If you're on the Charlotte Running Co.'s e-mail newsletter blast list, you may have seen this item toward the top of its most recent message:
"We are pleased to bring back the Thursday Night 4.4 Mile Time Trial that was so popular a couple of years ago. The first TT is scheduled for Thursday July 23rd, 2009 at 7:00pm. We will have a Finish Clock, special prizes and giveaways each night. The Thursday Speed Night will run until the end of August. Individuals who run all of the events will receive a Technical T-shirt at the end of the series. Results will be posted weekly on the Charlotte Running Co. website.Unclear? Nah, not if you've done it before. Then again, most of you probably haven't done it before. But you need not necessarily go looking for more info from Mark (who was our featured runner last week). We've been in touch with him, and have several details to pass along about this series.
For more information please contact Mark Carbone at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-377-8786."
First up, here's how he recently described the Thursday Night 4.4 Mile Time Trial in a nutshell: "It was done last year and we had a clock that basically just kept time, while sending off people in small intervals. People would come each week and see if they could 'beat' their time. We will try to give some prizes each week, with the major intention of making it fun and social."
But today, we asked Mark to go a bit deeper.
Q. How many years have you been doing this?
This was done last year by the Sharksbite run group.
Q. How many runners typically came out last year?
15-30 depending on weather.
Q. The 7 p.m. start time is new, right? I heard that in previous years it began at 6:30...
The run used to be managed by Tim Long before he moved to Colorado. I, along with Dana Pettice, decided we wanted to start it up again and really try to make it fun for all, so it's best if we don't have to worry about covering the store at the same time.
Q. Can you give us a sneak preview of the route? Start and finish at the store? Will traffic be an issue for runners?
The start/finish is in back of the store. It's 4.4 miles if you run the tangents along the streets. (Click here to see the course.) Hilly, but with an equal share of flat stretches in the middle of the route. Traffic shouldn't be an issue at that time, but use your senses.
Q. In general, are the runners who show up pretty experienced (i.e. fast)?
We don't care how fast you go. It's not a race -- just a time trial. Our goal is to allow people to see how fast THEY can go. We'd be happy to give a prize to the slowest person. That being said, it's for all.
Q. What kinds of prizes and giveaways?
It will vary each week -- socks, CRC gear, hats, and some samples from my sponsors BioFreeze and Aquaphor. We may give a prize to whoever comes up with the best smack-talk line of the day.
Q. Anything else you want people to know about the event?
We just wanted to try and create a race environment without the race. Our goal is for people to come on by, let it rip, and be able to have fun while shooting the breeze with others in the end.
Oh, and one other point well worth mentioning: There is no cost whatsoever to participate. Can't beat that.