The Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA), announces the selections for the 2017 CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit. The CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit is a series of running events intended to create a competitive structure for local runners, and has long been a source of camaraderie for participants with each other and between local running clubs.

“The Circuit brings the best of local running together, both races and runners alike. More than just a collection of races, the Circuit is a community of runners who love to challenge themselves through competition and personal improvement.” Greg Hipp, CARA’s Director of Road Race Services and Events, said. “While Circuit competition often draws the most attention, it’s the amazing camaraderie the Circuit promotes among local runners and clubs that makes it so special to CARA.”

Circuit races are chosen annually by CARA’s Race Committee through input of CARA’s membership, race participants, CARA staff and CARA’s Board of Directors. This circuit includes many of Chicagoland’s most well organized and well-appreciated races. Circuit races are found in both the city and suburbs and include both major world-class events and local club races alike.

“We at the Elmhurst Running Club 4 on the 4th are honored once again to be chosen to be on the CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit. It’s something we take seriously, working hard to put on the best race possible. Elmhurst is a community known not just for running, but for high quality running, and we do the best we can each year to uphold the high standards, not only of CARA, but our own local community.” Bob Richards, Race Director of the Elmhurst Running Club 4 on the 4th, said. “It is great to have the locals mix with some of the top runners in the Chicago area on a festive Fourth of July morning every year, and we are thrilled that this great tradition will continue in 2017.”


Runners of all levels participate annually in CARA Circuit Races to chase personal and competitive goals, to complement their year-long training programs, and to enjoy the camaraderie of the CARA running community.

“The essence of a race is the community connections it fosters. Local races provide the best means for Chicagoland runners to strengthen these bonds while sharing a great race experience amongst friends.” Keith Strom, Race Director of The Good Life Race, said. The Good Life Race received the 2016 CARA Race of the Year award, which will be presented at the annual CARA Awards Banquet in February.

Runners do not need to register to be included in circuit scoring, except in Clydesdale/Athena categories. Runners are tracked and scored automatically, and at the end of the season runners are also eligible to receive awards during CARA’s annual Awards Banquet. CARA membership is required for award eligibility.

The 2017 Circuit kicks-off with the longtime Circuit Race favorite, the Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler on March 18, at Montrose Beach. This year’s slate features several new additions, including the Ridge Run 10K, on May 29 in Beverley, Roselle Run for the Roses, on June 4 in Roselle, the Proud to Run 10K, on June 24 in Chicago, Buffalo Grove Stampede 5K, on September 4 in Buffalo Grove, and the Lycee Chicago Oui Run, on September 24, in Chicago.

In addition to the Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler, other returning favorites include the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K, on April 2 in Chicago, The Good Life Race 5K, on April 23 in Oak Park, Quarryman Challenge 10 Miler on May 13, in Lemont, Elmhurst Running Club, 4 on the 4th, on July 4, in Elmhurst, NU Run for Walk 4.1 Mile, date TBD in Evanston, Windrunner 10K on August 20, in Wheaton, Alpine Races Half Marathon, on September 10, in Lake Zurich, Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 8, in Chicago, and the Lake Bluff PTO Pumpkin Chase 5K, on October 28, in Lake Bluff.

This year’s Awards Banquet, honoring runners, races, and clubs, of the 2016 season will take place on February 4, 2017 at the Holiday Inn Mart-Plaza River North.

To see the complete schedule and for more information on the CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit go to CircuitRaces.com

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