CARA Circuit Awards & Scoring

The CARA Runners' Choice Circuit provides a competitive structure and recognition for Chicagoland runners and clubs. The Circuit annually honors Chicagoland’s top runners and clubs with Runner of the Year and Club Champion titles.

CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit runners, due COVID-19 and the unprecedented turn of events that has led to race cancellations and postponements, the CARA Race Committee announces these updates to the 2020 Circuit awards eligibility requirements:

Minimum Races to Complete for Awards Eligibility: Changes from five (5), to a number that equals one-third of the total number of races that remain on the 2020 schedule (rounded to the nearest whole number).

Maximum Races Counted in Scores: Changes from 8, to a number that equals half of the total number of races, pus one (1). (rounded to the nearest whole number, a number at .5 will be rounded down).

Note: These guidelines are designed to flex with the final number of races that occur, which is why we have provided an equation, rather than a set number.

Circuit Guide (PDF)


CARA Racing Award

All runners have the opportunity to earn the CARA Racing Award in one of three ways:

1) Finish 10 CARA Certified races

2) Finish 5 Runners' Choice Circuit races

3) Finish all three of CARA's signature races (Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler / 5k, Honda Miles Per Hour, and CARA's Chi-Town Miles)


Individual Competitive Categories

Runners can earn recognition as Chicagoland's top runners in a variety of CARA Circuit categories.

CARA Runners of the Year - Voted by the CARA Race Committee, through Circuit success Chicagoland's top runners can be named Runner of the Year in the following categories: Overall, Masters (40+), Veteran (50+), Senior (60+), and Super Senior (70+)

Overall - Top 10 Males and Females

Age Graded - Top 10 Age-Graded runners

Age Groups - Top 3 Per Category (Male and Female: 14 & Under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85 & Over.)

Clydesdale/Athena - Top 3 Per Category (Clydesdale A = Males 185-199 pounds, Clydesdale B = Males 200-224 pounds, Clydesdale C = Males 225+ pounds, Athena A = Females 155-169 pounds, Athena B = Females 170+ pounds)


Individual Category Rules:

To be award eligible, must be a CARA Supporter Level Member by July 1, 2020.

To be award eligible, must run at least five Circuit Races. Only a runner's 8 best races count for their total score. All other scores are dropped. (Note: Runners 19 & under will only have their six best scores count for their total. Runners 14 & under may not score in races 10 miles and longer.)

For each gender, the top 25 runners receive points in the overall and age-graded categories. The top 15 runners in each gender receive points in age-group and Clydesdale/Athena categories. Runners not receiving points are not including in the standings.

Only runners from Illinois will count for scoring (plus out-of-state CARA members). Out-of-state CARA members should e-mail if they are not seeing their scores count.

A runner's age-group for Circuit scoring is determined by their age on July 1, 2020, not age on each race day.

Please note: Runners are automatically scored if they are from the state of Illinois or are CARA members. Non-members not from Illinois will not be scored and their places are skipped in results.

No special registration is needed to score in the Circuit, except in the Clydesdale/Athena categories (see info below). 

Ties in individual categories will be broken by totaling the tied runners' five best age-graded scores. If a tie still remains, the tie will be broken by comparison of the tied runners best age-graded score. If still tied, this process will continue using the runners next best score until the tie is broken

Non-awards eligible runners will be dropped from the standings at the end of the season, but the Circuit will not be re-scored.

Clydesdale / Athena Rules:

This is a category is an opportunity for larger and taller runners to compete against runners of similar weight. 

Scoring: All runners in each weight category receive an age-graded score for each race based on World Masters Association age-grading tables. The runners with the top age-graded scores receive points. In each category first receives 15 points, second 14 points, third 13 points and so on. 

Registration: Runners participating in Clydesdale/Athena must register their intent to participate by July 1, 2020.

Weigh-In: After registering, runners must weigh in at the CARA tent at a CARA Circuit race to confirm their category. Weigh-ins must be completed by July 31, 2020.  Weigh-in is ONLY available at the CARA tent at each race. No CARA office weigh-in. Weigh-in is not available at the Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler & 5K or the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K. Runners receive points for all races they participate in, even if they register for this category after the race. Scores are recalculated for the whole season as new runners register. 

Clydesdale / Athena Registration

Club/Team Categories

Clubs and Teams may compete to be honored as the top clubs in the area in a variety of categories. The top three club teams are awarded.

CombinedMales and females combined, a club's rank at each race is determined by the combination of their top 5 runners age-graded scores.

Open (Male & Female)For each gender, a club's rank at each race is determined by the addition of their top 5 runners' finish times.

Masters (Male & Female)For each gender, a club's rank at each race is determined by the addition of their top 3 runners, over 40 years old, finish times.

Veteran (Male & Female)For each gender, a club's rank at each race is determined by the addition of their top 3 runners, over 50 years old, finish times.

Senior (Male & Female)For each gender, a club's rank at each race is determined by the addition of their top 3 runners, over 60 years old, finish times.


Club/Team Category Rules:

All area running clubs, racing teams, running groups, running store teams, and corporate running teams that have a membership roster are eligible to participate. Club/team registration is required, but there is NO fee to participate.

Members of clubs/teams do NOT have to be CARA Supporter Level members to score for their team.

Team captains must submit a roster with each member's full name, gender, date of birth, city/state, and e-mail. Updates are allowed through the season but must be received at least 24 hours prior to each race to count new runners at that race.

Club / Team Registration