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CARA Runners Support Local Soldiers

Runners who train at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien have likely passed by Army Reservist on their runs through the beautiful wooded trails. CARA's Darien group became familiar with the Army group, and after years of sharing "good job" and "nice run" during their runs, CARA leader Ann Marie Phaneuf became inspired to bring the two groups closer together.

"When running at Waterfall Glen we would sometimes see Army runners on the trail and then I noticed an Army Reserve facility on Frontage Road near the trailhead.", said Ann Marie.

Ann Marie worked to get in contact with the groups fitness Coordinator Capt. Theresa Zwieg. The connection came just at the right time, as her reservists were in training for their physical fitness test in October, which includes a timed two-mile run.

Ann Marie organized CARA runners from CARA Darien, CARA Wheaton, and CARA Oak Forest to lead a run on August 5th.

"We provided trailhead hydration, post run nutrition, and pacers for approximately 90 runners. It was really awesome and humbling to see them all lined up. We were honored to run with them and show our support and thank them for their service. It was a great example of what the CARA running community is about.", said Ann Marie.

Ann Marie, and her fellow CARA runners service did not go noticed. "The Soldiers of the 416th TEC were grateful for the opportunity to join the Chicago Area Runners Association for a Sunday morning run. Engaging Soldiers with the local community while enhancing their physical fitness was a true benefit to our organization.", said Capt. Zwieg.

"Anne Marie, and CARA Darien site coordinator Jim Murphy, are really the epitome of what makes CARA great. They give their time, they look to do more, and its about serving others. I couldn't be more proud of their work and our runners who were part of this project.", said Greg Hipp, CARA Executive Director.

CARA Darien will again lead the 416th Theater Engineer Command through a training run this coming Sunday, September 9th at 7:30 a.m. from the Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve Trail Head. Runners are welcome to join in for the run.

A photo gallery from the August 5th run can be found on the 416th Flickr page.

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