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Runners' Choice Circuit

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About

The CARA Runners' Choice Circuit provides a competitive structure and recognition for Chicagoland runners and clubs. The Circuit annually honors Chicagoland’s top runners and clubs with Runner of the Year and Club Champion titles. Comprised of various race distances, the Runners’ Choice Circuit providers all runners - both recreational and competitive - with the opportunity to chase personal, club, and competitive goals. 

Circuit Schedule (2023)

The Circuit features Chicagoland’s most well organized and well-appreciated races. Circuit races are found in both the city and suburbs and include both major world-class events and local club races alike. Circuit races are annually assembled with the input of CARA’s membership, the CARA Racing Committee, the CARA staff, and CARA Board of Directors.

Schedule Notes:

 

  • When races offer multiple distances, only the distance listed in the schedule counts for Circuit scoring.

  • Race events marked with an asterisk (*) are tentatively planning for the listed date.

  • Only in-person races and in-person registration options are included in the Circuit.

  • Some races may have limited capacity in 2023. Circuit runners are encouraged to register immediately after registration opens for any Circuit races they intend to participate in. Once races fill to capacity, CARA does not have the ability to force Circuit races to allow additional Circuit runners into an event.

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Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k

March 26, 2023

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Lakefront 10 Miler

April 16, 2023

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Good Life Race 
5k

April 30, 2023

Great Western Half Marathon

May 7, 2023

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CARA Spring Trail Chase 10k

May 21, 2023

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Bank of America Chicago 13.1

June 4, 2023

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Ricky Byrdsong Race Against Hate 5k

June 18, 2023

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Elmhurst Running Club
4 On The 4th

July 4, 2023

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Chi-Town Miles
One Mile

July 29, 2023

Alpine Races 10 Miler

August 20, 2023

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Hidden Gem
Half Marathon

September 9, 2023

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Lawndale 5k

September 30, 2023

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Bank of America
Chicago Marathon

October 8, 2023

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Lake Bluff PTO
Pumpkin Chase 5k

October 28, 2023

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Fast Track Cross Country
Regionals 3 mile

November 12, 2023

Meet the Teams

DWRunning

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Location:

Chicago & Suburbs

Joined:

Rejoined 2023

Sponsors:

Tracksmith

Naperville Running Co.

Divisions:

Open Men, Open Women, Master Men, Master Women

Club Type:

All Abilities, Limited Roster

More Info:

dwrunning.com instagram.com/dwrunning1 

Cost to Join:

Monthly Membership Fee

Oak Park Runners Club

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Location:

Oak Park, IL

Divisions:

Competes in All Divisions

Club Type:

Community Team- All Runners welcome, unlimited roster spots

More Info:

runsignup.com/oprc

instagram.com/oakparkrunners

Cost to Join:

Annual Membership Fee

Venados Racing Team

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Location:

Pilsen, Chicago

Joined:

2023

Divisions:

Open Men

Club Type:

Offers both a "community" and "elite" team

More Info:

venadosrunning.com

instagram.com/venadosrunning

Cost to Join:

Free Club Membership

Notes:

Founded in 1981 in the Pilsen Neighborhood of Chicago. Runners of all levels are welcome!

Fleet Feet x New Balance Racing Team

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Location:

Chicago, IL

Divisions:

Competes in All Divisions

More Info:

fleetfeet.com/s/chicago/racingteam

CARA Racing Crew

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Location:

Chicago & Suburbs

Joined:

2021

Divisions:

Competes in All Divisions

Club Type:

Community Team- All Runners welcome, unlimited roster spots

Contact:

adam.dabrowski@gmail.com

Cost to Join:

Free Club Membership

Lakeview Running Club

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Location:

Lakeview, Chicago

Joined:

2023

More Info:

instagram.com/lakeviewrunclub

UNFRGVN

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Location:

Chicago/New York

Joined:

2023

Divisions:

Master Men, Master Women

Club Type:

Community- All runners welcome, unlimited roster spots

More Info:

UNFRGVN Facebook Page!

Contact:

unfrgvnfitness@gmail.com

Cost to Join:

Free Membership

Notes:

Athletes have been represented in 20+ states, 4 countries, and 4 USATF National Championships

Lakeshore Park Racing Club

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Location:

Chicago, IL

Joined:

2022

Divisions:

Competes in All Divisions

Club Type:

Community Team- All runners welcome, unlimited roster spots

More Info:

cararuns.org/tracktuesday

Contact:

james@cararuns.org

Cost to Join:

Free Club Membership- 1-2 volunteer expectations per year

 

Evanston Running Club

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Location:

Evanston, IL

Joined:

1981- Founding Member

Divisions:

Competes in All Divisions

Club Type:

Community Team- All runners welcome, unlimited roster spots

More Info:

evanstonrunningclub.org

Cost to Join:

Annual Membership Fee

Notes:

Founded in 1973, RRCA Member

Xtra Mile Fast Track Racing Team

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Location:

Schaumburg, IL

Joined:

2009

Sponsors:

Extra Mile Running Co.

Divisions:

Competes in All Divisions

Club Type:

Community Team- All runners welcome, unlimited roster spots

More Info:

fasttrackracingteam.com

instagram.com/fasttrackracingteam

facebook.com/4everfasttrack

Cost to Join:

Annual Club Membership Fee

Track & Trough Athletic Union

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Location:

North Side, Chicago

Joined:

2011

Divisions:

Open Men, Open Women, Master Men, Master Women

Club Type:

Community Team- All runners welcome, unlimited roster spots

More Info:

Track & Trough Athletic Union Facebook Page

Cost to Join:

Free Club Membership

Elmhurst Running Club

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Location:

Elmhurst, IL

Divisions:

Competes in All Divisions

More Info:

elmhurstrunningclub.com

Awards Party

The CARA Runners' Choice Circuit Awards Party for 2023 will be held February 25, 2024 at Chicago Theater Works. We will honor top performers and recognize CARA Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Award inductees. Ticket information to come. Click Here for more details.
 

Hall of Fame

Runners are inducted to the CARA Runners' Choice Circuit Hall of Fame through long-standing success in the CARA Runners' Choice Circuit. Each year award winners are given five points for first place finishes in age-group and/or Clydesdale/Athena categories. Three points are awarded for a second-place finish, and 1 point for a third-place finish. Once a runner has earned 30 total points they are inducted into the Hall of Fame. Runners can earn points in both age-group or Clydesdale/Athena categories simultaneously. However, 30 points must be reached in solely one of the categories, not a combination of the two.

Awards History

2022

2021

2020 (Canceled)

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

Prior years not available.

Runners' Choice Circuit Facebook Group

Runners are encouraged to engage with fellow Circuit runners, and stay connected with latest news on our Runners' Choice Circuit Facebook Group.

CARA Racing Committee

The CARA Racing Committee, in collaboration with CARA staff, leads the CARA Circuit and represents participating local running clubs.

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Erika Edmonson
Committee Chair

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Nick Bensen
Committee Member

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Lance Caldwell
Committee Member

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Brett Geschke
Committee Member

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Scott Mangum
Committee Member

Doug Pearson
Committee Member

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Brian Sweney
Committee Member

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Chris Willis
Committee Member

Angelica Guerrero
Committee Member

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