• Lyndsey, CARA Ambassador

Lyndsey Runs The Randy Walker Memorial 5K

Maybe you are a devout fan of all CARA races? Or just a big college football fan? Maybe a current or former Wildcat yourself? If you love getting outside, the spirit of community, and the magic of Big Ten football in a peaceful local race – sign up for the Randy Walker Memorial 5K. It is a perfect race for setting a PR or just a relaxing way to get moving!

Held the last Sunday in July, the race honors the legacy of the late Northwestern Football Coach Randy Walker. Northwestern Athletics hosts the event, and ensures a well-supported course, plenty of cheer, and a fantastic finish on Ryan Field. Willie the Wildcat greats fans of all ages. Your race admission even gets you a ticket to one of two pre-selected NU football games during the fall, in addition to a technical tee for the race. While my race shirts have been piling up, I tend to wear this shirt every week since it is so comfy – and you have to love the ‘Cats!

The course itself starts and finishes at the football stadium Ryan Field, with a course winding through calm Evanston streets and the Northwestern Campus. There is a pleasant mix of shade, sun, and even a lovely view of Lake Michigan as you pass by the new athletics center. Northwestern University athletes are on the course sharing encouraging words and directing the flow. You are finished before you know it!

Logistically you couldn’t ask for a smoother experience. The 2019 race made packet pick-up a breeze with multiple options including race-day. Indoor gear check, restrooms, and football ticket pickup was all held at the Welsh-Ryan Arena right next to the stadium. The parking lot is adjacent to the stadium and the purple Line el is up and running on time efficiently providing an easy commute – a less than 10-minute walk from the Central station to the race.

Next year make sure this race is on your calendar. Wear some purple and a smile, and Go ‘Cats!!


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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.

 

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