CARA Runners' Choice Circuit

2017 Individual Competition Rules and Information

2017 CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit Rules for Individual Overall, Age Group and Age Graded Competitions (rules may be updated prior to the start of the 2017 circuit). 

Categories: Individuals may score points in three separate competitions: Overall, Age Group, and Age-Graded Formula.


  • Overall Category: Top 10 Males and Females
  • Age Groups: Top 3 Males and Females
  • Age Graded: Top 10 Overall

In addition to awards, cash prizes are awarded to the top three male and female runners in the individual Overall category.

Overall Women:

  • 1st - $250
  • 2nd - $150
  • 3rd - $100

Overall Men:

  • 1st - $250
  • 2nd - $150
  • 3rd - $100

Eligibility for Awards:

  • Membership: Runners must be CARA members by July 1 of the current year. Non-members who have scored points during the year will be dropped from the final standings and will not be eligible for awards; scores will not be recomputed.
  • Minimum Races: Runners must complete at least five (5) Runners’ Choice Circuit races to become eligible for year-end awards. 
  • Maximum Scores: Only a runner’s eight (8) best scores will be included. 

Scoring Eligibility: All Illinois residents, whether CARA members or not, will be scored. Out-of-state runners will score points only if they are CARA members. All other runners will be removed from the standings before points are calculated.

Determination of Points for Age Group, Overall and Age-Graded Standings:

  • Overall: In each race, the first 25 runners overall will be awarded points based on their finishing position. Twenty-Five (25) points will be awarded for first place, twenty-four (24) for second, etc.
  • Age Group: In each race, the first 15 runners in each age group (based on CARA Circuit Age Group Determination Rules) will be awarded points based on their finishing position. Fifteen (15) points will be awarded for first place, fourteen (14) for second, etc.
  • Age Groups: 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85 and over. (Note:  18 & Under are part of the Youth Circuit)
  • Age Group Determination Rule:  Runners will compete for points in the same age group the entire season based on their age on July 1, 2017. This system ensures uniformity and fairness in scoring; all runners compete against the same group during the entire year. Note - A runner’s age in the Circuit competition may not be the same as his/her age in an individual race. Ex: Jill was born in September. Jill will be 24 at mid-point and therefore competes in 19-24 age group for the entire year. When Jill turns 25 in September she will continue to compete in the 19-24 age group for CARA points but individual races past mid-point will consider her as 25 for race day awards.
  • Age-Graded: In each race, the first 25 runners in overall will be awarded points based on their finishing position. Twenty-Five (25) points will be awarded for first place, twenty-four (24) for second, etc. Age-graded scores are based on a mathematical formula, which takes into consideration the runner’s age and gender, the race distance, finishing time, and the national age group record.

Other Considerations:

Runners need not report their times.  Only posted results will be used for scoring.

Runners are responsible for checking the scorer’s posted standings and will have 30 days from posting to offer corrections.

To ensure that your results are located by the scorer, please register for races under the same name consistently and avoid initials, nicknames, etc. when registering for races. Please also register with the same hometown and birthdate at each race.

Scoring for all races is the same, regardless of the race distance.

A Circuit race can be deemed ineligible for scoring at the discretion of the CARA Board of Directors.

In the event that one race is determined to be ineligible for scoring, the minimum number of races will remain the same. In the event that two (total) races are determined to be ineligible for scoring, the minimum number of races will remain the same if both events occur prior to or on June 22; minimum number will be reduced if occurring post July 23.

Participation and Long Distance Awards:

CARA members may qualify for the Long Distance Award two ways:

  • Option #1:  Complete five CARA Runners Choice Circuit or Certified races of 10 miles or more listed here. One of these races must be of Marathon Distance or longer. (Total of Five Races)
  • Option #2:  Complete five CARA Runners Choice Circuit or Certified races of 10 miles or more listed here AND one Marathon or Longer Race of your choice (does not need to be in the Long Distance Series). (Total of Six Races)

Members may qualify for the Participation Award by Completing at least ten (10) CARA Runners Choice Circuit or CARA Certified Races. The completed races may be of any distance with no maximum per distance.

Runners must complete an application for these awards and submit to CARA by 12-15-17 (form to be posted by November 1, 2017).  Only CARA members are eligible for any of the above awards.  Membership must be in good standing at the time of submission. 

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