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Best Local running clubs

As a host city for an international marathon there are loads of local running clubs in Chicago to suit runners or all backgrounds and experience

Chicago Area Runner’s Association (CARA)
This club has been literally running for over 40 years. They offer group training programs, discounts on races and organise team and individual competitions for locals. Visitors can meet at weekly 5K and 1-mile events located in parks all around the city. The events run all summer and fall. You can participate in Six Series races: 3 or 5 mile Tuesday-night fun runs that meet at different bar every week.

This hip social media-savvy crew take over the streets in and around Logan Square on Tuesday mornings and Thursday nights. Other events they have started include a run in University Village on Tuesday nights and a Saturday morning meet up in different locations. New visitors are warmly welcomed and the group´s signature black and white singlets are popular sellers. One of the coolest running clubs in Chicago

Weather Mark Running Club
This group holds runs every Tuesday at 6:15. You can drop off your stuff first at the Weather Mark Tavern in the city’s South Loop, close to the marathon course and head to the lakefront for a 5K run. We suggest joining your fellow runners back at the bar for a beer and food.

Chicago Area Runners Association

This is the original big running club in Chicago who recently celebrated their 40th anniversary. They have in excess of 9000 members and all ages and abilities are welcome. Training programs for marathon runners are run alongside beginners courses that train people for their first 5k. The CARA Stars youth group is a popular choice for budding runners between 6 and 15.

Universal Sole

Universal Sole operated as a running store for 20 years before closing in 2017. Since then it has focused on a more events based business. Events they host include monthly Tap Room runs visiting various renowned craft beer establishments across the city. Other events include trail runs and a Burger and Beer 5K run.

Chicago Endurance Sports

A common site by the lakefront on Saturday mornings is this friendly group that run events during Summer and Fall. they are a running club in Chicago group that welcomes runners of all abilities but especially help those looking to complete their first half or full marathon.

Hash House Harriers

A free to join club but members donate $6 every run for post run refreshments. With the motto “a drinking club with a running problem” this club is perfect for those who like to wind down with a beer after a jog. They typically run every Monday and Thursday night.

Fleet Feet Sports

This local retail chain organises three to six mile runs. It tends to attract suburban locals looking to fit in a run before travelling to work. They also offer membership to the Fleet Feet Nike Racing Team for $85 which provides coaching and a uniform. ($85). The runs start outside each six shop locations at 6:30pm each Monday. They also organise ladies only races.


This running club caters for all ages and backgrounds but most of the 250 members of this running club are LGBTQ. They get together twice a week for a one or two mile walk or a three to five mile run. The group also organises social events like picnics and a Labor Day get-together with other Midwest chapters. They meet by the totem pole at Addison Street on Saturdays at 9am and Tuesdays at 6.30pm.