Sunday, May 31, 2009

Finish a 5K ... in total darkness

Ever get tired of waking up at the crack of dawn for those Saturday-a.m. races?

Well, here's a 5K that might pique the interest of anyone who's more of a night owl than a morning person: the 12th annual China Grove 5K Main Street Challenge, set to go off on Friday, June 12 ... at 9 p.m.

Not surprisingly, it'll be a small race, but the unique start time could be a draw -- especially for runners who live north of the city. (China Grove -- the town, not the Doobie Brothers song -- is about 40 minutes from uptown, just north of Kannapolis off I-85.)

David Freeze, president of the Salisbury Rowan Runners, says the race "really is a unique environment, starting in twilight and finishing in total darkness. The course is fairly fast too, an out and back on Main Street. No hills."

So why 9 o'clock at night?

"This race is 12 years old and originally coincided with a town event called 'Farmers Day' held on Saturday," says race director Aaron Crowe. "Because of all the vendors set up in the streets during Farmers Day, they ran the race at night on Friday and had Farmers Day on Saturday morning. The two events have since become separate events (about a month apart), but there seems to be something about a night race that people enjoy. The YMCA took over the race aboutnine years ago and liked the format."

Runners can expect fresh watermelon and cantaloupe along with other refreshments at the finish line, and proceeds from the race benefit the YMCA of Rowan County's "Invest in Youth" program. Cost is $25. Says Freeze: "Registration is good, up from previous years at this point. We are confident that we will get over 300 runners."

For the race brochure, click here. To register, click here.


Anonymous said...

Theoden, Did you get into the NYC Marathon?

Ken said...

Theoden, it's great to see you covering the running events that have long been neglected. I would like to see some comments on races that forget the 70+ runners and put them in a category with a 10-15year span. We're the runners that started the boom in running 35 years ago. Hope to see you at China Grove tonight. Thanks, Ken