Monday, October 5, 2009

And we're off to the races ...

The Hopebuilders 5K is by far the biggest race in the area this weekend. But if you're looking for a small event -- maybe because you want more breathing room, or maybe because you want a better shot at an age-group win -- these are the best alternatives I could come up with for you:

United Way Run for Life: The only 10K in the area this weekend is in Concord, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Academy Recreation Center (147 Academy Ave. NW) in the downtown area. The 5K race starts at the same time, with the Fun Run taking place on the Village Greenway at 8. 10K cost is $25, which the 5K is $15; there's no charge for the Fun Run, but pre-registration is required. All proceeds benefit the United Way. [Last year, "Runnin' Fool" Kathy Seavers was the second overall female finisher in 52:37.] For more information or to register, click here or call Ryan Jones at 704-920-5619.

Home Run 5K XC Run and 1 Mile Fun Walk: This fundraiser for the Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium goes off at 9 a.m. Saturday at McAlpine Creek Greenway (8711 Monroe Road) in southeast Charlotte. Registration is $25 through Thursday, $30 on race day; walkers pay $10, or $15 if they want a T-shirt. Fun Walk begins at 9:30 a.m. Be aware that this is a trail run, and while the terrain is pretty smooth, this week's rains could make things a little muddy -- so consider leaving the brand-new running shoes at home. To register, click here.

OctoberTour 5K: Up in, or near, Rowan County? This new addition to the race calendar is being held in conjunction with the Historic Salisbury Foundation's Annual OctoberTour of Historic Homes and Bank Street Activities. Gun goes off at 8 a.m. Saturday at 507 S. Fulton St., with the course traversing Historic Downtown Salisbury and the West Square Historic neighborhood. Registration is $20 in advance, or $25 on race day, and the first 100 participants get a pair of Wrightsocks in addition to the race tee. To register, click here.

Sun Valley Elementary School 5K Run/Walk: And if you live down in Union County and are trying to avoid the drive into Mecklenburg on Saturday morning, consider this new event. The race starts at 8 a.m. and costs $20. Qdoba and Panera Bread will be supplying food, and proceeds will go to the school. Interested runners should e-mail Ryan Haimer at