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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