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Find your pace, build your strength, and run for fun, health or competition with CARA

As a newcomer to running, CARA offers the resources, programs and plans  to get you started -- to take that first step, find your pace, build your strength, and run for fun or health or competition. With training programs in the city and the suburbs and a team of certified coaches, CARA offers a variety of training programs to serve runners of all levels from the novice to the advanced marathoner.

CARA is 9,000 stories about taking a first step and running for years. A woman with multiple sclerosis. A man inspired by his son’s birth. An enthusiast with 67 marathons (and counting). Every CARA runner you meet has a story about his or her very first run.

We want your first run, and every run, to be safe and successful. Here’s how to make that happen:

Start with our training to find the right plan for you. You’ll find some simple tips and links. Also helpful: our Health & Well-Being pages, which answer common questions—everything from losing weight to avoiding injury.

Then consider a beginning training program. Even if you’re not gearing up for a race, you’ll benefit from setting goals, following a customized running plan, and running with people who are at your speed and skill level.

So take yourself seriously, and also have fun. Run with people, and enjoy your own progress. Sweat a little, train a lot, and, of course, join Chicagoland’s expert and supportive running community...CARA.

Running Community

"I just love being a part of a running community, and having such great access to a list of races and training opportunities through the CARA website."
-Shelly Jordt Gardner


Join CARA Today