It will be ten years since I began running.  I remember I signed up for “Beginning Running” class offered through CARA.  I don’t remember exactly what happened because I signed up for the class again.  Clearly I had NO idea what I was doing.  The goal of the class was to run 30 minutes nonstop.  I think I made it to 27 or 28 minutes and that was definitely an achievement for a non-runner like me.

I signed up for the Chicago Marathon in May 2006.  I also signed up to run for a charity that is no longer in existence.  Anyway, because I was running on behalf of a charity, they offered to pay for my marathon training with CARA and gave me a one year “free” membership.  My training was clearly an amazing experience and I learned so much from my group leaders and the others in my group.

I ran the Chicago Marathon a few more times on behalf of a charity and again I trained with CARA and got a membership.  Over time I decided to not renew my membership.  Don’t ask me why because I sure don’t remember.  🙂

Well, thanks to a Twitter post from Bethany at Accidental Intentions I found out (late to the party here) that I can secure a guaranteed entry to the 2016 Chicago Marathon.  Yep, all I need to do is volunteer for two shifts at the 2015 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K or Chicago Marathon and run either 5 or 10 races (two different options depending on the race distance).  The other option is to earn a top five placement in my age group category in the year end standings.  <<That my friends will NOT happen.

You bet I signed up to be a member.  It is $44 for an individual 1-year membership.  I found a discount code which then brought it down to $38.  I have the option to get a $20 refund on a Runner’s World subscription included in the membership.  That means my final cost is only $18.  Pretty good right?  I am excited to be again a part of this running group.

Why the 2016 Chicago Marathon?  Why not run it this year?  Well, next year will be ten years that I ran my first marathon.  I guess it is more of a sentimental meaning to me.  Plus, it is a great race with a beautiful course!

4, 2006 Chicago Marathon 2
My first Chicago Marathon. This was before mile 20 and I was in so much pain.

Thanks to all that entered my giveaway.  The winner is Marcia K. at Marcia’s Healthy Slice.  Don’t worry if you did not win because I’m planning to have more Hammer Nutrition products giveaways.

Finally it feels like Spring here in Chicago!

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5 comments on “CARA Membership and Hammer Nutrition Giveaway Winner”

  1. YAY, I’m so glad you’re running the Chicago Marathon this year. It’s my favorite! I hope you’re enjoying running a little more now that it’s nice outside. 🙂

  2. That new CARA Chicago Marathon program is SO MUCH more sensical than in the past. Yay for you running Chicago again next year and for becoming a CARA member again! Membership does have some really great perks, especially at that price!

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