makes Will such a valuable committee member is his race-experience with a range of distances and styles.

How did you first get involved with CARA and become a member of the Race Committee?

 It has been a long time, probably very near the beginning, since my CARA number is 443, and I joined a long time ago. I joined the Racing Committee in 2014 to represent the Evanston Running Club when Erika Vazquez resigned after serving for a longtime.

What is your experience with running?

I have run every race from 1 mile all the way to a marathon. I was mediocre, if that, runner in high school with a 5:20 mile time, but gradually improved to be a good regional class runner. I ran cross country and track at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and later went on to coach their cross country team from 1975-78. I ran my first marathon in 1969 in Beltsville, Maryland, running 2:52 in Converse All-Star gym shoes, and ran my first Boston Marathon in 1970, finishing in 94th place in 2:41. We lived in Boston from 1970 through 1974 and I won several New England AAU titles as well as placing 2nd in the National AAU 25k race. I improved my Boston time and place in 1973, finishing in 30th place in a time of 2:32. I ran the first Chicago Marathon (Mayor Daley Marathon) in 1977, finishing 10th in 2:32. I have continued to run and race and generally place relatively high in my age group, finishing 2nd in 2015 in CARA’s 70-75 age group.

What is your favorite race on the CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit Race calendar or CARA certifiedrace?

I think my favorite is the Oak Park Good Life 5k Race. It is a fun community event that separates the men’s and women’s competitions and has a one-mile race for kids. It is also a race that brings most of the best CARA age group competitors to it and provides a high level of competition for those of us who enjoy that.

What else do you love about CARA?

I have always enjoyed competing with Ed Packel on the CARA Circuit. Even though he is three years older than me, he usually trounces me in races. I was concerned two years ago when I found out he was being treated for cancer, and had to give up the Circuit for a while. My favorite moments have been watching him come back to the Circuit after his treatment, and slowly but surely getting his mojo back. I was beating him for a time as he recovered, but he is once again trouncing me in races and I hope is fully recovered.

Why are you proud to be a CARA member as well as a member of the Race Committee?

CARA is a terrific organization that encourages participation by runners of all levels. I really enjoy participating on the circuit because it provides me with opportunities to compete with others in my age group, and it keeps me invigorated and looking forward to racing and meeting other runners. I am particularly pleased to serve on the Race Committee because it is an opportunity for me to give back to the running community, which has given me so much.