Held annually, the CARA Awards Party celebrates the achievements of our Chicagoland running community and recognizes CARA Runners’ Choice Circuit top performers and CARA Hall of Fame inductees. This year, CARA honored several runners in a number of distinguished categories. To highlight these accomplished individuals and clubs, we will be sharing a series of features.
First, we would like to shine a spotlight on our Hall of Fame inductees, who were recognized for their long-standing success in the CARA Runners' Choice Circuit. Circuit competitors Geri Benson, Lynn Crim, and Kevin Koy were honored at the 2019 CARA Awards party, each sharing a little bit about their running journey.
Geri Benson started running in 1996 at age 30. She joined both CARA and the Oak Park Runners Club just one year later and has been an active member of both clubs ever since. Geri participated in the CARA marathon training program, was a CARA marathon training pace leader, and has been actively running CARA circuit races since she started running. In 2010, at age 43, Geri scored enough points to earn 2nd place in the CARA circuit in her 40-44 age group. She was ecstatic at having placed, and has been racing the CARA circuit ever since, earning 3rd place twice, 2nd place twice, and 1st place five times, which has earned her enough points for the CARA Hall of Fame. To date, she has run 301 total races, with 56 half-marathons and 44 marathons, including 5 Chicagos, 5 Bostons, and 10 international marathons (with husband Nick).
Lynn Crim began running after he had turned 40 and took inventory of his life and discovered he was overweight at 240 pounds and heading toward obesity and diabetes. He decided to join CARA and take on the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in 2000. Lynn now has run 28 marathons with 16 of them being the Chicago Marathon. Additionally, Lynn began a quest to run at least one race every weekend and now runs an average of 50 races a year. Currently, Lynn is on a quest to complete the world major marathons which he will complete with the Tokyo Marathon in 2020. Lynn is currently the Controller of Freedman Seating a Chicago manufacturer of transportation seating, a family-owned business since 1894. Lynn has been placing Overall and in his age group in the Clydesdale Division since 2012.
Kevin Koy’s running career began sophomore year at Palatine High as a track sprinter and started distance running and cross country his junior year. He was coached by the legendary Joe Johnson and Jeff Teach. Until he learned of the CARA circuit in the late 90s, Kevin was retired from running. Motivated to lose the mothballs, he began competing locally. From the late 90s, Kevin competed on the CARA circuit, racing and training with Lake Forest and Evanston track clubs. He has logged 10 marathons and over 50 half marathons until the birth of his second child in 2004. He believes that running is unique and gives him a beneficial energy. Participating in CARA circuit races fosters that type of energy for beginners and veterans alike.
Next up in this series, we will be shining a spotlight on our Runner of the Year award recipients and highlighting the achievements of our individual Circuit Runners.