Monday, July 6, 2009

4-miler should bring out the best in you

How cool is this: All I have to do to PR at this Saturday's Run For Your Life Run For Your Cause 4-Miler ... is finish. That's one big benefit of running a certain distance for the first time.

And since four-mile races are so rare, I imagine that scores of other people will be setting personal records out in Dilworth this weekend.

The weather forecast looks favorable but warm for the running store's annual July race, which has undergone a makeover for 2009. After running the course (click here to see map) this morning, I traded e-mails with race director Ashleigh Lawrence -- who graciously answered several questions about the event:

Q. How many runners are you expecting this weekend?

Q. What do you think it is about the 4-mile distance that's appealing to runners? Just something different? Easier to PR because they don't run them that often?
All of the above. It really depends on the runner. Some people like the 4-mile distance because it's not your typical 5K so they can set a new goal -- whether it be time, pace or just to finish. And like you said, it's not a common distance so people can have a better chance to PR. I think the course plays into it, too.

Q. I didn't find the course to be particularly hilly, although the first leg -- McDonald to Euclid -- seemed like a gradual, steady climb. Is there a particularly challenging portion of the course that stands out to you as one runners would want to know about?
The final hill going up Lyndhurst. (You'll run into it) a little over half a mile from the finish. I would not consider it to be a gradual climb -- definitely steeper than the climb up McDonald.

Q. I noticed that on certain stretches, like McDonald (where there's always lots of home construction), things can get tight when contractors' trucks are parked on the street. Will parking restrictions be enforced during the race?
Unfortunately, that is not something we can control. We do our best to encourage parking elsewhere.

Q. How's the race tee?
We have some great Asics technical shirts. The men's shirt is similar to what we've done in the past, but the women's cut is actually different and I think the women will like the way it fits much better. The kids' shirts are cotton. All the shirts -- men's, women's and kids' cotton -- have the same design featuring a new Run For Your Cause logo. They also commemorate the store's 20th anniversary, so I think they are one of the more "special" shirts of our 2009 Grand Prix races.

Q. What kind of food and drink y'all got for us at the finish line?
We will have Diamond Springs water and PowerAde ... . We will also have Michelob Ultra -- exact flavors I'm unsure of. Great Harvest Bread will be there. Fran's Filling Station, a new restaurant opening a couple stores down from Run For Your Life, will be bringing something out. And of course, we'll have fruit for the finishers.

Q. So the Dilworth Run For Your Life store will be open to runners afterward, and there'll be some good deals to be had, right?
Yes there will be! 15 percent to 50 percent off of apparel, and deep discounts on older-model shoes.

Q. And I blogged about it awhile back, but remind us: What's the Run For Your Cause race's philanthropic mission?
Rather than partnering with one non-profit beneficiary for a race, we've partnered with two -- the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina and the Dore Academy. Our goal is to help them raise both awareness and financial funds through the event. It's the inaugural Run For Your Cause and we hope to continue with it in the future, growing the event to include more nonprofit beneficiaries. Both the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina and the Dore Academy will have booths at the event so that they can interact with all the participants, collect donations and promote their organization -- so we encourage all runners to stop by their tents! They will be spread throughout the course as well -- both organizations are providing volunteers for the event.

Q. Anything else you want to mention?
Oh yes -- we'll have a MoonBounce and Pop-a-Shot basketball games for kids.

* * *

The race starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday ($20, or $30 on race day); there's also a 1K Fun Run ($5-$10) scheduled for 8:30. For more details, or to sign up, click here.

Say "hi" if you see me out there this weekend. I'll be trying my best to stick to a 7:10 pace, which would bring me in at 28:40. What's your goal??


ann said...

Are there going to be beginners in this race? i'd love to run, but im scared i'll finish dead last...i havent run a race in a long time!

Anonymous said...

I ran this race last year and it's a must do. Another great race put on by RFYL.

I'm sure you won't be the only beginner - just think of it as more people to cheer you in as you cross the finish line. You can do it!

Anonymous said...

Ann, don't worry about it. No matter how slow you think you are, my experience is that there are always a lot of people are a lot slower. At least you have experience running races. Go for it! It will be fun!

Anonymous said...

Ann, I'm sure it'll take me over an hour to finish. You won't be last! I see it as "hey, at least I got out of bed and got some exercise," which is more than I can say for most people!

Anonymous said...

Another great 8k, 4-miler is the Winter Flight held in Feb at Catawba College in Salisbury.

Anonymous said...

Ann- I have some running group members who will be running the race and they are at a walk/run pace. They are worried about the same thing, but no one is there to make you feel out of place for finishing behind. It's a great race and a great way to get in a run on Saturday morning! Running is about having fun and freeling better! You are already on the right track!

Good luck to all who run!

Anonymous said...

See everyone there in the morning!