When CARA started out in 1978, our primary focus was to serve as the voice of the runner and improve the running experience in Chicagoland, and this remains a priority today.
Among our initial successes: increasing the number of local races, getting more women involved in the sport, and officially designating a running path along the lakefront.
Other successes: the Lake Shore path signage, including mileage markers; the-CARA donated water trough on the Lakefront Trail; development of best practices for Road Racing and the certification of more than 100 races a year; and the first in-depth study of multi-user traffic on the Lakefront Trail, conducted with Friends of the Parks and Active Transportation Alliance.
But there’s ongoing work as well. Running needs a smart and steady voice to protect and improve the environment and raise awareness of relevant issues. To do this, we serve on the Forest Preserve of Cook County Advisory committee, providing feedback on their recently approved (and currently in implementation) Trails Master Plan.
We work as part of a broad coalition focused on the North Lake Shore Drive Renovation Project. And we keep an eye on trails around the region, and in touch with the park districts that manage them. As part of this work, we ask runners like you to alert us to issues you encounter on any of the paths, whether in the city of the suburbs.
We also advocate for green initiatives—including green training programs and races—that will keep our air clean and our environment hospitable.