After more than four years, November 16th will be Astrid's final day as part of CARA staff. Since 2014 Astrid has been an asset to the organization through all of its ups, downs, and changes.
Looking back, when Astrid’s time with CARA began in mid-April 2014: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams was the number one single on the radio. Astrid was happy to be sitting down at her desk in the CARA office for the first time, ready to share her love of running and support runners across the Chicagoland area.
A lot has changed at CARA over the course of Astrid’s time here. She has seen a thing or two. Different bosses, different group leaders and different events have all had an impact on her.
“Astrid was one of the first people I leaned on for answers when I started at CARA in 2015.”, said Greg Hipp, now CARA’s Executive Director. “I think many CARA staffers can say the same. She’s seen it all. Her perspective and experiences have provided a certain stability through all of our changes in recent years”.
When asked about changes at CARA over the years, Astrid said, “During my time at CARA I have seen a steady love affair with both the exploration and creation of new running events and places to run. More people are discovering the true meaning of the "power of the group" and runners are creating great group networks and relationships.” She has enjoyed getting to see friendships form and the running community grow. Astrid has been a familiar face manning the tent at CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit Races, cheering runners on at the Orangetheory Fitness Ready to Run 20 Miler, running alongside training participants, to keeping runners at ease on marathon weekend.
If you had a question, Astrid has had the answer. Unless of course she could not provide the requested item, like a race record from 1975 or a copy of a marathon poster from 10 years ago.
“Astrid’s calm voice on the other end of the phone and at events has made her the friendly and approachable ambassador CARA members needed.”, said Hipp.
Being a part of the CARA community has been especially meaningful to Astrid.
“Working for CARA has been a true community connection. Running is an activity that brings people together, creates amazing experiences and unbreakable bonds. Working for CARA has allowed me to connect with wonderful people, help others accomplish their goals and be a true point of support,” said Astrid.
Astrid has many memorable moments from her time at CARA, but it all comes down to the people. She has watched people reach goals they never thought they would, she has seen determination change people’s lives, and she has witnessed CARA volunteers sharing their amazing energy with others (even at 4 AM). She was constantly amazed by the amount of time people dedicated to helping each other, even her - from picking up race packets to offering company on runs, Astrid is forever grateful for the friendships, conversations, and support that members have provided her.
Sadly, CARA must say farewell as she heads to her new role at Chicago Event Management (CEM), but we look forward to seeing her future involvement in the Chicago running community. Thank you Astrid for your impact at CARA. We wish you all the best in your next endeavors!