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Exciting Changes Coming to the CARA Racing Circuit


CHICAGO – The Chicago Area Runners Association (“CARA”) has embarked on an unprecedented repositioning of its longest running program, the CARA Racing Circuit. Known officially as the CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit since 2009, the program will be renamed the Chicago Racing Circuit by CARA. This change better positions the program for brand awareness and for potential sponsors. The search is now well underway to secure a title sponsor for the program, which was started in 1979, just a year after CARA was founded.   

“The Racing Committee, Board of Directors and myself felt it was time to update the name of the program and better align with the amazing namesake of our city and the surrounding communities. We also wanted to make the circuit as attractive as possible to potential sponsors and bring more awareness to the program in the local running community.  - CARA Executive Director, Tim Bradley 

While there will be a new name for the program in 2024, the "runners' choice" element of the Circuit will remain in place. The Racing Committee, which is made up of members from the community and various local running clubs, will continue to oversee the Circuit. This includes the selection of races, along with managing the rules, scoring, and awards for the program. In addition to the “runners choice” element, the Circuit will also continue to have a Non-Binary category, which started in 2023. The Circuit will continue to provide races that offer equal prize money for the Non-Binary category, such as the Lakefront 10 Miler, which has done so over the last two years. Other changes to the Circuit in 2024 include: 

  • Team Scoring Change: The Combined category, which age-grades and combines all runners, will be renamed  All Around to better express the high caliber runners of all ages that can be found in Chicago's local clubs.

  • New Teams: Nameless TC, Heartbreak Hill Running Co., Naperville Running Company Track Club, Windrunners Chicago, and CARA Racing Team are some top Chicago area teams joining the Circuit in 2024, bringing the total number of teams to 17.

  • New Team Divisions: In order to provide more equitable opportunities to win awards, open men, open women, and All Around categories will be split into two divisions. Division I will be for large clubs or elite teams, and Division II will be for smaller clubs, running groups, or recreational teams.

About the Circuit: 

Runners of all levels participate annually in CARA Circuit Races to chase personal and competitive goals, to complement their year-long training programs, and to enjoy the camaraderie of the CARA running community. Both individual and club awards are offered. Runners who complete the minimum number of Circuit races may also earn CARA Racing Awards.

Illinois residents do not need to register to be included in individual Circuit scoring, except for Clydesdale/Athena categories. Runners are tracked and scored automatically, and at the end of the season, runners are eligible to receive awards during CARA’s annual Awards Party. CARA Supporter Level membership is required by July 1st for individual award eligibility.

Please see the website for full rules and team registration: 

2024 Chicago Racing Circuit by CARA

Sunday, March 24 - Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K (Chicago)

Sunday, April 7 - CARA Lakefront 10 Miler presented by Fleet Feet (Chicago)

Sunday, April 28 - The Good Life Race 5k (Oak Park)

Sunday, May 19 - CARA Spring Trail Chase 10k (Lemont)

Sunday, June 2 - Run for the Roses 5k (Roselle)

Sunday, June 9 - Bank of America Chicago 13.1 (Chicago)

Sunday, June 16 - Ricky Byrdsong Race Against Hate 5k (Evanston)

Thursday, July 4 - Elmhurst Running Club’s 4 on the 4th (Elmhurst)

Saturday, July 27 - PUMA’s Chi-Town Miles 1 Mile (Chicago)

Sunday, August 18 - Alpine Races 10 Mile (Lake Zurich)

Saturday, September 7 - Hidden Gem Half Marathon (Flossmoor)

Sunday, October 13 - Bank of America Chicago Marathon (Chicago)

Saturday, October 26 - Lake Bluff PTO Pumpkin Chase 5K (Lake Bluff)

Sunday, November 10 - Fast Track Cross Country 3 Mile (Schaumburg)

Sunday, November 17 - Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 10k (Lincolnwood)


The Chicago Area Runners Association, CARA, is a 501(c)(3) 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 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. Learn more at



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1 Comment

Kennedy Ira
Kennedy Ira
May 20

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