The Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA), announced a partnership today with Chicago startup Timing and Racing Around the Clock (TRAC). CARA will utilize TRAC’s cloud-based timing platform for ‘Go Run, which is a series of free timed community runs for Chicago Parks recently announced by Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, and Edward Zylka, CARA’s Executive Director. The ‘Go Run program is a partnership between CARA, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to help out TRAC as a Chicago based start-up, rooted in running and technology. Our new running program has the goal to attract participants with no history of running. The eight-week format of ‘Go Run is meant to create sustained participation by having a record of attendance and incentivizing someone that participates in every event.” said Zylka.
“The other component is to enable and encourage personal goal-setting, which is important for measuring fitness through exercise, and TRAC’s system offers almost instant feedback on a runner’s or walker’s time for one mile or a 5K. Operationally, the portability, small size and simplicity of the timing devices make them really easy to set up and use by our park teams.”
As a non-profit, CARA’s mission is to serve as an advocate for runners across the Chicago area. The partnership pairs up CARA, a non-profit established in 1978, with CEO and Founder Griffin Kelly and the startup TRAC, an organization also rooted in Chicago and running. The founders are local; one grew up in the Bridgeport neighborhood, their team attended Northwestern University, and they developed their company through Chicago’s local technology incubators including 1871 and Northwestern University’s Garage.
This all community running program will leverage the timing technology developed by TRAC. ‘Go Runs take place simultaneously each Saturday morning at 9:00am for eight consecutive weeks and started on May 21, 2016 in Humboldt Park, Warren Park, and Washington Park. The TRAC timing system will allow results to be merged and viewed immediately.
“It’s a terrific use of the technology, and exciting to see our hometown running community supporting and driving technology innovation in the sport. Results will be viewable in live time as the races are ongoing, making it seem as if participants across parks were racing one another side-by-side.” said Kelly. “It’s a great opportunity to see personal improvement and have fun with friends. Looking ahead, this marks the beginning of a long partnership with CARA.”