Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Run BluePoints 5K just for the hill of it

If you're running the Carolina Panthers' BluePoints 5K uptown this Saturday morning, a piece of advice: Don't go out too fast.

I ran the course last Friday. After a little riser on Stonewall in the first 400 meters, it's all downhill for the next mile and a half or so. Then you turn right onto Morehead ... and for about nine-tenths of a mile, you'll be climbing. The "best" part: Right before you crest (on the bridge-crossing over South Boulevard), you'll hit a final steep patch that I heard a friend refer to earlier today as "the wall."

Fortunately, the last half-mile is mostly flat or downhill. But the point is, don't burn too hot too fast -- or you'll be sucking oxygen alongside others who are crashing on the march up Morehead Street in Mile 3.

Current forecast shows that it'll be about 72 degrees and mostly cloudy when the gun goes off in front of Bank of America Stadium at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, with a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm. In other words, warm and muggy.

Anyway, here are a few other tidbits about the event worth passing along, thanks to Dana Thomas of the Panthers:

  • Typically, the BluePoints 5K draws about 1,200 to 1,300 runners.
  • The start and finish is on Mint Street by the East Gate. All race activities take place outside the stadium, but the venue does open to the public at 9:30 a.m. for FanFest. The event includes contests, entertainment and a team practice from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Despite what Stonewall between Church and Tryon looks like at the moment (that is, a complete mess -- thanks to the Duke Tower water main project), Thomas assured me that "at least two lanes" will be open for runners and the course will not need to be altered.
  • Runners and their families are likely to see official Panthers mascot Sir Purr and members of the TopCat cheerleading squad out and about; the awards ceremony will be hosted by Mick Mixon (a.k.a. "The Voice of the Panthers").
  • Race sponsors are Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C., the Dairy Association, Aquafina, Gatorade, Carolinas Medical Center, Russell Athletic, Wendy’s, 107.9 the LINK, and WBT Radio. Each will either contribute to the goody bag or provide something at the finish.
  • All participants are advised to park in the Mint Street Parking Deck for $5.
You can register for $20 online (here) through Thursday or at a Run For Your Life store through Friday; on race day, the cost for the 5K is $30. (Further race details can be found here.)

I'll be out there trying to PR. That's sub-21:39, for those keeping score at home. The key for me will be -- wait a minute, the key for me is the same as the key for you! Say it with me now: Don't go out too fast.

See y'all there.


Anonymous said...

One other thing to mention and think about. There is a lot of construction and daily vehicle traffic on the streets that this race is held on. Therefore there will probably be a lot of potholes, broken pavement and wear ruts. BE CAREFUL and keep an eye oyt for obstacles. Especially true if you are in a pack of runners and can not look down.

Anonymous said...

This is really a nice race. What would make this a great race, is if you got to finish inside of Panther Stadium!

Allen said...

Sub-21, it can be done! Power up Morehead. This is where all that hill work pays off.

Anonymous said...

There is a big parking garage in Gateway Village that has entrances from Trade & 5th Streets that is usually open to the public (aka: free) on the weekends. It's about a half mile to B of A Stadium from there. Might be worth a try!

tDawg said...

sub 21? How about sub 30? This will be my first 5K ever.

chupacabra said...

I'm taking the train to the Stonewall station and walking the half mile to the stadium.

I don't know if you were around then, Theoden but once upon a time the CO sponsored a marathon/10k that finished up that hill on Morehead - ah memories.

(previous comment was deleted for editing purposes)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the course info - it'll be real helpful. My first time running this race and was wondering about the hills. Good luck on your goal. Mine is below 28 min.

Clinton said...

If your trying for a PR, line up early and get up front. A lot of slow runners get up front and with the quick right up hill it tends to bottleneck the start.

chupacabra said...

Theoden baby have you SEEN Stonewall St. this morning?

I'm not getting a warm fuzzy about that corner on Church St.

I'm just gonna show up tomorrow and follow the crowd.