Friday, June 19, 2009

Pray for a breeze at Summer Breeze

If you're planning to run the Summer Breeze 5K in Charlotte's Freedom Park on Saturday morning, get ready for a hot one.

According to the National Weather Service, temperature at the start is expected to be in the mid-70s ... and since the women run first, at 7:30 a.m., followed by the men at 8, the Fahrenheit may eclipse 80 degrees by the time middle-of-the-pack guys cross the finish line.

It could be worse, though: If the race had remained a Saturday evening event -- which it has been every year up till now -- female runners would have been hitting the pavement at 7 p.m. At 7 p.m. Saturday, the hourly weather graph says it'll be 91.

The Summer Breeze race, sponsored by Run For Your Life, is held annually during the weekend of the summer solstice, which results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year.

The switch from P.M. to A.M. probably comes as a disappointment to some. But at least the race is still being run at all: Run for Your Life agreed in April to step in and produce the race after lack of sponsorship threatened to cancel this year's event. (For the full press release, click here.)

As for why the event is closer to sunrise than sunset, Run for Your Life owner Tim Rhodes says:

"A lot of runners don’t like the evening time because it messes up their day as far as what they can do and what they can eat. We’ll see what the reaction is when it comes time to register. I haven’t really heard much one way or the other as far as the time of day is concerned. I guess that could be good news.

"Also, the (Charlotte Track & Triathlon Club) decided to move it to the morning and that is what the parade permit with the city was approved for, so really, the decision was already made for us. We have decided to keep the Male and Female starts separate as is tradition with this event."

Once again: Women's start is at 7:30 a.m.; men's is at 8. You can register online (here) through midnight tonight for $20, or $12 for children K-12. There's also a kids' "fun run" at 8:45 (cost is $10). On race day, fees go up to $30/$20, though the fun run remains $10.

For full Summer Breeze details, click here.

Oh, and if you want to take a break from racing, organizers are looking for volunteers, too. Find out how you can help by e-mailing Charlotte Track and Triathlon Club volunteer coordinator Lana Torkildsen at


chupacabra said...

I liked the novelty of the race being at night, but it is going to be much cooler in the morning. Also we're heading out after the race to spend the weekend with my parents for father's day so its just as well that this race is in the morning.

It is odd that there are different start times for men and women. I can't say that I get that but if nothing else it will be my rare chance to be the one at the finish line waiting for my husband. I'm always 2-3 min/mile behind him so I never get to see him cross the finish line.