Summer Marathon Training

Experience the Power of the Group - Training Begins June 5, 2017! Chicago, Darien, Libertyville, Niles, Oak Forest, Schaumburg, Wheaton

If your goal is to complete the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 8, 2017, or any other fall marathon, CARA is here to help you achieve it. Our popular 18-week program has long been Chicago's premier group training program, serving newcomers and experienced runners alike.

CARA runners enjoy the flexibility of ten training options scattered across the city and suburbs. With over 2,000 runners annually taking part in CARA training you will never have to go it alone. Our group training, which begins Saturday, June 10, 2017, will prepare you to successfully and safely cross the finish line.  

There are many exciting benefits of training with CARA this summer. 

  • The Power of the Group: Gain support, security and camaraderie with the support a training program nearly three-times larger than any other Chicagoland training group.
  • Leaders: Over 240 CARA member pace group leaders who are experienced marathoners committed to guiding you every step of the way. Weekend long runs will be led by friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced CARA Group Leaders - we have plenty at each 30 second pace interval, from 7:00 to 12:00 min/mile, plus run/walk paces! 
  • The Plan: A time tested Hal Higdon inspired training plan from veteran CARA Head Coach and Director of Training Leah Bohr.
  • Location: Training sites where you want to run in eight different locations, with 10 group options; including Chicago-Montrose (Saturday's 6:00am, Saturday's 6:30am & Sunday's 6:30am), Chicago - Lakeshore East, Darien, Libertyville, Niles, Oak Forest, Schaumburg, and Wheaton)
  • NovaCare: Gain access to CARA's exclusive 24/7 Injury Hotline with Novacare Physical Therapist ready to support your injury questions.
  • Education: Free entry to the CARA Super Clinic, Final Miles Clinic and a weekly training newsletter from Coach Bohr.
  • Hydration Support: Hydration stops serving Gatorade Endurance and water along your group runs.
  • Free Speed Training: Runners of all levels can benefit from speed work and CARA is here to help.
  • SWAG: CARA runners receive a limited edition training tech shirt - we know you've seen them on the Lakefront!
  • Ready to Run 20-Miler: There is nothing like it! Free entry ($80 value) into the largest and most well-supported 20-mile training run in the business; complete with a point-to-point course, pacers, aid stations, medical support, gear check, finisher's tech shirt, transportation and a post-race celebration.
  • VIP Status: Free entry ($60 value) into CARA's often imitaded, but never duplicated, Marathon VIP Experience at the Palmer House Hilton. Enjoy pre- and post-race on October 8th at our exclusive indoor space complete with hydration, athletic trainers, private bathrooms, gear check and a post-race celebration. Oh, and don't forget our private bank of toilets at the Marathon start corrals - No other group has these!

Since its start in 1989, CARA has helped thousands of runners complete the 26.2 mile course of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and other fall races. We've helped tens of thousands of aspiring marathoners and seasoned veterans make it to the finish line, and we can help you, too.


Current Members $179
New Members** $219
*Program Alumni $139
Personal Coaching  $150/month (includes summer marathon training)

*To qualify for the alumni rate, you must have participated in Summer Marathon Training Program in the past and have an active CARA membership.

**New Member Rate (and Expired Member) includes a full 2017 CARA Membership and all member benefits

(Please note: Registration for your fall marathon is separate.)

Interested in being a Group Leader?  Read more HERE.

Marathon Training Sponsors

2016 Marathon Training Site Map

Join Today!

CARA is the source for all things running in Chicagoland. Join us today and run farther, faster, better, for life!

Individual Membership

Family Membership

Chicago Area Runners Association
549 West Randolph
Suite 704
Chicago, IL 60661

P. 312.666.9836
F. 312.781.1736