CARA Stars! Youth Running Club

Youth running club for ages 6-15! Running, Cross Country and Track!

Since 1978 the Chicago Area Runners Association -- CARA, a non-profit organization has been dedicated to running advocacy in Chicago and suburbs.  Starting as the local running club, CARA has grown into the organization that championed the running movement across Chicagoland. We help runners run better, farther, faster and with more fun by clearing paths to a wealth of training, social, outreach and advocacy programs, while promoting friendships and personal fulfillment.

The CARA Stars! Youth Club program aims to provide opportunities for young runners to improve their fitness and develop their abilities as part of a positive community of coaches and teammates where, through the power of the group, runners make gains in self-confidence, discipline and athletic achievement. Our team is open to youth, ages 6-15, of all abilities.

We are a member of USA Track and Field (USATF), a national organization providing opportunities and competition for young athletes. To be more competitive, kids may elect to run in community based events and/or USATF competitions. Meet participation is encouraged but not required.

Practices includes age appropriate instruction in technique, speed, agility, balance, core, and specialized event training. 


CARA Stars! Head Coach:

Tom Cuffe, CARA Coach and 44 Year Coaching Veteran At The Youth & Elite Levels.

Practice Location: 

Lincoln Park Wilson Track by Montrose Beach (Wilson Dr. & Lake Shore Dr. )

Practice Dates:

Season Tuesday'sThursday's Sunday's

2017 CARA Stars! Fall Season (Sept. 5 to November 11)**

 4:30PM - 6PM 4:30PM - 6PM 4PM - 6PM*
2017 CARA Stars! Spring Season (April 25 - May 25)  5:30PM - 7PM  5:30PM - 7PM 4PM - 6PM
2017 CARA Stars! Summer Season (May 30 to July 16)  5:30PM - 7PM  5:30PM - 7PM 4PM - 6PM

*Practice will not be held on Sunday's during a week when a race/competition is scheduled on a Saturday or Sunday. Week's are defined as Monday to Sunday. See competition schedule below.

**Practice offerings will be extended for athletes who qualify for championship competition beyond the USATF Illinois Association Cross Country Championship for up to four weeks.

Club Dues:

SeasonCARA Members*New-Members

2017 CARA Stars! Fall Season (Running / Cross Country)

$300 $315

2017 CARA Stars! Fall Season (Running / Cross Country) Sunday's Only**

$150 $165
2017 CARA Stars! Spring Season (Running / Track) Complete Complete
2017 CARA Stars! Summer Season (Running  / Track) Complete Complete

*CARA member dues for parents with a current individual or family membership, or youth with a current youth membership. Please log-in and register with a profile with a current CARA membership.

**Practice will not be held on Sunday's during a week when a race/competition is scheduled on a Saturday or Sunday. Week's are defined as Monday to Sunday.



2017 Fall Competition Schedule:

  • September 24 (Sunday) - Intersquad Time Trail, 4:30 p.m. at Practice (No Registration Required)
  • October 7 (Saturday) - CARA 'Go Run @ Warren Park, 9:00 a.m. (Free Registration)
  • October 21 (Saturday) - CARA 'Go Run @ Humboldt Park, 9:00 a.m. (Free Registration)
  • November 11 (Saturday) - USATF Illinois Youth Cross Country Championship @ Dekalb / NIU (Registration and Fee to Participate)

2017 Spring / Summer Competition Schedule: 

  • June 3  Hand Off and See Me Fly, Chicago Heights, IL
  • June 17-18  AAU District Qualifier, Rockford, IL!!!
  • June 22  UCTC Meet, Washington Park Chicago, IL
  • June 29-July 2 AAU National Qualifier, Decatur, IL
  • July 15  Lake Park Invite, Roselle, IL
  • July 20-23  AAU National Championships, Location TBD**

2017 Fall Dues Include:

  • 30 practice sessions with experienced and expert coaches endorsed by CARA (Coach/Athlete ratio of approx. 1/10)
  • Coaching and support at scheduled meets/competitions
  • Hydration at practice (Water & Gatorade Endurance)
  • End of Season Celebration!
  • Team Competition Singlet/Tank (Parents should supply for their athlete solid black shorts for competitions dates)
  • Weekly Club E-Newsletter to Parents
  • New-member fee includes 2017 CARA Youth Membership for child, and all standard CARA Youth membership benefits
  • NovaCare Rehabilitation injury hotline access
  • Entry fees, when applicable, for competitions/races not included

Winter Motivation

Winter Motivation
"While others hibernate, CARA keeps us running strong!"
-Jim Snyder


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