Saturday, April 25, 2009

A good half marathon is hard to find

Against the advisement of veteran runner-friends, I recently ran three half-marathons in a span of seven weeks. (Results: 1:52:02 at Corporate Cup, 1:47:39 at ING Georgia, 1:49:44 at RaceFest.)

It's a great distance. It's serious enough to feel like an accomplishment, and allows you to employ more strategy than the short distances -- but doesn't require the punishing training of a marathon (or a long, painful post-race recovery).

For Charlotteans, though, 13.1-mile races become hard to find now that RaceFest is over. The rest of the spring and all of summer seem devoid of them. All I see on the horizon is the Dowd Y Run, a half/5K that goes off from the YMCA at the southern edge of uptown ... on Nov. 7.

In the meantime, if you want to cover the popular middle distance with a race bib and a chip timer on, you're gonna need to make road trip. Not a long and involved one -- but there'll be a little driving involved. Here are some upcoming half-marathon options that aren't too far afield:

  • Well-trained enough to take on one this coming weekend? Saturday's North Carolina Marathon has a 13.1-mile race. And because the event has been moved from Greensboro to High Point, the course will be new to everyone (the 26.2-mile route, by the way, is a Boston Marathon qualifier). Start time is 7 a.m. More than 1,700 runners are signed up, and proceeds will support programs and services to benefit foster children in Guilford County. Registration for the half is $60. For more info, click here.
  • Also being run on a brand-new course is the Inside-Out Sports Classic in Cary, scheduled for Sunday, May 17. The route will cover roads, trails and greenways in Cary and at Umstead State Park. More than 1,000 runners are expected for the half and 10K, with the crowds mitigated somewhat because the half goes off at 7 and the 10K doesn't start until 7:15. Proceeds from the race will support several local causes. Registration for the half is $45. For more info, click here.
  • Then on Saturday, June 6, there's the Charity Chase Half Marathon and Relay in Hickory. If you're looking for something small, this is your best bet: Typically it draws just a few hundred runners. It's also a good one for partners: In the relay division, teams of two run 6.5 miles each. 7 a.m. start, with a post-race party at the Hickory Crawdads' game -- they're a Class A minor-league baseball team. Proceeds will benefit local charities. Registration is $40. For more info, click here.
Know of other interesting halfs coming up locally or regionally? Please share!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

From now until the end of September, it is really hard to find a race in Charlotte that's longer than a 5K. Besides a 4 miler and 8K during the summer, there really isn't much variety for the races here in town. I know its hot during the summer, but you can start a race at 7am and its not too bad.

I hope the blog keeps telling us about more races within driving distance from Charlotte -- great to have some options from all the RFYL 5K races.

(BTW - a great race is the Lungstrong 15K in October - and its a really fun and challenging distance)

Jay said...

Not a half-marathon but Morrison Y in Ballantyne has a 10k on May 16. Have not run it before but I'm signed up for the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Theo, you will soon learn why there is no half's in the upcoming months...

Summer in Charlotte is not the place to be racing 13 miles. I don't care what time you start, it is already getting too hot for longer races. It is one thing to doing a long morning run, it is another to race that distance in the heat.

The ideal temps for a half or full is 55 degrees...which we probably won't see much of until September.

Anonymous said...

It's even harder to find decent 10K's in this area...

Karen said...

There is a half marathon in Davidson NC in September (and I think there is a 5K or 10K with it too) -- called Run for Green. I haven't done this race but heard it was good last year.

http://www.davidsonlands.org/#/runforgreen/4528799350

There is a 15K in mid May at the Biltmore in Asheville NC.

RaddyRad said...

Yeah, Run the Green is in mid-september...and also the same weekend in Badin (about 1 hour from Charlotte) is the Run the Valley 1/2 and 10k....I did the 10K last year - real hilly - be prepared. Great small town atmosphere, smaller crowd. Fun race....

jeff said...

I agree with other posters. Running halfs in Charlotte in the summer can be torturous. I'm already finding myself sucking wind on my easy 5 milers in the morning. It's amazing what a little humidity and heat will do to your pace