Friday, April 04, 2014

CARA Circuit Runner

If you're a runner in Chicago area, you've likely heard of the Chicago Area Runner Association. CARA is a non-for-profit organization devoted to expanding, motivating, supporting and celebrating the running community of Chicagoland.

I first heard of CARA when I began searching for 5Ks nearly ten years ago. The CARA website was a great resource of quality, community races. As my training journey evolved a few years later, I was reminded of CARA's marathon training program. Since 2008, I've handed over my summer Saturday mornings to the CARA marathon group at Montrose Harbor. It was in this group that I met some of my closest friends.

During the winter, CARA holds an awards banquet to recognize the previous year's milestones and shining stars. This past January was no different. As part of the banquet this year, all attendees were entered to win a great prize - Free entries to races in the 2014 CARA circuit. This Christmas-like gift was presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance.

A few weeks ago I received an email from CARA notifying me that I'd won the prize. I received the email while in a work meeting and couldn't help but get excited. I won! Awesome. And I didn't just win something random, but something I really wanted! Who doesn't love a free race entry (or a few)?

The only requirement is that I run at least seven races this season. It's a challenge I'm willing to take on (and hopefully succeed).

Now to make my selections and commit to training for spring and summer.

The Shamrock Shuffle (held last weekend) was the first race of the circuit.

The second race is coming up this weekend. Heading to Oak Park for The Race That's Good for Life!

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