CARA’s ‘Go Run program returned on July 25th as runners and walkers came together at Washington Park on Chicago’s Southside.
The ‘Go Run (short for Chica-’Go Run) program, produced in partnership with the Chicago Park District, aims to make running more accessible with a goal of activating neighborhood parks, building community and encouraging active lifestyle through running.
Through the program, a weekly free timed 5K and 1 Mile event is held in neighborhood parks across Chicago. Runners and walkers of all levels are welcomed, and families running together has long been a highlight of ‘Go Run.
‘Go Run returned with adapted operations to meet all local and state guidelines for safety and gathering. Participation was limited to 50 persons, and volunteers marshaled the event to ensure social distancing. Participants and volunteers wore masks and face covers at check-in, the start, the finish line, and on the course anytime they were within six feet of another person. CARA also used cones to mark six feet as runners lined up at check-in, the hydration station, and at the start. A contactless hydration station was set up for bottle refill, using the unique touchless UltraSpout. Runners were also lined up by pace at the start, to help avoid the need for passing during the early stages of the run.
“Bringing the ‘Go Run community back together was a great success”, said CARA Executive Director, Greg Hipp. “Our team worked hard to develop operational preparedness for safety, and participants were fantastic in following through with expectations”.
The program will host a free event weekly on Saturdays through November 28 at a different Chicago park. The program has or will visit 11 Chicago parks in 2020, including Calumet Park, Columbus Park, Douglass Park, Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Jackson Park, Marquette Park, River Park, Warren Park, Washington Park, and 63rd Street Beach.
“A key focus of ‘Go Run is making running more accessible. We go where the community needs more opportunities to get involved in organized running. Our 2020 scheduled prioritizes expansion on Chicago’s Southside”., said Hipp.
The ‘Go Run program speaks to CARA’s goals to make running more accessible at all levels, aiming to remove barriers to become involved in organized running. Cost is certainly one of those barriers, but an often less considered barrier ‘Go Ru aims to overcome is geography. CARA, along with our partner park districts, are working to activate running in neighborhood parks, so that no matter where one lives, everyone can enjoy an active lifestyle and the community found through running close to home.
Registration is required for ‘Go Run, and updated procedures require attendees to register for each date they will attend in order for the program to remain within gathering guidelines. Full program details are available at www.gorunchicago.org.
Volunteers are also needed to help produce these events. Volunteer roles are 8:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. on each ‘Go Run date. Please consider volunteering at least once this year to help support this impactful program. A sign-up is available at www.gorunchicago.org. Those interested in getting involved in ‘Go Run leadership may reach out to CARA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support CARA and the 'Go Run program by becoming a CARA Supporter Level member for only $35 per year. Your annual membership contribution supports CARA’s mission as a 501c3 not-for-profit to serve and advocate for the local running community, and to provide accessible opportunities for all runners to train, race, learn, be social and volunteer. All the while, providing you great member benefits! Join or review today at https://thedriven.net/cs/cara/get-connected.