Chicago Marathon Charity Spotlight: American Heart Association

Last week I posted on how you can get into the 2016 Chicago Marathon.  One of the most popular ways to get into the Chicago Marathon is by raising money for a charity!  Running with a charity allows you to either (a) bypass the lottery from the start, or (b) get into the race if you did not win the lottery.  In 2015, over 10,000 of the race’s 40,000+ runners participated on the behalf of more than 170 different causes.

Today I want to highlight a particular charity group that I would encourage anyone wanting to run the Chicago Marathon to consider joining – the American Heart Association’s “Run with Heart” team!

Last year, “Run with Heart” had more than 150 members from all over the US.  It is a team that is dedicated and passionate not just about running, but also about raising awareness and funding to combat cardiovascular disease.


Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of men AND women in the US.  More people die from heart disease than the top 3 cancers combined.  American Heart Association is the largest funder of heart-related research in the US, other than the US government.  Last year AHA funded more than $100 million in research, trained more than 12 million people in CPR, and built on our educational programs to help people live healthier, longer lives.  Research that AHA funds literally extends and enhances the lives of people who live with currently untreatable congenital defects, as well as people who suffer from gradual cardiac decline.

Here are some of the cool benefits that AHA team members receive when they register to run the Chicago Marathon:

  • Guaranteed race entries
  • Free marathon training program with Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) or virtual training with Coach Brendan
  • Year membership to CARA for Chicago residents
  • Official American Heart Association running team dry fit shirt
  • Personalized fundraising webpage
  • Support from teammates and the AHA
  • Electronic newsletters with day of event information and fundraising/training tips

I can personally say that I ran with the Coach Brendan running group when I trained for the 2013 Chicago Marathon and it was great!  And obviously CARA is one of the largest and most well-known training groups in Chicago with a ton of great benefits.

If you are interested in joining the AHA Run with Heart team for the 2016 Chicago Marathon, you can contact Callie Wohletz if you’d like more information.  Her email is, and her phone number is (312) 476-6663.

If you are registering on the Chicago Marathon website, choose to run with a charity and can select “American Heart Association” from the drop-down menu.  Those who register with the AHA have the added bonus of guaranteed race entry—no need to go through the lottery process!!

You can also register directly with the AHA team by clicking here.  Each team member commits to raising $1,000 to support the AHA’s mission if they register before April 12th.  After April 12th, the fundraising minimum goes to $1,500.

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