Coaches

CARA coaches are the best running experts in Chicagoland!

Leah Bohr

Leah comes to CARA from DePaul University, where she was the Cross Country and Track & Field Coach for the programs primary distance running coach.  She brings tremendous experience from her success career as a NCAA Division I coach within the Big East Conference where she worked some of the best distance runners and coaches in the country.

Leah is from St. Charles, ran in high school and then at DePaul University,  where she earned Academic All-American and Conference USA All-Conference honors during her senior season. She still very proudly holds the DePaul school records in both the indoor mile (4:46) and the outdoor 1500m (4:28).

 Leah approaches coaching in a fun and enthusiastic manner with a strong passion for running and helping athletes improve at all levels.  As a coach, she was able to establish strong relationships with her athletes and helped them to grow as both runners and people.

Tom Cuffe

Coach Tom Cuffe comes to the Chicago Area Runners Association with a wealth of coaching and athletic administrative experience and much more! With 44 years in the sport of distance running at all levels including an All-American running career both on the track and on the roads; coaching high school and collegiate athletes to the highest pinnacles of success nationally as well as mentoring both young and old to personal best athletic performances Coach Cuffe is a proven winner in producing results!

Tom's experience extends beyond the coaching ranks, as he has anchored the Penn Relays Sports Desk for Nike with world class athletes Ashton Eaton (2 time Olympic Champion and World Record Holder) and Trey Hardee (World Champion). Coach Cuffe has also done race commentary for Flo-Track and MileSplit over the years. Cuffe served on the original selection committee for the Nike Team Nationals Cross-Country Championships from 2004-07 and was the New York Ambassador for Nike from 2008-11. Coach Cuffe spent 15 years as the Editor for the New York State Sportswriters Association weekly cross country poll (1996-2011). In addition, Tom has worked with the National Scholastic Athletics Foundation (NSAF) in putting on the indoor and outdoor New Balance National Track & Field Championships.

Regarded as one of the sport's top motivational speakers, Coach Cuffe has previously been a guest speaker at the United States Olympic Training Center, the National Coaches Convention, the New York State Coaches Convention and numerous summer running camps across the country most prominently the Duke Running Camp and Five Star Cross-Country Camp.

Bill Leach

Coach Bill Leach has 42 years of coaching experience in Inter-Collegiate Track and Field, Cross Country and Running and Performance Enhancement for athletes of all levels. Coach Leach has served as the Head Coach of Track and Field and Cross Country at four universities. He has coached 36 athletes to All-American Track and Field and Cross Country honors and several athletes to Olympic team status.

Coach Leach is currently serving the running community in Chicago via leadership of Individualized Training Programs for runners preparing for races from 5 K to Full Marathons. He also leads Gait Analysis, Peak Performance Training and Speed Training for CARA. Many Chicago runners utilize Coach Leach for their preparation for local and national distance racing events.

For great race day tips from Coach Leach click here