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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

CRC Mileage Program - June 2014

You are all winners in this mileage program as you continue to challenge yourself and strive for higher milestones.  Keep up the great work and go get those miles!!  To see a complete listing of participants that submitted their miles for the month of June click here. 

Congratulations to all our milestone achievers!  Milestone achievers are in order of total miles run in 2014.
Compete for yourself!  Prove it to yourself! 
Joe Schlereth

 Bill Shires
Caitlin Bullock
Megan Hovis
Walt Guyer
Mike Mitchell
Caleb Boyd
Paul Mainwaring
Graham Shorr
Dave Munger
Dennis Livesay
Mark McGeough
Daniel Matena
Rob Ducsay
Chad Crockford
Mark Ulrich
Danielle Crockford
Butch Holt
Tom Torkildsen
Jimmy Moore
Billy Shue
Wendy Norvell
Allen Strickland
John Compton
Brad Farmer
Dianne Allen
Carolyn Yang
Stan Austin
Gary Rautenstrauch
Bob Nelson
Valerie Matena
Anne Marie Church
Mike Slaney
Dean Otto
Michelle Seymour
Laura Gray
Taiza Rivera
Ben Hovis
Chad Champion
Hunter Fleshood
Keith Reynolds
Paul Reinfeld
Michael Miller
Dan Keller
Flavia Asar
Steve Tant
Lana Torkildsen
Paula VanTassell
Audrey Ashkin
You can join anytime during the year by emailing your monthly miles to  If you have any questions or mileage corrections to report please send an email to


Saturday, June 28, 2014

June Letter from the CRC President

Since I joined our Charlotte Running Club, there has always been one misconception that has just seemed to follow our club.

“The Charlotte Running Club is just for ‘FAST’ runners.”

This is simply not true. The Charlotte Running Club is open to all paces and welcomes all paces.

We have specifically organized our Facebook pace groups to accommodate multiple pace ranges. We have organized prediction, Easter Egg, holiday lights, brain freeze, endurance, and relay runs/races because they allow for other aspects aside from “speed” to be the determining factor in the finishing order. We schedule Happy Hours Socials and Summer Picnics so members have opportunities to meet and talk outside of running. We have gone to great lengths to make sure our activities connect with as many members as possible.

In my opinion people join the Charlotte Running Cub because they are passionate about running, they want to be more consistent, and they want the extra motivation and accountability that comes from being surrounded by “like minded” individuals. After they join and probably before they even realize it, they are attending more group runs, going to more workouts, and running more miles. They are becoming more visible at group runs, workouts, and races. Low and behold they may become faster. 

So yes, if you passionate about running, I would love for you to join our club and I don’t care what pace you run. Just don’t be surprised if after you join, you find yourself running faster. 


Upcoming CRC Activities and Events:

Our board is working hard to have a CRC presence all over Charlotte this year.

· Upcoming Activities and Group Run Series

·         7/8/14 CRC/Charlotte Running Company Group Run – Dilworth Location – 6:30 PM

·         7/10/14 CRC/DART/Omega Sports Group Run – Summit Coffee Davidson – 6:30 PM

·         7/15/14 CRC Track Night 5k under the lights @ UNCC Irwin Belk Track

·         7/24/14 CRC/US Whitewater Center Group Run 6:15 – Main facility 6:15 PM

·         7/29/14 CRC/Inside Out Sports Group Run – 6:30 PM

·         8/3/14 Brain Freeze Run – Metropolitan 4 PM

·         8/5/14 CRC/Blue Ridge Relay – preparty – at Charlotte Running Company – Dilworth 6:30 PM

·         8/10/14 CRC/Sunday Long Run (SLR) Half Marathon – McMullen Greenway 7AM

·         Sept BB&T Stadium Run – Uptown Charlotte

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

·         CRC/Run Safer Clinic Oct

·         12/9/14 Holiday Lights Run (5:30 PM near Freedom Park )


CRC Summer Picnic:

In mid-June of each year we hold our annual club picnic and social. For the second year in a row, we choose to hold this event at Freedom Park. The Park & Rec guys hooked us up with an awesome shelter. It was nestled very nicely in the shade of several large trees.

Throughout the afternoon, we were able to wonder between Corn Hole games and volleyball games. Big thanks, to Rob, Wen, and Brad for sharing their games with the rest of us.

The club supplied the hamburgers, hotdogs, buns, and accessories, and I would like to personally thank our members for their side items. There was plenty of food for everyone. I also would like to thank Brad for stepping in to the chef’s role and grilling our hamburgers and hotdogs.

CRC Happy Hour @ BlackFinn

I would like to thank BlackFinn for hosting our second CRC Happy Hour. This is something new that we started just this year. Attendance is usually around 10 club members, but we hope to continue to have them and grow them over time.

Tour de Charlotte:

While you are watching the Tour de France unfold, plan to join us for our little tour of Charlotte during the month of July.

We will kick things off with a group run from the Dilworth Charlotte Running Company store on 7/8. We head to Summit Coffee in Davidson for a run with our buddies from DART at 6:30 on 7/10. Look for Omega Sports to join us. We turn on the lights at UNCC Irwin Belk Track on 7/15 for CRC’s summer track night – events start at 7 PM and remember it is free for both members and non members. The following week 7/24, we will head out to the US Whitewater Center and join them for a trail run. There are several distance options so pick your poison. We will finish the month of July off by joining our friends from Inside Out Sports on 7/29 from their Church Street location for a group run.

Plenty of opportunities to join us so mark your calendars.

Mileage Program:

Audrey has tabulated the May 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 for some reason, you have not received an email from her, you can still email Audrey at

Member Status:

We soared to more than 300 members this month for the first time in since the early days when club was founded. Our current member count stands at 315. Could we get to 400 by the end of the year? I would love to see us do it so please invite your friends to join our club.

Board Members:

During our late May meeting our CRC board approved Loril’s nomination to our club’s board, and Eric Bilbrey was nominated and approved as the board’s Vice President. Loril will be completing Stephanie’s term which ends December of this year.

During our June meeting, Dave Munger was nominated and approved by our club’s board to complete Laurie’s term which ends in December of ’15.

Board Meeting Update:

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


Our June board meeting was on the 6/26 at Whole Foods.

We postponed approval of the board meeting minutes from May. They still needed to be reviewed by the board members.

Next up, Dave Munger’s name was placed into nomination and approved to fill the boards open position.

Paul delivered the club’s Treasury report. Current balance stands at $5448.95

We then went into a discussion of the group runs and events for the CRC during the months of July and Aug – see the list below.

·         July 8th CRC/Charlotte Running Company Group Run meeting  - Dilworth -6:30 PM

·         July 10 CRC/DART/Omega Sports Group Run - Summit Coffee - 6:30 PM

·         July 15th Summer Track Night - UNCC– 7 PM

·         July 24th CRC/US Whitewater Center Trail Group Run (Main Center) 6:30 PM

·         July 29th CRC/Inside Out Sports - Group Run – 6:30 PM

·         Aug 3 - CRCBrain Freeze Run - Metropolitan – 4 PM

·         Aug 5 – CRC/Charlotte Running Company/BRR Logistic Meeting – Dilworth – 6:30 PM

·         Aug 10 - SLR 1/2 marathon – McMullen Greenway – Rea Rd Entrance – 7 AM

We plan to provide water and Gatorade for the SLR event on Aug 10th.

Mike was approved to pay for up to $50 dollars in food and refreshments for 7/8 and 7/29 runs.

The club is extremely low on CRC Promo cards. The board authorized Mike to purchase a new bundle of cards – costing no more than $150.

  Discussions are continuing about holding a BB&T Stadium benefiting the ‘Let Me Run’ group. No dates and times are available at this point. 

Work on the WC8k Sponsorship materials will be delayed until we have locked down a date and location for the Winter Classic 8k. The current plans say that McAlpine XC will be closed after the first of the year. Therefore, we are looking at other options for our club’s race next year.

Eric will be heading up our push for information sharing during the month of July. Each week, we will be posting different information about group runs, running stores, trails, races, and friends of CRC to our club’s Facebook and Additionally, we will be sending emails to club members with this same information.  

 Loril has agreed to head up a communications group. More details about their efforts will be shared once they have had a chance to meet and chart a direction.)

I am not sure if everyone realizes but we use Survey Monkey for our surveys and board voting. This cost of us just over $200 dollars per year. We are looking to let this expire and pick up similar functionality from Constant Contact. The cost will be roughly $84 per year versus the $206 that we currently pay with Survey Monkey. This transition will take place during the month of September.

Wrapping Up:

With dawn pushing back the darkness before 6 AM, I am super excited about the longer days. No head lamps needed and I can attempt to finish a run before the heat and humidity of the day overtakes me.

So don’t waste your summer. Head out the door and get in those runs.

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


Come run with me,

Bill Shires

CRC President




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