CARA

Locations/Sites

Select site for a site guide

CARA Darien

CARA Chicago/Lakeshore East

CARA Chicago/Lincoln Park

CARA Chicago/Montrose (Saturday)

CARA Chicago/Montrose (Sunday)

CARA Libertyville

CARA Niles

CARA Oak Forest

CARA Schaumburg

CARA Wheaton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CARA - Darien

LOCATION

Darien / Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve

PARKING

Parking lot doesn't open until 7am. Ranger occasionally is delayed in opening parking lot. If so, street parking available near trailhead entrance. That is where many park who want to get there early.

TRAIL

Trail is a 9.5 mile crushed limestone trail, which crosses only three streets over the entire loop. There are hills throughout the loop as well.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Group led stretching as pre-run warm-up. Brief announcements at 7:00am. Run starts immediately afterwards.

MILEAGE/PACERS

All pace groups lead through the novice mileage. If people are running intermediate or advanced mileage they meet before the run. This does depend on the pace. Reach out to leah@carauns.org to ask specific questions or do not hesitate to post on Facebook page of the location’s group. 

Run/Walk groups have traditionally been supported at the Darien site at 12 min R/W pace.

HYDRATION

The forest preserve does not allow cups along the trail. Runners must use hand-held water bottles to fill up along the way. Here are some suggestions (attach links to some hand held). Coolers along route are CARA only, but hydration at the trailhead is open to the public.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: CARA-Darien Runners

A very social group with lots of experienced leaders and welcoming people. People post in the page daily!

MIDWEEK RUNS

Tuesday nights 6:15pm at Downers Grove South Track

Wednesday nights 6:00pm in Oakbrook at the Oak Brook Fitness Center

If you usually run at another CARA Site, email Site Coordinator before coming out for a group run, just to check to make sure there have not been any last minute changes in times or location.

GROUP ACTIVITIES

This group has traditionally held a midseason and end of season get together planned by the group. The group leaders do a great job of hosting group runs on weekends during the off-season. There are some special traditions held by Darien runners such as a pancake party after one of the long runs as well as a New Year’s Day run and other group events throughout the year.

CONTACT

Jim Murphy murphyjamesf7@gmail.com

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CARA - Chicago/Lakeshore East

LOCATION

Chicago / Lakeshore East Park

DRIVING DIRECTIONS

When turning east onto Randolph from Michigan Avenue stay to the right and go on the upper part of Randolph to Field Boulevard where you will take a left.

PARKING

Parking is available in both the Aqua (225 N Columbus Dr – entrances on upper and lower Columbus) and Mariano’s (333 East Benton Pl – entrances on both Field and Benton) garages at a discounted rate.

TRAIL

The Lakefront Trail is accessible to the Lakeshore East Park via the North Harbor Service Drive. The Lakefront Trail in the downtown area has dedicated spaces for biking/wheeled users and pedestrians. The crushed limestone shoulder has been removed in the downtown area, but is available starting 3 miles to the north and 3 miles to the south. The crushed limestone will be used when available. Please remember to stay to the right at all times and never run more than two abreast on the Lakefront Trail.

PRE-RUN

We start at 6am sharp with brief announcements and information about the run. Groups are dismissed in pace groups immediately following.

MILEAGE/PACERS

All pace groups lead through the novice mileage. If people are running intermediate or advanced mileage they continue their run after dropping off the novice runners. This may vary by pace. Reach out to leah@carauns.org to ask specific questions.

R/W is supported at Lakeshore East. Please email leah@cararuns.org to request exact pace.

SOCIAL MEDIA

None

HYDRATION

Hydration is provided along the Chicago Lakefront trail every approximately 3-4 miles as well as the start/end of the training run. Groups also use the Chicago Park District water fountains throughout the run and stop every 1 to 2 miles depending on weather conditions.

MIDWEEK RUNS

Tuesday nights at Six Series

Wednesday mornings 6:00am at Lakeshore East Park.

Pace groups frequently organize evening runs to complete the mid-week long run as the distance gets longer.

GROUP ACTIVITIES

Groups at this site traditionally meet for breakfast towards the end of the season near the training site. In addition, groups do go to post-run breakfasts and coffee after long runs.

CONTACT

Site coordinator: Betsy Balgooyen Keller 312-282- 3180 bbalgooyen@Hotmail.com

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CARA - Chicago/Lincoln Park

LOCATION

Chicago / Lincoln Park at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness

 

PARKING

Parking is available at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, free of charge. Passes may be needed, check back for details.

TRAIL

The trail along the Chicago lakefront is mostly a paved biking trail. Now that the Chicago Park District has been splitting the path between bikers and pedestrians, a crushed limestone shoulder is implemented along most of the trail parts. We will be getting to the lakefront via this route.

PRE-RUN

We start at 6am sharp with brief announcements and training information. Groups leave in pace groups immediately following.

MILEAGE/PACERS

All pace groups lead through the novice mileage. If people are running intermediate or advanced mileage they continue their run after dropping off the novice runners. This may vary by pace. Reach out to leah@carauns.org to ask specific questions or do not hesitate to post on the site’s FB page (listed below).

HYDRATION

Hydration is provided along the Chicago Lakefront trail as well as the start/end of the training run.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook Page: CARA-Lincoln Park

MIDWEEK RUNS

Tuesday nights at Six Series

Wednesday nights 6:30pm at Wilson Track

Wednesay mornings 6am at Lakeshore East Park

*Stay in touch with the group FB page to see more meet-up options.

GROUP ACTIVITIES

We are excited about this new site and we encourage the groups to start traditions and get activities organized. The site coordinators and group leaders will be working to get things created.

CONTACT

Brian Cloutier   brian.cloutier32@gmail.com

 

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CARA - Chicago/Montrose (Saturday)

LOCATION

Chicago / Montrose Beach (At Comfort Station on east side of Simonds Dr. between Wilson Ave. and Montrose Ave.)

PARKING

Street parking at Montrose is free and open to all. Unless there is a race in the area, parking is usually available for our group. The paid lot at Wilson is also an option. There is a DIVVY Station one block south of our meeting location. Bike racks are available at our starting point. The Wilson Red Line station is just under a mile from our site.

TRAIL

The trail along the Chicago lakefront is mostly a paved biking trail. Now that the Chicago Park District has been splitting the path between bikers and pedestrians, a crushed limestone shoulder is implemented along most of the trail parts. Chicago’s lakefront trail is one of the most used trails in the country. Please listen to your group leaders as they look out for your safety and promote a “Share the Path” philosophy.

PRE-RUN

We start at 6:00am sharp with brief announcements and training information. Groups then begin their runs based on pace. It is the same for the 6:30am group. Brief announcements followed by groups leaving according to pace.

MILEAGE/PACERS

All pace groups lead through the novice mileage. If people are running intermediate or advanced mileage they add on either before or after the run. This may vary by pace group. Reach out to leah@carauns.org to ask specific questions or do not hesitate to post on the site’s FB page (listed below).

11:30 and 12:00 R/W groups are supported at 6:30am start only.

7:30 pace is supported at the 6am start only.

HYDRATION

Hydration is provided along the Chicago Lakefront trail as well as the start/end of the training run.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook Page: CARA Montrose 6am

Facebook Page: CARA 10:30’s (6:30am 10:30 pace group)

Facebook Page: CARA 11+ Minute Milers

Facebook Page: CARA Perfect 10’s (6am 10 min pace group)

Facebook Page: CARA Dirty 9:30’s (Montrose 9:30 pace group)

Facebook Page: CARA Montrose Six Niners (6am 9 min group)

Facebook Page:  Nine’s So Devine (6:30am 9 min group)

MIDWEEK RUNS

Tuesday nights at Six Series

Wednesday nights 6:30 at Wilson Track

*Stay in touch with the group FB page to see more meet-up options.

GROUP ACTIVITIES

The Saturday Montrose group is unique in its size. As CARA’s largest training site, pace groups often work together to meet up during the week and/or go to breakfast after long runs. The site leaders also host a mid-season get together at a local bar/restaurant.

CONTACT

Leah Bohr training@cararuns.org 

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CARA - Chicago/Montrose (Sunday)

LOCATION

Chicago / Montrose Beach (At Comfort Station on east side of Simonds Dr. between Wilson Ave. and Montrose Ave.)

PARKING

Street parking at Montrose is free and open to all. Unless there is a race in the area, parking is usually available for our group. The paid lot at Wilson is also an option. There is a DIVVY Station one block south of our meeting location. Bike racks are available at our starting point. The Wilson Red Line station is just under a mile from our site.

TRAIL

The trail along the Chicago lakefront is mostly a paved biking trail. Now that the Chicago Park District has been splitting the path between bikers and pedestrians, a crushed limestone shoulder is implemented along most of the trail parts. Chicago’s lakefront trail is one of the most used trails in the country. Please listen to your group leaders as they look out for your safety and promote a “Share the Path” philosophy.

PRE-RUN

We start at 6:25 am sharp with group-led dynamic stretching, brief announcements, and training information. Groups then begin their runs based on pace. There is not a secure place to keep gear.

MILEAGE/PACERS

All pace groups lead through the novice mileage. If people are running intermediate or advanced mileage they continue their run after dropping off the novice runners. This may vary by pace. Reach out to leah@carauns.org to ask specific questions or do not hesitate to post on the site’s FB page (listed below).

R/W groups are not available at the Sunday Montrose group. The Sunday Montrose site offers pacer led groups at the following paces: 7:30-8:00, 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30-12:00.

HYDRATION

Hydration is provided along the Chicago Lakefront trail as well as the start/end of the training run.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook Page: CARA-Sunday Montrose

A very social group with lots of experienced leaders and welcoming people. People post in the page daily!

MIDWEEK RUNS

Tuesday nights at Six Series

Wednesday nights 6:30pm at Wilson Track

*Stay in touch with the group FB page to see more meet-up options.

GROUP ACTIVITIES

This group has traditionally held a post-run coffee early in the season and a potluck breakfast towards the end of the season at the training site. In addition, post-run breakfasts are organized at local restaurants on various Sundays.

CONTACT

Darren DeMatoff at darren@gldg.net or text 312.656.3988. No email or messages will be received after 5:30am Sunday mornings until late afternoon.

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CARA - Libertyville

LOCATION

Libertyville / Old School Forest Preserve

PARKING

The meeting spot is at Old School Forest Preserve, Shelter C. Parking is free.

TRAIL

Trail is a crushed limestone path along the Des Plaines River Trail. The routes do alternate and the site coordinator gives specific directions each week in addition to posting routes on the Facebook page.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Brief announcements at 6:45am. Run starts immediately afterwards.

MILEAGE/PACERS

Experienced pace group leads for all paces, including a run/walk group. Pace leads will follow the novice mileage. Runners interested in following the intermediate and advanced mileage may add on miles at the end. This may vary by pace.

HYDRATION

Hydration is provided along the route. Runners are required to carry some time of hydration bottle as cups are not available on the course. The site coordinator informs the runners each week where hydration is located on the route.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook: Northshore Distance Runners Club

GROUP ACTIVITIES

Mid-season and end of the season party

CONTACT

Chris Muender- cmuender@comcast.net

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CARA - Niles

LOCATION

Niles / Bunker Hill Forest Preserve

PARKING

Parking lot is usually open between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. (note: the forest preserve signage says they open at sunrise) The Forest Preserve staff is occasionally delayed in opening parking lot.

TRAIL

Trail is a 16.0+ mile asphalt paved trail, which crosses several streets. The trail is predominantly flat with a few slight hills (i.e. overpasses) along the course.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Group led stretching as pre-run warm-up. Brief announcements at 7:00am. Run starts immediately afterwards.

MILEAGE/PACERS

All pace groups lead through the novice mileage. If people are running intermediate or advanced mileage, we recommend that they continue after the group run. Run/Walk groups have traditionally been supported at the Niles site at 11:30 and 12 min R/W pace.

HYDRATION

There will be coolers with cups every 1.5 to 2.0 miles on each long run. Every hydration stop will have water; some locations will also have Gatorade Endurance. Coolers along the route are CARA only, but the public does make use of them.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook Page: Niles Runners

A very social group with lots of experienced leaders and welcoming people.

MIDWEEK RUNS

None are scheduled at this time.

GROUP ACTIVITIES

This group has traditionally held a midseason and end of season get together planned by the site coordinators. The group continues to meet all year long, depending on the weather the trail may or not be clear (the forest preserve only plows the parking lot). There are some special traditions held by Niles runners such as an omelet party after the last step back week long run.

CONTACT

Keith Kijek:  kijek@mindspring.com

 

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CARA - Oak Forest

LOCATION

Oak Forest / Yankee Woods Picnic Area

PARKING

Parking lot may not open until 7am. Ranger occasionally is delayed in opening parking lot. Street parking is NOT allowed. You must park in marked spaces in the lot, tickets do get issued. You can also park at the Golf course just north of the forest preserve lot.

TRAIL

Trail is a paved bike trail, which crosses several small streets and a few larger ones. The course is an out and back course with our 1/2 mile markers marked up to mile 9. There is a porta-potty at the start and at mile 3.5 and 8.5. This is a very busy trail. Please keep no more than two abreast and listen for bikes passing on your left.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Brief announcements at 6:55am. Run starts immediately afterwards.

MILEAGE/PACERS

Most pace groups lead through the novice and Intermediate mileage. The 8:30 group will normally follow the advanced mileage, depending on group vote. Please reach out to leah@cararuns.org with any further questions regarding pacing and/or mileage.

HYDRATION

Coolers along route are CARA only, but hydration at the trail head is open to the public. Please try to re-use your cup on return visit to each water stop and please use the trash can when you finish at each stop. If you prefer, some people carry their cup to each stop, or use a handheld bottle.

FB PAGE

Yankee Runners Group

A very social group with lots of experienced leaders and welcoming people. People post in the page daily!

MIDWEEK RUNS

Monday nights- Running for Kicks  6pm

7158 W. 127th Street (corner of Harlem & 127th)

Palos Heights, IL 60463

Wednesday night’s 6:00 pm Track speed work Jun-Sep

Trinity Christian College

6601 West College Drive

Palos Heights, IL 60463

GROUP ACTIVITIES

This group has traditionally held a midseason and end of season get together planned by the group. The group leaders do a great job of hosting group runs on weekends during the off-season. There are some special traditions held by Yankee Runners such as Astronaut Egg Day in August, a pancake breakfast in February and July, the last four/six mile run of the Chicago marathon course, bike the Chicago Marathon course and other group events throughout the year.

CONTACT

Joe Werner Gokarts@Juno.com

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CARA - Schaumburg

LOCATION

Schaumburg / Busse Woods

PARKING

The meeting spot HAS MOVED from 2017 due to restrooms being out of order at the old location. Until further notice we will meet at Grove 26. From Arlington Heights Rd., turn into the park at the entrance for Groves 26/27. There is plenty of parking and it is free.

TRAIL

Trail is a paved path through Busse Woods. There are loops as well as out and back options.

ANNOUNCEMENTS/START TIME

Brief announcements at 6:30am. Run starts immediately afterwards.

MILEAGE/PACERS

All pace groups lead through the novice mileage. If people are running intermediate or advanced mileage they add on before or after the run. This does depend on the pace. Reach out to leah@carauns.org to ask specific questions or do not hesitate to post on FB page of the location’s group. 

Run/Walk groups are new and growing group at the Schaumburg site at 11:30 and 12 min R/W pace.

HYDRATION

Hydration is provided along the route by the site coordinators and group leaders. Some runners still choose to carry hand held bottles for their own needs along the route. The site coordinator informs the runners each week what markers they will find the coolers.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook Page: CARA- Schaumburg Busse Runners

MIDWEEK RUNS

Speedwork Wednesdays 6pm – Ost Field Track 250 E Wood St Palatine. Please enter parkinglot on Fremont St between Wood & Colfax.

GROUP ACTIVITIES

CARA- Schaumburg Busse Runners are an active group. With daily posts and updates on their FB page, the group will always feel included and open to the training participants.

CONTACT

Jimmy Kowalski – jimmy@busserunners.org

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CARA - Wheaton

LOCATION

Wheaton / Mariano's-Illinois Prarie Path

PARKING

The meeting spot is at the entrance to the Mariano’s @ 625 S. Main Street in Wheaton. However, the store would prefer our participants to use a lot just North at the Wheaton Park District Central Athletic Complex or at the Mariano’s employee parking lot on the West side of Main Street. We ask that participants please respect this policy and do not park in the Mariano’s lot. After the run, if you want coffee or need to shop, feel free to move to the Mariano’s parking lot. Mariano’s opens at 6:00 AM and there are plenty of bathrooms in the store. There is also a key basket at the Service Desk.

TRAIL

Trail is a crushed limestone path with markers every mile along the Illinois Prairie Path. The meeting spot is at Mariano’s and runners run east, south and north along the trail on alternating weeks.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Group led stretching as post-run cool-down. Brief announcements at 6:45am. Run starts immediately afterwards.

MILEAGE/PACERS

All pace groups lead through the novice mileage. If people are running intermediate or advanced mileage they add on before or after the run. This does depend on the pace. Reach out to leah@carauns.org to ask specific questions or do not hesitate to post on FB page of the location’s group. 

Run/Walk groups have traditionally been supported at the Wheaton site at 11:30 and 12 min R/W pace.

HYDRATION

Hydration is provided along the route every 2.5 to 3.5 miles. Some runners still choose to carry handheld bottles for their own needs along the route. The site coordinator informs the runners each week what markers they will find the coolers.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook Page: CARA Wheaton group

MIDWEEK RUNS

Tuesday/Thursday mornings @ 6:15 on Naperville Riverwalk

Thursday evenings @ 6:00 at Springbrook Prairie

Speedwork: Tuesday evenings @ 6:15 at Downers Grove South High School

GROUP ACTIVITIES

Thursday evenings @ 7:00 at Wings & Rings in Naperville

CONTACT

Jim Laubsted:  jim@laubsted.com

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