CARA Road Race Services

Welcome Race Directors!

The Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) has a long history of supporting and assisting Race Directors as part of our mission to improve the running experience of our membership and all runners across Chicagoland. This fulfills, as well, our mission to raise the standard of road racing all across Chicagoland.  This support comes in the form of advocacy, competitive structure, operational guidance, race certification, race promotion as well as awarding both participants and race directors who best help advance the mission to improve local running.

CARA program and event attendance exceeded 55,000 in 2016.



Since 1990 Chicagoland Race Directors have provided their participants with quality, safe and successful races by following CARA’s Best Practices Guidelines.  These guidelines annually reviewed and are available to all Race Directors looking to raise their operational standards.



CARA offers races the opportunity to achieve and assert their committment to excellence through its certification process. Races that commit to adhering to CARA’s Best Practices Guidelines and Race Certification requrements may be granted CARA Race Certification. By requiring races to adhere to its Best Practices Guidelines, CARA is able to certify and provide promotion of races to its membership and the wider running community. CARA Race Certification must be renewed annually. Additionally, CARA Certified Races may also display environmental leadership by meeting eco-friendly standards to earn CARA Green Race Certification.

Please note, paper or scanned applications are no longer accepted.



Race Directors are invited to submit their event for free to the CARA Race Calendar by online submission. Submissions are processed within seven days. After submission, if your listing requires correction or update please use the same form below and check that you are making a correction / update. CARA requests that all races requesting to be included in its calendar provide a discount for CARA members (not required). CARA promotes these discounts in a login required CARA Members Only area of its web site. 



The CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit is a series providing runners Chicago’s best races, fun competition and incredible camaraderie. All runners may compete in these races and CARA members may score points and year-end awards in Overall, Age Group, Age Graded, Clydesdale, Club, Participation, Long Distance, and Corporate competitions.  This Circuit is assembled with the input of CARA’s membership, the CARA Racing Committee, the CARA staff and CARA Board of Directors.



CARA and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon have come together to create a program allowing local runners the opportunity to earn guaranteed entries into the Marathon through volunteerism and through participation in your local races. Runners who volunteer for two Bank of America Chicago Marathon or Shamrock Shuffle volunteer projects, along with meeting participation requirements in CARA Runners Choice Circuit races are able to earn a guaranteed entry into the following year’s Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Qualifying races for this program must be CARA Runners Choice Circuit Races and or CARA Certified Races.  



CARA believes in building up local races by acknowledging and rewarding those members who support and compete in local races. CARA funds an awards program for its members who participate in CARA Certified and or CARA Runners Choice Circuit races.



CARA annually hosts many of Chicagoland’s most dedicated racers at its Awards Banquet. CARA Runners Choice Circuit, Participation, Long Distance, Hall of Fame, and Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented.   Race Directors are invited to celebrate along with their most dedicated participants. 



As part of CARA’s advocacy mission the organization efforts to promote those races it can stand behind through CARA Race Certification. Promotion benefits have been developed specifically for racing events who meet CARA Race Certification requirements. Additional promotion opportunities through CARA are offered to CARA Certified Races only ensuring that the most well organized events are able to promote themselves through CARA. For questions on promotional opportunities e-mail Alona at

 Please direct questions regarding CARA Road Race Services to Greg Hipp at or 312-262-7831.


Big River Race Management (BRRM) is the official timing partner of the Chicago Area Runners Association and official timer of CARA's Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler & 5K. Staying on the cutting edge of technology, BRRM has adopted the ChronoTrack Live RaceCasting services which feature online registration, onsite registration, dynamic race check-in, mobile results, real-time online results, mobile and social media athlete updates, onsite results, athlete photography and athlete video. Big River Race Management is proud to call themselves the Midwest's premier race timing and event management company.

Race Roster, the official registration partner of CARA, is a cloud based registration platform for endurance events serving event organizers and their participants. Race Roster will help you increase registration, boost donations and attract sponsors. You’ll receive access to ongoing reporting and support from event creation to completion. Race Roster's customizable platform can help you accomplish all your event goals. 

As a supporter of CARA local initiatives please contact Colin Castein and let him know how he can help you with your event.

Email:,  Phone: 1-888-749-3028 Ext 704

CARA Race Director Clinics FREE

Please join the Chicago Area Runners Association for one of our monthly Race Director Clinics. These clinics are aimed at both new and experienced race directors who are looking to increase their skills, better understand the CARA Best Practices Guidelines as well as network with fellow event, running club and charity organization leaders.

Each clinic date will follow the same agenda and each will feature a unique guest speaker making each clinic a new opportunity for learning. Additionally, time will be set aside at each clinic for active dialog and we look forward to learning from you as well as sharing some of our experiences! 

Learn More!

Resources and Support

"After attending the Super Clinic, I believe I’m going to get a whole lot more out of this than simply companionship. I am very impressed by all the resources available and grateful to be in such enthusiastic and supportive company."
-Lianne Holloway