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CARA Statement On COVID-19, Updated 6/7 6:30pm

Updated: Jan 5

RUNNING SAFETY GUIDELINES (CLICK HERE)


5/20/20 10:30 a.m. - Announcement CARA urges everyone to continue to practice safe social distancing and to commit to COVID-19 related running safety guidelines until Phase 5 is reached. CARA has provided updated running safety guidelines HERE. 5/7/20 6:30 p.m. - Announcement The Chicago Area Runners Association announces the cancellation of the in-person option for the Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler & 5K, and 2 Mile Walk previously scheduled for July 11. On May 5th, Illinois’ Governor announced “Restore Illinois”, a phased reopening plan for our state. At this time, events with more than 50 persons gathering together are not able to take place until Phase 5. Illinois is currently in Phase 2, and reaching Phase 5 is unrealistic by July 11. 4/23/20 5:30 p.m. - Announcement As the Illinois "stay-at-home" order is extended through May 30, the Chicago Area Runners Association announces a continued pause in all in-person CARA programs and events through May 30. Our goal is to protect the safety and well-being of the running community and respect the guidance of state and local authorities. 4/23/20 5:30 p.m. - Announcement (Summer Marathon Training Program)

CARA is monitoring all guidance from local authorities, and the Center for Disease Control regarding COVID-19. The safety and well-being of our members, participants, volunteers, and staff is always our top priority.

CARA continues to plan and prepare for upcoming training programs, scheduled to begin the week of June 8. As part of our preparations, CARA has developed plans for operational preparedness designed for current conditions in order to protect participants, volunteers, and staff.

Our plans have been designed to address the following key areas:

  • Participant Advisements and Expectations

  • Pre-Run Gathering

  • Group Running

  • Hydration Stations

  • Post-Run Gathering

Some key summary points for our preparedness include:

CARA training programs meet within or near large open spaces (i.e. parks and forest preserves), allowing training sites to adapt to social distancing by splitting up pre-run gathering into smaller pace groups (typically 10-35 runners each) over a larger area, rather than gathering in full training site groups in a single area.

CARA has developed and is evaluating adapted group running formations to provide greater safety while running together on trails and paths. At this time, masks or face coverings will be encouraged. We are monitoring guidance and requirements from authorities on whether these would be required.

CARA has developed a contactless hydration station plan, allowing participants to receive hydration (cups and refill of bottles) without another participant coming into contact with their fluids. While cups will be at stations, participants should self carry hydration bottles/packs this season, and use stations for refill, to limit the need for station frequency.

CARA will continue to monitor conditions and new guidelines as they become available, and may put in place additional plans not yet included here to protect the safety and well-being of all involved with CARA training programs. CARA will share our plans in greater detail as the program start dates become closer. Additionally, while we plan for an on-time start, a delay in the start of group run gathering would be considered if necessary.

3/31/20 5:30 p.m. - Announcement

As the Illinois "stay-at-home" order is extended through the end of April, the Chicago Area Runners Association announces additional COVID-19 related changes to the following CARA programs. Our goal is to protect the safety and well-being of the running community and respect the guidance of state and local authorities.

  • Winter Marathon Training Program

  • Spring Half Marathon Training Program

  • ‘Go Run Program

  • Weekday Group Runs

  • Tuesday Track Workouts

  • CARA Runners' Choice Circuit

All active CARA training programs are paused through the end of April, with these set to resume in May pending the safety of these runs to safely resume at that time. All Winter Marathon Training Program runners have been transferred to the Spring Half Marathon Training Program. A detailed e-mail about training program plans has been sent to participants.


All weekday group runs, track workouts, the ‘Go Run program, and education clinics scheduled for May have been canceled.


Please check announcements from CARA Runners' Choice Circuit Races directly. No Circuit races still scheduled during this time are operated or owned by CARA.

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3/26/20 1:25 p.m. - Advisement

Be aware that the City of Chicago, due to extreme congregation of persons, has closed the Lakefront Trail, 606 / Bloomingdale Trail, and the Riverwalk. This includes all adjacent parks, facilities, and green spaces. Chicago Police have been given the authority to ticket and or if needed make arrest to maintain this order. Chicago's Mayor stated runs are allowed in your neighborhood and you must follow social distancing should you choose to run. Please follow the guidelines provided by CARA to protect the safety of the community.

  • Begin your run from home.

  • Don't travel for a run.

  • Do not gather with others to run, NO groups!

  • Avoid running where many have gathered & you are unable to maintain safe social distancing.

  • Make room for safe passing.

​In the words of Chicago's Mayor "Stay Home, Save Lives".

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3/25/20 3:00 p.m. - Advisement

Running remains a strong tool to improve our mental well-being. That said, the community's physical well-being is at stake, and if you do choose to run, we must support the cause to "flatten the curve" by supporting social distancing. If you do run:

  • Begin your run from home.

  • Don't travel for a run.

  • Do not gather with others to run, NO groups!

  • Avoid running where many have gathered & you are unable to maintain safe social distancing.

  • Make room for safe passing.

​Acting otherwise most importantly jeopardizes the community's health and secondarily puts the opportunity to continue running in any manner at risk.

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3/20/20 6:30 p.m. - Announcement

The Chicago Area Runners Association supports and is complying with the governor's "stay at home" order related to COVID-19. Due to this order, all CARA in-person programming is paused through April 7th. Further information on the resumption of programming will be provided when available.

CARA staff will be working remotely through this time through normal business hours (10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday). We will effort to answer calls remotely, but prefer and recommend e-mail communication. CARA membership, program and event registrations remain open and staff is available for member/participant support calls/e-mails. Active training program runners will continue to receive training newsletters, schedules, and may contact training@cararuns.org for coaching support.

The governor's order did specifically addressed running, and running outside is permitted within safe social distancing guidelines. Chicago Park District facilities are closed, but trails are open. We do not recommend attempting to travel to parks/trails. Beginning your runs from home is advised. Do practice social distancing. Running alone, or only with a partner is recommended at this time. If you run with a partner, ensure appropriate spacing between runners; the current recommendation is at least six feet of separation. Don’t run if you are feeling ill or have flu-like symptoms.

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3/12/20 9:30 p.m. - Announcement

The Chicago Area Runners Association announces additional COVID-19 related changes to the following CARA programs. Our goal is to protect the safety and well-being of the running community and respect the guidance of state and local authorities.

  • ‘Go Run Program

  • Winter Marathon Training Program

  • Spring Half Marathon Training Program

  • Boston Performance Training Program

  • Weekday Group Runs

  • Tuesday Track Workouts

  • CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit

  • CARA March Education Clinic

All CARA training programs, group runs, track workouts, ‘Go Run program, and Education Clinics are to be paused for a minimum of 14 days, with these set to resume on March 28 pending the ability of these runs to safely resume at that time.


Winter Marathon Training Program and Spring Half Marathon Training Program runners will continue to receive program newsletters, and are encouraged to contact CARA Director of Training Tim Bradley by email (training@cararuns.org) should they need assistance adapting their current program schedules.


Additionally, Boston Performance Program participants will receive a separate communication shortly regarding plans for this program as we prepare for the official announcement of the postponement of the Boston Marathon.


The CARA Race Committee is aware of changes to several CARA Circuit races. As these events, with the exception of the Lakefront 10 Miler, are not produced or owned by CARA, we are unable to provide details about these races changes. Please look directly to these events for information. The CARA Race Committee will evaluate the effect of these changes to the make-up of the 2020 CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit and make any necessary changes to Circuit scoring rules and requirements as soon as possible.

The March 26th CARA Education Clinic will not occur on its scheduled date. This event date is canceled, and an opportunity to reschedule this event will be announced when available.

At this time, CARA also encourages local runners to respect the advisements from state and local authorities. While we understand this time is challenging, organizing group runs and informal events during this time is not advised.

While there is the potential for additional changes, we ask the CARA community to be patient and allow us to work through this fluid situation. We will work diligently to be transparent as we work to serve you.

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3/12/20 5:00 p.m. - Announcement

Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler & 5K Announcement

The safety and wellbeing of our participants, volunteers, event staff, and spectators is always our top priority. Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chicago Area Runners Association has made the decision to postpone the Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler & 5K from its original date of April 18 to a new confirmed date of July 11.


Due to the new July date, the start time will tentatively be changed to 7:30 a.m., with the 10 Mile, 5K, and 2 Mile Walk starting jointly as it had in previous years.


We will provide a complete FAQ for participants within the coming days. We ask that you hold your questions while we work quickly to evaluate all of our programs and events at CARA.


CARA Headquarters at Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle at Bar Louie Announcement

At this time, we regret to inform you that the CARA Raceday Headquarters at Bar Louie Printers Row has been canceled. At this time, our organization can only comment on programs and events that fall under the CARA umbrella. For information regarding other events and programs, we advise you to visit their webpage or reach out directly.


Training Programs, Group Runs, Track Workouts, and ‘Go Run:

We are working to complete our evaluation of these programs and will provide further updates as soon as possible.

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3/10/20 - Announcement

CARA is monitoring all advisements from local authorities, and the Center for Disease Control regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). While some events have experienced changes due to unique circumstances and expected mass attendance from persons from other areas, CARA has not made any changes to our calendar of events and programs, nor has CARA received advisement from local health officials to do so.


For those participating in CARA activities, you are advised to:

  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not participate in CARA activities if you are feeling ill.

  • Do not participate in CARA activities if you have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or have recently traveled internationally to an area of widespread community transmission to COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

At this time, persons attention should be primarily focused on maintaining good personal health habits:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

  • Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when handwashing with soap is not feasible.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Practice safe social distancing and avoid personal contact with others who display symptoms.

​Other Resources:

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The Chicago Area Runners Association, CARA, is a non-profit organization committed to serving and advocating for the local running community. We are Chicagoland’s running club, providing accessible opportunities for all runners to train, race, learn, be social and volunteer. 

CARA, with over 10,000 members, is the nation’s third-largest running club, serving as the voice of local runners, as well as providing over 1,300 dates of programming and events per year.

 

Proud member of the Road Runners Club of America.

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