Monday, September 1, 2014

Aug Letter from the CRC President

Over the years, the Charlotte running scene has changed in some ways but in others ways the view has remained pretty much the same. When I look across the running landscape now, I see lots of smaller running groups and a couple of large groups/clubs. One of these groups/clubs is our very own “Charlotte Running Club”.

Turning back the clock 20 years, and I remember there stilling being two major running groups/clubs in Charlotte. One in particular was the “Charlotte Road Runners Club”.
My reason for talking about these guys stems from the fact that they have decided to close their club doors.

In 1988, Steve Staley formed the “Charlotte Road Runners Club”. To my knowledge, Steve has been the President and the driving force behind this club the entire time. 

I have joined Charlotte Road Runners Club somewhere around ’92 or ’93 when I met Steve, Bobby Aswell, and Ken Wong. These guys were like the three amigos. They seem to race often and everywhere. We quickly became friends, and I went to many of the club socials and group runs organized by Steve.

In CRRC's hay day, I am guessing they had well over 300 members. Maybe they had more. Steve would know for sure. But like anything in life people move on, and over the years, the club has grown smaller currently at 52 members.

Over the last couple of months, Steve has talked often about shutting their club doors and just recently he started taking the necessary steps to move forward with this effort.

At the end of December, the Charlotte Road Runners Club will cease to exist. For me personally, this will be a sad day. I have many fawn memories of being a part of this club and running and racing with these guys.

After Steve told me about his plans, I wondered what these runners would do without a club home.
I cannot envision not having a place to hang my running club hat. To this end, I reached out to Steve and extended an invitation to him and the rest of the members to join our Charlotte Running Club.
Having them join our club is a win-win situation for all of us. Our club continues to find its footing but has enormous drive and potential. When blended with their experience, our future can only continue in one direction – upward.

Please join me in welcoming these former Charlotte Road Running Club members in to our club.  
Upcoming CRC Activities and Events:
Here is what’s on tap for the coming months:
·         10/4/14 CRC Uptown Throwdown 12hr Run Oct
·         10/29 & 30/14 CRC/Run Safer Clinic Charlotte Running Company Locations & Times TBD
·         11/15/14 CRC Cheer zone 10 point of the Thunder Road course
·         12/6/14 CRC Annual Board Meeting 1-4 Location: TBDs
·         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 Guinness WR Tether Team
Our Guinness WR attempt is coming right along. Our application for this attempt has been submitted to Guinness. I have been working with them on the approval of our tether team layout. There are a number of guidelines that need to be approved by them before we can make our attempt.  
Additionally, a budget has been created but hasn’t been submitted to the board as yet. There are a number of materials needed to connect the runners together. The budget reflects those materials but I cannot finalize it until Guinness has approved our layout. For my part, I try to respond quickly to their request and questions. But as you can imagine, their response isn’t quick.
There continues to be plenty room on our team so if you are interested, please email My goal is to have 200 runners, but if we have more, we definitely will not turn anyone away.
Nonprofit Status:
Good news. The IRS has responded to our nonprofit application. Their response contained four items for us to address. In three of these items, they have asked us to modify our club’s purpose statement to better fall in line with the IRS tax codes. The forth item pertains to how our foundation is classified under the IRS tax codes. The letter also stated that we need to respond by September 18th or our application will be suspended.
During our Aug meeting, our board members approved these changes to our club’s bylaws and our response has been returned to the IRS.  
 Uptown Throwdown:
More good news, our 12 run and relay will pretty much use the same course as last year but the starting and finishing location will be at the opposite end this year. We will be running from Shelter #6 in Freedom Park down to the Metropolitan and back.
Rob is on track to get more info out in the coming weeks so stay tuned to our Facebook page.

Winter Classic 8k Status:
As many of you know, there is major construction coming to the McAlpine Greenway. Shortly after Foot Locker races are completed, the park will close to all events. What does this mean? Well, we have been looking for a new home for our Winter Classic 8k. We have explored numerous locations around Charlotte. The short story is that we have not been able to found a suitable location which would allow us to continue the Winter Classic 8k in the same fashion as previous years. With this said, we have decided to postpone our club’s Winter Classic 8k race for ’15.
Once McAlpine reopens, we will plan to return with the Winter Classic 8k. This will most likely happen in ’16.
I know everyone is disappointed. I am disappointed as well. Hopefully, our disappointment will last only one year.

Mileage Program:
Audrey has tabulated the July 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. For those that might have this email address, please use
Member Status:
Our club membership total now stands at 338 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 Aug Board meeting covered the following topics:
·         July Meeting Minutes approval
·         Treasury Report
·         Winter Classic 8k postponement – voted to postpone the event until ‘16
·         CRC Introductory Letter – draft copy to be updated and reviewed by board members
·         IRS Nonprofit Letter – required updates to our club bylaws and foundation classification. Letter is being signed and returned before 9/18/14
·         Board approved allowing Allen to use the club’s clock
·         Board approved dropping Survey Monkey in favor of using Google Survey functionality for the fall club’s elections.
Other statuses given:
·         Discussion of adding a social to the fall schedule
·         Guinness WR attempt status
·         Uptown Throwdown status
·         RRCA dues for ’14
Wrapping Up:
I have to say that this summer we have seen some of strangest weather in recent memory. Either the skies have been cloudy with rain falling or the days been summer hot and humid. Honestly, I am pretty good with it either way. I like it warm. There is nothing like a warm summer shower during a run.
Now, with September I don’t expect too much rain but I do expect cooler temperatures which mean good running and racing weather.
There is a ton of events coming this fall in the Charlotte so get out and take advantage of them.   
I welcome any and all feedback from our members. To contact me, please use the following email address: Our board members monitor this email inbox and usually respond to emails within 24 hours.
Best in Running,
Bill Shires
CRC President

Friday, August 15, 2014

CRC's Guinness WR Tether Team Attempt

On December 13, 2014 at 8 AM, our club plans an attempt at the Guinness Book World Record of 116 runners tethered together while completing a 5k race.

We will be making this attempt at the Huntersville 5k in Huntersville, NC.

There is no cost to be on our team, but you will have to register for the race so you are listed in the official results. These results will be turned over to Guinness as part of our proof of accomplishment.

We would like to have at the very least 200 runners that can run a 30 minute 5k. We suspect that it may take us upwards of 40 minutes for more to complete the course.

If you are interested, please email

Come be on a world record setting team,

Bill Shires
Charlotte Running Club President and CRC Tether Team Captain.

Friday, August 8, 2014

CRC Mileage Program - July 2014

You guys are amazing runners!  The list of milestone achievers continues to grow as all of you continue working hard toward your running goals.  July results are in.  Click here to see a complete listing of participants that submitted their miles.  Great job everyone!  Milestone achievers are in order of total miles run in 2014. 

Joe Schlereth
Bill Shires

 Megan Hovis
Caitlin Bullock
Walt Guyer
Caleb Boyd
Mike Mitchell
Dave Munger
Paul Mainwaring
Graham Shorr
Dennis Livesay
Mark McGeough
Mark Ulrich
Rob Ducsay
Daniel Matena
Tom Torkildsen
Brad Farmer
Jimmy Moore
Danielle Crockford
Butch Holt
Chad Crockford
Wendy Norvell
Allen Strickland
Billy Shue
Stan Austin
Carolyn Yang
Dianne Allen
Laura Gray
Gary Rautenstrauch
John Compton
Dean Otto
Bob Nelson
Valerie Matena
Michelle Seymour
Keith Reynolds
Ben Hovis
Taiza Rivera
Anne Marie Church
Chad Champion
Mike Slaney
Hunter Fleshood
Flavia Asar
Mike Moran
Michael Miller
Dan Keller
Joey Church
Mark Cullen
Paul Reinfeld
Lana Torkildsen
Keli Fayard
Allie Brown
Audrey Ashkin
Dave Edwards
Paula Van Tassell
Ralph Shore
Steve Tant
Matt Miller
Melinda Law
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


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

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

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 Our board members monitor this email inbox and usually respond to emails within 24 hours.


Best in Running,

Bill Shires

CRC President





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
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