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 was founded in 1978.

With over 10,000 members, CARA is the third-largest local community of runners in America.

We are focused on service. Our members fill over 9,500 roles and give over 42,000 hours of volunteer service per year to make our programming possible.

We are the leader and the largest provider of group training programs in America.

We are making running more accessible, and building community by providing ‘Go Runs. A program that provides over weekly free-timed 1 Mile and 5K runs in neighborhood parks around Chicago.

We bring together Chicagoland’s running clubs for competition and camaraderie through the Runners’ Choice Circuit.

We are the voice of every runner, representing Chicagoland runners in the communities we serve.

We provide nearly year-round hydration stations at locations around Chicago. During the summer months, CARA stations provide as many as 20,000 cups of fluid per weekend to all runners.

We promote safe and quality event practices by administering the CARA Race Certification program and providing free race director clinics.

We promote community and social engagement through social events and fun runs.

We provide educational opportunities and informational resources for the local running community.

We support those who run for a greater purpose by training runners from over 50 charity fundraising teams. CARA charity runners raise over $1-million per year for local and national charities.

Organizational Bylaws