Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Letter from the CRC President

There was a recent thread on our FaceBook about the Charlotte Running Club making another attempt at the 100 x 5k Guinness book world record. As much I would like to see us hold this title again, I don’t see our club leading this effort. To break the record set by the Iowa runners we would have to average well below 17 minutes for a 100 runners. Probably less than 3% of our club is capable of running a sub 17 minute time on any given weekend. To make a realistic attempt at this record we would have to recruit heavily outside our club. There is nothing wrong with reaching to non members since I view this as an opportunity for potential members to gain exposure to our club. Where I am struggling with it is on the day of the event, it becomes less of a Charlotte Running Club initiative because the majority of the runners would most likely be non members. This is why that I would rather see someone else pursue this record. 

So with that said, I would consider going after a different Guinness Book world record. This would be to break the record for the number of tethered runners completing a 5k race. Guinness says the current record stands at 116 runners.

Is it possible for us to do it? I believe the answer is yes. There some logistical issues to workout. Namely, we would need to find a race that would allow us to do it.

Going after this type of record makes a lot more sense for our club. Unlike the 100 x 5k attempt where maybe less than 3% of our club could participate, this record could engage more of our existing club members. If I had to guess, I would say that at least 90% of our club can run a 5k in 35 minutes. Nothing would please me more than seeing every club member sign up to help us make this attempt.

If you are interested in being on the Charlotte Running Club world record attempt team, email run.charlotte@gmail to express your interest. At a minimum we would need 117 runners, but let’s go big and see if we can do 200 runners.

 

Upcoming CRC Activities and Events:

Here is what’s on tap for the coming months:

·         8/3/14 CRC Brain Freeze Run - Metropolitan 4pm

·         8/5/14 CRC/Blue Ridge Relay night @ Charlotte Running Company Location And Time are TBD

·         8/10/14 SLR Half Marathon – McMullen Greenway 7 AM

·         9/13/14 Earth Fare Community Block Party  11 AM -3 PM

·         10/4/14 CRC Uptown Throwdown 12hr Run Oct

·         10/29 & 30/14 CRC/Run Safer Clinic Charlotte Running Company Locations & Times TBD

·         12/7/14 Holiday Lights Run - Freedom Park 5:30 PM

·         12/13/14 CRC’s Guinness World Record attempt for most number of runners tethered together while completing a 5k (Huntersville Half & 5k 8:00 AM start)

 

CRC Summer Track Night “Under the Lights”:

I looked up into the sky and felt the rain falling on my face two hours before our track meet was to start. Shaking my head, I wondered if we were even going to be able to hold our CRC Summer Track Meet and if we did, how many people would come out to it. Rain and thunderstorms tend to keep people away from outdoor events.

Much to my surprise and enjoyment the rain stopped about 15 minutes before our meet was to begin. From this point on we could not have asked for a better evening. The temperature was way down. We had numerous vendors and spectators out to watch, and best of all, we had over 70s runners come out to enjoy a fantastic evening of track running.

Another potential issue that turned about being better than expected was the placement of the vendor tents. We were told by UNCC that we needed to stay off the field because the turf has been resurfaced. This left me wondering where I would put all of the tents. Again luck was on my side, we lined the tents up along the outside of the track. The plan was ingenious. Our runners could easily mingle with the venders if they were not participating in a particular event.

My other concern was staying on time. I had planned roughly 10 minutes between each event and 45 minutes for the open 5k. Running everyone using the waterfall line was the key. This allowed us to run more than 8 runners per event.

There is one change that I want to make for next year and that is to change the way we are counting laps. We had about 20 runners in the open race and 16 in the fast heat of the 5k. Runners are pretty good about the honor system so I don’t think we had anyone that short changed themselves. However, I want to figure out a way to make it easier on the timing team.

Again overall, we had a great event with lots of runners in attendance. Special thanks to Mike, Lori, Jon, Audrey, and Jeanette for their volunteer help. They were on top of everything.

Just so you know, I am already thinking about improves and additional events for next year.

 

Tour de Charlotte:

I hope everyone found our Tour de Charlotte initiative as great as I did. Eric’s weekly emails and blog post were slam packed with information covering the entire Charlotte running scene. There was everything from where to run to when to run to whom to run with. Reading them each week quickly got on my must do list.

While your mind was being entertained by the emails, we also had every possible running front covered. To do this, we mixed it up with some road runs, track runs, and trail runs. We have been to Charlotte Running Company for a great group run, pizza, and spirits. We were in Davidson with DART and Omega Sports for a rainy but no less fun group run. Of course, you read about the fantastic night at UNCC under the lights. We were at the US National Whitewater center for the River Jam group run. Awesome place, I really enjoyed hanging out with them and raffling off $100 dollars in gift cards. We wrapped this month up at Inside Out Sports where we gave away $400 in Inside Out gift to several lucky CRC members.

Special thanks needs to go out to Eric, Mike, Wendy, Eric, Lori, and Dave their willingness to step forward and organize these events for our club.

 CRC Newsletter:

Often our club members do special events or achieve special awards for their running or just have a burning desire to write. If you have an article that you would like to submit to be in our monthly CRC newsletter, email cltrunclub.newsletter@gmail.com.

The same goes for race results. Just email them to the same address and Phyllis will see that they make the next month’s newsletter.

Lastly, I would like to ask a favor. I am not sure how many club members know it or even realize it but Phyllis has been our club’s newsletter editor for a while now. She has been doing a fantastic job editing all of the articles into our monthly newsletter, and I really appreciate the effort that she has put into it. So, the next time that you see her please tell her what an awesome job that she is doing. For without Phyllis’ commitment in time and energy, our club may well be without a newsletter.  

Mileage Program:

Audrey has tabulated the June results for our club and posted it to our CRC website.

You can still join our mileage program by replying to Audrey’s monthly email. If you have never participated or have not received an email from her, you can still email Audrey at run.charlotte.miles@gmail.com

Member Status:

Our club membership total now stands at 325 members. Remember, you are our brand so help us promote our club. I would love to have 400 members by December of this year.

Board Meeting Update:

Our July board meeting was pushed back into the first week of June to accommodate the schedules of our board members. Here is the link to our June Board Meeting notes .

Our July board meeting was 6:30 PM on the 7/31 at the Dowd Y.

This was one of our best meetings yet with lots of great discussion.

Paul was not in attendance so I covered the Treasury report. We have a little over $5600 in the club’s account.

I reviewed with the board my idea about the Guinness World record attempt for most tethered runners completing a 5k. They approved the idea, and I am beginning the initial planning stages.

Eric and Lori have been doing some great analytics of our usage in Constant Contact as well as our FaceBook group. This work will help us both in approaching advertisers for our social media outlets and to better understand our member’s needs and wants. We also plant engage some of some members and non members in discussion groups.

 Eric pitched the idea to create a Charlotte’s Runners Hall of Fame. Look for more updates from him as he brings this idea for concept to reality.  

Next up, we talked about plans for the:

·         Aug 3 - Brain Freeze Run - Metropolitan - 4pm

·         Aug 5 - Charlotte Running Company/BRR Logistic Meeting

·         Aug 10 - SLR 1/2 marathon run

 

Mike shared with us the status of McAlpine and the options for going forward. McAlpine Park will close after Foot Locker in December which means our Winter Classic 8k will not be in the same location next year.  

Mike also has been working to update our website to provide better exposure for four club FaceBook groups.

 Rob is working out the location details for the Uptown Throwdown Relay.

 

Wrapping Up:

After the summer solstice the days tend to get shorter but they also tend to get hotter and more humid. Afternoon thunderstorms are a bound in the Charlotte area. Truly, this explains why most of us still finish our runs looking drenched. We are doomed from either the rain or the sweat. Ah, but before we know it, the cool temperatures of September will be upon. Our legs will feel like they have 10 more horse power on our daily runs. I am so looking forward to it.

If there is every a question, a concern, or just general feedback about our club, reach out to run.charlotte@gmail.com. Our board members monitor this email inbox and usually respond to emails within 24 hours.

 

Best in Running,

Bill Shires

CRC President

run.charlotte@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tour de Charlotte: Week of July 28

 Le Tour de Charlotte
Charlotte is a great place to run, and throughout the month of July, we're going to prove it! From group runs and races to running stores and trails, CRC's Tour de Charlotte will bring you news and events to help you stay connected to all things running in the Queen City.
Racing in Charlotte


  
The Tour de Charlotte marches on! Now that you know who to run with and where to run, it's time to talk about racing. Whether you're looking to run your first race or your 100th, whether you want to PR or you just want to get some exercise on a weekend, this guide will help you find the right race for you!

Why we race: Setting the right goal for you
Always take a moment to think about why you want to race. What goal are you trying to accomplish? Is it about going fast? Are you trying to run faster than you did last year or even last week? To set a new PR? Is it to challenge yourself to get in better shape and be healthier? Is it your first race at a certain distance or maybe even your first race ever? Are you running because your best friend is running or because your best friend said you couldn't or wouldn't? Are you running to support a charitable cause or to be part of a community? Are you the type of runner that prefers to stick to training runs and not race at all?

As a club, our mission is to support you whatever your motivation and help you achieve your running or fitness goals. We are a community of committed, passionate runners, and we can help each other!

Picking the right race
Once you know why you are racing, start looking around for a race that appeals to you. Here are some tips to help you find the right race:
  • Pick a distance. It's tempting for many people to think that racing is all about 5ks or marathons. While those are great distances (they are both Olympic events after all!), you have a lot of other options. Test your speed in a shorter race, run a 10k, or, if you're so inclined, try your hand at an ultra (but please, ensure that you are adequately prepared for these grueling endeavors!).
  • Pick a surface. Again, it is not always about road races. Try out a trail race or find a track meet. Better yet, join us next year for our 2nd annual All Around Miler, in which you run a mile on pavement, trail, and a track in the same night!
  • Start with word of mouth. Ask other club members what races they are running and why. You could always ask in one of our Facebook groups (Seven Minute MilersMy Pace or YoursDawdling Gazelles (DGs)).
  • Explore online race calendars. There are many out there, but we suggest starting with these (alpha order): 
A month by month view
Throughout the year, Charlotte features a host of races at a variety of distances. Or, if you're looking to get out of town for your big race, you're sure to find somebody else from Charlotte when you get there.

Although not exhaustive, the following list highlights some great local and nearby destination races every month:
  • January
  • February
    • Cupid's Cup 5k. What better way to start Valentine's weekend than with one of the fastest 5ks around with an uphill first half and all downhill second half!
    • Myrtle Beach Half/Full Marathon (Out of town). Flat and fast course next to the ocean.
  • March
  • April
    • Race Fest Half Marathon and 10k. This tough, but scenic, course winds around the beautiful neighborhoods of South Charlotte. 
    • Boston Marathon (Out of town). Ok, so this one is a bit further away, but every year, several hundred Charlotte runners make the trip to the iconic Boston race. 
  • May
    • Twilight 5k. Another in the Grand Prix Series, this race takes place on a Friday evening in uptown Charlotte. 
    • New River Marathon (Out of town). A beautiful course along the New River in Todd, North Carolina. 
  • June
    • Run for Your Life Summer Track Series. Dust off your spikes and head over to Myers Park High School every Tuesday in June. With distances ranging from 100m to 5k, there's something for everyone, including kids!
    • China Grove 5k (Out of town, sort of). Another Friday night race, this fun, fast, out-and-back 5k is just a short drive up I-85N. 
  • July
    • Firecracker 5k. Start off your July 4th celebrations with a fun neighborhood 5k, followed by free pizza and a pool party! 
    • The Bear (Out of town). One of the toughest races in the region, this 5-mile race finishes at the top of Grandfather Mountain. 
  • August
    • Greek Fest 5k. Part of the annual Greek Festival celebrations, this 5k is a Charlotte staple and is generally considered one of Charlotte's fastest 5ks.
  • September
    • Lung Strong 15k. Head up to Lake Norman for this beautiful course and a rare opportunity to run a 15k (~9.3 miles).
    • Blue Ridge Relay (Out of town). This popular relay race starts at Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia and ends 208 miles later in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Teams of up to 12 members take turns racing up and down some of the toughest terrain around while enjoying the stunning views. CRC's Men's Team (one of many teams comprised of CRC runners) won the race last year with a new course record and will be looking to defend their crown this year. One of the highlights of the North Carolina race calendar!
  • October
    • Runway 5k. Even if you're not as fast as a jet, this unique race in the Charlotte running calendar lets you run along the runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
    • Nodaween Freaky 5k. For a break from the norm, head to NoDa for the annual costume 5k. Prizes for best individual costume, best group costume, and (last and also least) running fast!
    • Peak to Creek Marathon (Out of town). Formerly known as the Ridge to Bridge Marathon, this spectacular race through the Pisgah National Forest has a net descent of 2,800 feet.
  • November
    • Thunder Road Marathon. Charlotte's signature marathon showcases all the best of what Charlotte has to offer. There are also Half Marathon and 5k options.
    • Outer Banks Marathon (Out of town). This fast and flat marathon takes place in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina and features both the USATF NC and RRCA State Championships.
    • Charlotte Turkey Trot. Kick off your Thanksgiving Day right with this classic Charlotte race. Run the 8k for the full experience, but there is a 5k option. Eager youngsters can also take on the 26.2 option (yards, not miles!).
  • December
We hope that you enjoy these races as much as we do, but remember, it all starts with you and your running goals. See you at the races!

And you might as well look good while you're out there...
Need a new racing singlet? Check out the CRC Store and show off your club pride on race day!
Featured Event This Week
  • Group run and social at Inside Out Sports. Join us for a group run and social at Inside Out Sports on Tuesday, July 29th at 6:30 PM. We will have a 3-mile and 4-mile running route with pacers so no one will be left behind! This event is free to members and non-members. Drinks will be provided post-run.
Previous Tour de Charlotte Updates
Happy running!
Charlotte Running Club

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tour de Charlotte: Week of July 21

 Le Tour de Charlotte
Le Tour de Charlotte: Week of July 21
Charlotte is a great place to run, and throughout the month of July, we're going to prove it! From group runs and races to running stores and trails, CRC's Tour de Charlotte will bring you news and events to help you stay connected to all things running in the Queen City.
Places to run in and around Charlotte
Trails, Tracks, and Safe Neighborhoods
  
Last week's email was all about who to run with; this week's email is all about where to run. From Freedom Park and the Dilworth Speed Loop to the Davidson trails to the Whitewater Center, Charlotte has a lot of great places to run!

For additional information or directions to any of these running spots, be sure to check out our Resources page.

Uptown and Central Charlotte
We may not have Central Park, but learn these routes, and you'll be able to accommodate runs of nearly any distance. Also, you're bound to bump into other runners along the way, so be sure to say hello!
  • Dowd YMCA - Morning or afternoon, this is always a great place to meet up for a run. Check out our Facebook groups (Seven Minute MilersMy Pace or Yours,Dawdling Gazelles (DGs)) to see who is running when. Bathrooms and a water fountain.
  • Freedom Park and Sugar Creek Greenway (4+ miles) - You can park at the entrance to Freedom Park off of East Boulevard. Run around the lake, test your 40m speed at the NFL Play 60 KidZone, or hop on the Sugar Creek Greenway, which will give you about 4 miles one way (from Park Road Shopping Center to 7th Avenue). For longer runs, run from the Dowd or connect to the Booty Loop, the Dilworth Speed Loop, or Latta Park (see below). Bathrooms and water fountains.
  • Booty Loop (3 miles) - It's not just for cyclists! This loop is approximately 3 miles long, but it's easy to connect with other nearby routes. You may spot a water fountain, but you'll have to head back to Freedom or the Dowd for a bathroom break. Note that the sidewalks are not well lit in early morning or late night.
  • Dilworth Speed Loop (1000m or 2 miles) - The "speed loop" is a short loop around Dilworth Road East and West that is great for interval training. Starting near the corner of East Boulevard and Dilworth Road West, you'll find the road marked every 100m for 800m. Continue past the 800m mark and turn left on East to complete your 1000 and jog back to the start. For longer intervals, you can get up to 2 miles if you add Worthington to Cleveland to Tremont, then cut back to Worthington on Lennox (or ask a seasoned vet for a tour!). This route is well lit, and most of the drivers know to watch for runners, but please be careful. No bathrooms or water fountains, but you may get lucky and find a port-a-potty or a friendly neighbor with a water cooler on their porch.
  • Latta Park (Less than 1 mile) - This small park is not much of a park, but there is a bathroom and a water fountain. Run the perimeter en route from the Dowd to Freedom or hop on the short, but shaded, trail on a hot day for a brief respite from the sun. Don't confuse this with Latta Plantation (see below).
  • Tracks
    • AG (Alexander Graham) Middle School Track - This track is open to the public when students are not around, so you'll likely see groups congregating there in the evenings. It's a concrete track, so don't bother bringing your spikes. Also, there are no public restrooms or water fountains, so be prepared. Note that although the track is marked correctly, one complete lap in lane 1 only about 390 meters, so it's usually best to run in lane 2.
    • JCSU (Johnson C Smith University) - This track is also open to the public when not in use by the university. There is limited parking, so it may be easier to run from the Dowd.
East Charlotte
  • McAlpine (9 miles) - Home to one of the South's best known cross country courses, McAlpine is a Charlotte runner staple. Keep your eyes open for construction and closures as they pave part of the trail, and be sure to lock your valuables in your car. Bathrooms and water fountains at the main entrance.
  • Sherman Branch (11 miles) - 11.6 miles of flowing single track. 600 feet of climbing. Recommended direction is clockwise, enter at Kiosk.
West Charlotte
  • US National Whitewater Center (13 miles) - Loads of great trail running, but you might as well try out some other activities while you're there! Parking is $5, or you can purchase an annual pass. Check the website before you head out there to confirm that the trails are open if it has rained recently. Also, check out their calendar page for races and group runs.
South Charlotte (including SC)
  • Anne Springs Close Greenway (7-9 miles) - These trails are across the border in Fort Mill, SC, but it's worth the drive! The land is privately owned, so bring $3 to pay to keep the park up. Also, the trails can be a bit confusing, so it may be wise to run with somebody who knows the trails the first time you go.
  • Renaissance Park (6 miles) - Follow the signs from the ball fields. Technical, single track trails. Watch for trail closures if it has rained recently.
  • Colonel Francis Beatty Park (7 miles) - Often overlooked, but a great place to run! Directions and maps online.
  • McMullen Creek Greenway (6 miles one way) - With a mix of pavement, dirt, and boardwalk, this greenway is prominently featured in the annual Charlotte 10-Miler. Park in the lots off of Pineville-Matthews Road or Rea Road. There is a bathroom and water fountain at the 4 mile marker and a port-a-potty at the Pineville-Matthews entrance. Watch out for closures due to construction to the I-485 overpass.
North Charlotte
  • North Meck Park (3.5 miles)
  • Fisher Farm (5.25 miles) - Near Davidson.
  • Davidson Trails (7 miles) - The trailhead is past the football practice field. Club founder and former president Aaron Linz wants you to know that you should watch out for snakes!
  • Latta Plantation (10-15 miles) - One of the longest trail systems in the Charlotte area. There is a nice combination of wide carriage trails and single track trails. Trail maps available at the nature center. Watch out for the horses (or whatever the horse might have left behind!). Not to be confused with Latta Park (see above).
  • UNC Charlotte Trails (4-10 miles)
  • Mallard Creek Greenway (4-15 miles) - Maps and directions available online.
  • Reedy Creek Park - Maps and directions available online and at the park entrance.
Be Smart. Run Safe. Although all of the running spots discussed here are generally safe, always use caution and be smart when running! When possible, run with a friend or group of friends (see last week's email!). Watch out for cars, bikes, wild animals, and shady people. Wear appropriate and safe clothing (e.g., reflective clothing and lights if it's dark). Be mindful of the weather. Wear a Road ID. Be sure to stay hydrated. In other words, use common sense! 

For maps of these featured runs and more, check out the CRC Map My Run Page.

For information on parks throughout the Charlotte Mecklenburg region, check out Tar Heel Trail Blazers or the Charlotte Mecklenburg Parks Department.

Did we miss one of your favorite running spots? Let us know, and we'll add it to our Resources page.
Featured Event This Week
CRC Group Run at the Whitewater Center - Please join us for a group trail run on Thursday, July 24th at 6:30 PM! We are teaming up with the weekly Whitewater Center River Jam run. 1.5 mile, 3 mile, and 6 mile options. Stick around afterwards for River Jam - there will be live music, food and drinks until 10pm. Meet at the trail center at 6:15 PM for a 6:30 PM start.
Update from Last Week: More Group Runs!
Last week, we asked you to let us know of any group runs that we left off our list, and you sent in some great ones! Keep them coming!
 
Happy running!
Charlotte Running Club

Monday, July 14, 2014

CRC - Tour de Charlotte: Week of July 14th


CRC - Tour de Charlotte: Week of July 14th
Charlotte is a great place to run, and throughout the month of July, we're going to prove it! From group runs and races to running stores and trails, CRC's Tour de Charlotte will bring you news and events to help you stay connected to all things running in the Queen City.
Group Runs in and around Charlotte
  
Do you ever find yourself wishing that you had more company on your runs, particularly through the heat and humidity of summer? If so, you should know that Charlotte offers a wide variety of group runs for all paces and experience levels.
  
CRC Facebook Pace Groups
Join one (or all!) of our Facebook groups to connect with fellow runners for group runs and workouts. With 3 groups across a wide range of paces and experience levels, there is a place for everyone!
Running with the Running Stores
Hopefully you were able to join us last week for our group runs sponsored by the Charlotte Running Company and Omega Sports (with our friends from D.A.R.T.). Charlotte has a great collection of running stores, and they all regularly host group runs, training classes, and races. Contact the stores directly for more information (Charlotte Running CompanyInside-Out SportsOmega SportsRun For Your LifeTrySportsUltra Running Company). 

Other Good Options
Did we miss one of your favorite group runs? Let us know, and we'll add it to our Group Runs page.
Featured Events This Week
Be sure to check out these events this week!
  • CRC Summer Track Night - Tuesday, July 15th at Irwin Belk Track on UNCC's campus. First event starts at 7:00 PM. Free entry!
  • Check out any of the afforementioned group runs (perhaps the NoDa run on Wednesday or the Triple C run on Thursday?!?)
  • River Bound Race Series 5k/Half Marathon - Saturday, July 19th at Anne Springs Close Greenway.
Happy running!
Charlotte Running Club
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