June 7 to October 10, 2021
Virtual training program targeting the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and other fall marathons
The marathon is challenging, but you can enjoy the support of CARA's popular program where you are to help you successfully reach the finish line.
As Chicago's premier training program, we have helped tens of thousands of runners successfully complete their goals. Whether you're a newcomer or experienced runner, our program provides training plans that meet you where you're at.
Your training program is led by CARA coaches who have national certifications and years of proven coaching success long before we bring them into CARA.
18-week training plan with five options (Novice, Novice II, Intermediate, Advanced, and Run/Walk)
Additional 6-week pre-season training guide to prepare you for the season
Video guided marathon tailored strength training plan
Training guide and weekly education newsletters
Marathon Kick-Off Clinic and Final Miles Clinic
Ready to Run 20 Miler entry included with "Local Option"
Included access to the Michelob Ultra Marathon VIP Experience on Bank of America Chicago Marathon race day
Private toilet access at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon start corrals
RushPT Injury Hotline
Access to a private online group for program participants
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Training plan adjustments available for other fall marathons by request
Program Fees & Registration
Virtual "Local Option" Training: $145
Save 15% - 2021 CARA Supporter Level Members
Virtual "Out-of-Area Option" Training: $105
Save 15% - 2021 CARA Supporter Level Members
Members receive discount by logging in with membership username/password during registration.
Online registration payments are subject to a service fee by our registration provider. To avoid online payment fees, send a check for the amount owed to CARA, 1100 W. Cermak Rd. #231, Chicago, IL 60608. Provide full name, e-mail, phone number and note that check is for virtual summer marathon training program fees. CARA will then contact to complete registration.
FAQ / Policies
Is there a packet pick-up?
What training level is needed to participate?
CARA has a proven record of serving beginning runners, and long-time runners alike. Before starting our Novice Plan, we recommend that you can complete 3-4 runs per week, including at least one run of 6 miles.
Can I cancel my registration?
Participants may choose to voluntarily exit the program. Participants who exit the program by the date two weeks (May 23, 2021) prior to the start date of the program, may receive a full credit of fees paid towards any single CARA program or event of any kind of equal or lesser value. Credit valid through the end of the following calendar year. To exit the program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program will continue regardless of changes to target race. Should their be changes to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon that affect mass participation, the program will continue, and CARA make adjustments to support program participants end of season goals.
Can I enter the program after the start date?
Yes, participants are welcomed to enter the program late. The deadline for registration is 4 weeks prior to the program's end date.
Is there a CARA member discount?
How old do I need to be to participate?
There is no age minimum for virtual programs.
May I participate in group runs?
No, virtual program participants do not have access to training program group runs.
Are there discounts for charity runners?
Do I receive a shirt or apparel item?
No, the virtual program does not include a shirt or apparel item. Looking for some CARA gear? Check out our store HERE.
Participation expectations are as follows:
Participants are expected to wear a mask or face covering when gathering pre- or post-run until they are two weeks post full vaccination for COVID19. Per CDC guidance, fully vaccinated participants are not required to wear a mask or face covering while gathering pre or post-run.
Do not participate if you are feeling sick or ill, and or have a fever, or if you are unvaccinated and have been in contact with someone unrecovered from COVID-19.
Persons from high-risk groups for COVID-19 complications should consult their physician before participating.
Participants are encouraged to avoid traditional forms of physical contact (handshakes, high-fives, hugs, partner stretching, etc.), as well as close group gathering (group pictures, etc.).
Do not spit or blow nose while running in the group.
Do not share personal items, such as hydration, energy gels, towels, etc.
Participants may be required to exit programs/events temporarily or permanently should their actions not meet expectations and or they are creating risk for themselves or others.