CARA Youth 2017 Outdoor Track Season

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. CARA's youth 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 the Amateur Athletic Association (AAU) and USA Track and Field (USATF). To be more competitive, kids may elect to run in community based events and/or AAU/USATF competitions. Meet participation is encouraged but not required.

Practices includes age approriate instruction in technique, speed, agility, balance, core, and specialized event training. As practice times vary, please refer to the 2017 calendar.


Head Coach: Tom Cuffe, 44 year coaching veteran at the youth and elite levels.


Practice Dates (see calendar for complete schedule):

**Free Practice Preview - Sunday, April 23 at the Wilson Track @4pm.

  • Spring Season: April 18-May 25 
    • Tuesday & Thursday 6-7:30pm
    • Sunday 4-6pm
  • Summer Season: May 30- July 16 
    • Tuesday & Thursday 6-8pm
    • Sunday 4-6pm


North Side of Wilson Track (Wilson Dr. & Lake Shore Dr.)

Meet Schedule: 

*Schedule is subject to change.

**National Championship meet is individually attended without CARA staff.

Participant benefits include:

    • CARA technical running shirt
    • Expert coaching from CARA staff at practice (up to 50+ hours)
    • Supervision from CARA coaches at 5 track meets (transportation and entry fee not included)
    • Weekly newsletter (training tips/updates)  
    • Non-member fee includes CARA membership
      • Discounts on CARA training, events and 100+ races
      • Runner's World Magazine (1-year subscription)
    • NovaCare Rehabilitation injury hotline

Register Now 

Fees*CARA Members Non - Members** 
Full Season (April 18-July16)  $600  $640
Spring Sundays (April 23-May 21) + Summer Season (May 30 - July16) $515 $555
Summer Season (May 30- July 16) $475  $515
Sundays Only (April 23 - July 16) $275 $315


Little CARA (Ages 6-8) Fees*CARA Members Non - Members** 
Sundays Only (April 18 - July 16) $275 $315

*All fees include a CARA t-shirt. Uniiform purchased separately  

**Non-Member price includes 2017 family membership.

Receive a 10% discount on registration for each additional child

Additional Costs* 
AAU Membership $15
Racing Singlet $30
Racing Shorts  $30

 *Additional costs incurred only if child wishes to compete. 

Competitive Spark

"When I was about 10, my decidedly non-runner father challenged me to a footrace across our backyard and beat me. It lit a competitive streak in me that hasn’t let up yet. Some 20 years later, I’m still running and just finished my 2nd marathon (and with CARA’s help, qualified for Boston.) My dad still likes to look at my race memorabilia and remember that once, just once, he out-ran me."
-Rachel F.


News and Updates from CARA