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  • Writer's pictureJames Diamond

Circuit Update: The Podium Teams Show Themselves

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

As we head into the final stretch of races, the quest for the 2023 CARA Runners' Choice Circuit team championships have shaken up dramatically after a dominating performance from DW Running at the Alpine Races 10 Miler. DW took home 5 of the 9 divisions, with their Veteran Women and Men also contributing 2nd and 3rd place team finishes. Below are where the different team categories currently stand.



Combined Division

Such a deep team performance was enough for DW to overcome Fleet Feet x New Balance Racing Team in the overall team standings. In review of the top 3 teams, Evanston Running Club improved their overall score from 112 to 113 as their 3rd place team finish at Alpine was enough to erase their 4th place finish from 4 on the 4th. Xtra Miles Fast Track Racing Team also improved their overall score from 108 to 110 as their 2nd place finish at the Alpine dropped their 4th place finish at PUMA’s Chi-Town Miles. DW Running improved their overall score from 99 to 106 as their 8th place finish from Chicago 13.1 was dropped from scoring.


With 5 races remaining DW and Evanston remain the only two teams with the possibility of achieving a perfect overall score of 120. However, Fast Track and Fleet Feet are not out of it yet. Fast Track has potential to earn a score of 118. Fleet Feet can still squeeze out a 116, which would be enough to win if they can beat Evanston and DW in their next couple of faceoffs.


Open Men

Fast Track still leads with a score of 115, Fast Track’s dominance of suburban races has allowed them to keep a healthy 9 point lead on Evanston over the past month. Evanston now has DW breathing down their neck, as DW improved from a score of 98 to 104. Only a 2 point difference separating the two teams. Oak Park Runners Club remains in 4th with its score of 100, but remains in the hunt for that top 3 finish.


Open Women

A 4th place finish at Alpine wasn’t enough for Fleet Feet to improve its team score of 110. Because of this, the open women’s division continues to be a melee, with Oak Park and Fast Track tied at 106. Their win at Alpine also allowed the DW women to join the conversation, as they improved their season’s score from 97 to 104. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will take home the team title!


Masters Men

All teams in the Masters Men division improved their team score. Fast Track with 114, Evanston with 111, and DW with 108, have all started to separate themselves from the pack. DW’s win at Alpine led to a 7 point increase compared to Fast Track’s 1 point and Evanston’s 2 points. Fast Track and DW are the only two teams in this division with a path to 120, while Evanston’s ceiling is at 118. Evanston does not yet have enough wins to break a tie between themselves and DW. It will be a brutal challenge for them to both move up on Fast Track while holding off DW.


Masters Women

Only 6 points separate the top 4 teams, Fleet Feet leads at 110 with Oak Park close on their heels at 109, while Evanston leads Fast Track 105 to 104. Evanston currently leads Fast Track, however Fast Track’s two wins at Good Life and Great Western gives them a points ceiling of 119 vs Evanston’s ceiling of 118. Evanston’s consistency has allowed it to maintain a high position within this division. However, like the men, they need a few decisive wins to address the pressure they face ahead of them and behind.


Veteran Men

Fast Track holds a dominant lead over the competition, with a score of 115, compared to Evanston, Oak Park, and Elmhurst Running Clubs’ scores of 108, 105, and 105 respectively. Fast Track is the only team in this division with 120 scoring potential. Their dominance of the suburban area has made them the clear favorites. This division is currently Elmhurst’s best shot for a podium finish this season. To overcome their rivals they will need to beat Evanston twice and Oak Park three times, something they’ve already proven themselves capable of doing as their efforts at Good Life, Race Against Hate, and PUMA’s Chi-Town have shown.


Veteran Woman

Oak Park is closing the door on their competition. With a score of 118 they only need one more point to lock in 1st place. Oak Park has scored in the top 3 for all 10 of the circuit races so far and are currently on a 4 race winning streak. Fleet Feet remains in 2nd with a score of 108 and still has a chance to catch up. Earlier in the season Fleet Feet was able to beat Oak Park in 4 head-to-head matchups, and a perfect 120 score is still mathematically possible for them. Evanston is also still in the running with a score of 107. However, Evanston has not yet been able to topple Oak Park in a head-to-head showdown. Fast Track sits in 4th with Elmhurst in 5th, the only other teams besides Fleet Feet to beat Oak Park head-to-head. It might take the stars to align to prevent Oak Park from reaching 120.


Senior Men

Three teams remain in the hunt for a team title as Evanston was not able to improve its 114 score from Chi-Town Miles. This has resulted in Oak Park and Elmhurst being hot on their heels at 112 and 110 respectively. While no longer in the hunt for the win, Fast Track (5th place) was able to secure their second win of the season at Alpine. CARA Racing Crew has stayed ahead of Fast Track due to consistency, however, Fast Track’s highs put CARA under serious pressure and makes them a dark horse for a top 3 finish by the end of the season.


Senior Women

Four teams remain in contention, and the outlook is incredibly muddy. The leaders are Fleet Feet 114, Evanston 111, Oak Park 106, and Fast Track 106. Fleet Feet’s lead is strong, but not insurmountable. They dominated the early season winning three of the first six races. However, over the past 3 months Evanston, Oak Park, and Fast Track have starved Fleet Feet of any team victories. Evanston sits in second, but shockingly only has a points ceiling of 119. Oak Park sits in 3rd but still has a path to 120 thanks to their wins at Good Life, Spring Trail Chase, 4 on the 4th, and PUMA’s Chi-Town Miles. Fast Track’s consistency has kept them in the running so far, however, with the lowest score ceiling of 118 their victory at the Alpine 10 Miler was necessary to keep them in the hunt for the championship!


Hidden Gem is September 9th. Will it add more clarity as to the Circuit’s eventual victor or will it only heighten the drama between these teams? Good luck to all teams as we head into the final five races of the season!


Helpful Links:

Learn more about the CARA Runners' Choice Circuit

Results from Alpine Races 10 Miler

Age Graded Results from Alpine Races 10 Miler


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CarinaMarcella Bischoffs
CarinaMarcella Bischoffs
Apr 09

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