Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Run a race, then stuff your face

If the organizers of the Hit the Brixx 10K/5K are trying to suck up to runners, well, they're doing an awfully good job.

Reasons to love it: The gun for the 5K doesn't go off till 9 a.m., making it one of the most humane annual 3.1-mile races for Charlotteans who have trouble getting up early on a Saturday. The event offers runners who love a good challenge the opportunity to take on both a 10K and a 5K back-to-back. Then there's all that free pizza and beer – and, of course, it's not just any pizza ...

This morning, race director Ashleigh Lawrence of Run For Your Life gave me the latest scoop on the wonderfully unique/uniquely wonderful Hit the Brixx races, set for this Saturday at Brixx Wood Fired Pizza (225 E. Sixth St.) in uptown.

Q. Sorry to cut right to the chase, but how does the free pizza and beer work??

Haha -- that is the important part, right? There will be a buffet inside of Brixx pizza at the end of the race in which runners, with their bibs, will get into for free. Family and friends can get in for $5. In the past, Brixx has provided various pizzas – all signature dishes – as well as pastas. There isn’t a limit on the food; however, there is a limit on the beer, which will be set up outside of Brixx, similar to how runners have seen it at our past races – a beer truck with a tap right on the side! Each runner, age 21 or above, can receive two beers. Yummy Carolina Blonde!

Q. I've heard some people say they're worried there won't be much pizza and beer left after the 5K [which doesn't start till 9 a.m., 75 minutes after the start of the 10K]. Can you reassure them for me?

I can assure you that Brixx pizza does a great job of preparing their food for the expected number of participants. We do our best to predict how many runners will be there, how many of those runners will want to eat, how many of their friends and family members will eat, as well as how much they will each eat. As I’m sure you can imagine, we can’t predict it exactly. But Brixx does a FANTASTIC job of keeping up – as the supply gets low, they throw more in the oven! Runners shouldn’t worry about getting food!

Q. How many runners are you guys expecting?

Our numbers have really been growing for all of our races, not just Grand Prix. Because of that, we are looking at an 1,800 person event. That’s 1,800 between the 10K, 5K and the Fun Run.

Q. Are more people signed up for the 10 or for the 5?

As of right now, it’s close to double for the 10K – however, the longer the distance, the more common early registration is. Many of the 5K participants will sign up later in the week. The trend in the past, though, is that about 55 percent do the 10K and 35 percent do the 5K. The other small percentage is made up of people that do both the 10K and the 5K, and Fun Run participants.

Q. So only the pretty hardcore runners do both, I would imagine.

Last year, we had 65 people out of a total of just over 1,500 sign up for both. It is a small percentage, but part of that reason is because in order to do both, you must finish the 10K in about an hour so you have time to transition to the start line again. For some, that’s cutting it close. Either way, those that do both seem to really enjoy the option and have a lot of fun with it! [Note: People doing both will use the same bib and the same chip, Lawrence says.]

Q. Can you rate the two courses for me, with 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest?

I would rate the 10K at about a 8. There are a lot of gradual hills that you don’t necessarily notice until you’ve been on them for a couple minutes, and then you’re like, “Wow.” The 5K I would rate about a 7 – but that’s partially because it’s a shorter distance, so it’s more manageable. For both races, it’s initially downhill, but then the final ¾ mile is tough uphill – especially on Seventh Street between McDowell and Davidson. Keep that in mind as you are coming around Park Drive and Armory.

Q. Lots of interest obviously in the free pizza and beer, but are there other cool perks or race amenities that runners would want to know about?

With this being a Grand Prix event, as always, we will have a ton of giveaways right before the awards ceremony – one-hour massages from Evolve Body Therapy, Carowinds tickets from PowerAde, Run For Your Life gift certifcates, etc. Another perk that is different from other races is that because of the two events, there are essentially twice as many awards to give out. So that increases some people’s chances of placing, which is always a nice change!

Q. Is there a charity that's a beneficiary of the race?

This race benefits supports Kids Path, a pediatric care program of Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region. This specialized program helps children and teens coping with long-term or life-threatening illnesses through services tailored specifically to them and their families’ needs, with the goal of helping them achieve a sense of normalcy during their illness. You can get more info here.

Q. And finally ... best place to park on Saturday morning?

I would recommend taking the light rail, to be honest. That way, runners don’t have to worry about dealing with traffic or road restrictions. Otherwise, area parking decks are open at prevailing rates – just be mindful that the closer you park to the start/finish line, the sooner you may need to be there because of road closures and restrictions!

* * *

The 10K starts at 7:45 a.m. Saturday ($25, or $35 on race day); the 5K starts at 9 a.m. ($20, or $30 on race day). Cost to do both is a steal: $30, or $40 on race day. 5K walkers head out at 9:05, then the Kids Fun Run is at 9:50. For more details, click here. To sign up, click here.


Anonymous said...

If the 10k is rated at an "8" on the difficulty scale, what would Ashleigh rate the South Park 10k course? Or another race or two uptown? Just trying to compare it to something, so I can be ready...this is my first Hit the Brixx Stuff your Face 10k!

Anonymous said...

I don't know how Ashleigh would rank the HTB against the SP, but I would say the SP is harder.

Anonymous said...

Great headline!!

Anonymous said...

Any idea on what kind of beer? In years past Carolina Blonde and Pumpkin Ale was served. A step up from all the lite beers. Any limit on the amount of beer we can drink? All you can eat pizza deserves all you can drink beer. Remember it is still 9 am when you will be drinking.

Anonymous said...

I think ranking the HTB an 8 is a bit high. It is a challenging course, but definitely managable. The course was more difficult when you ran up Trade street from Kings Dr. and turned right on Davidson to the finish. That was a long haul!

Anonymous said...

I think the Southpark 10K is a little bit easier than Hit the Brixx. And I would give the Brixx race a rating of 7 or 8 and the Southpark 10K a rating of 5 or 6 on the difficulty scale.

caitchris said...

Just as an FYI, part of the 10k course near the CPCC Memorial Stadium is under construction. According to the course map, we are supposed to run through the construction, but the road is blocked off. I should probably email RFYL.