Friday, October 16, 2009

UNCC hopes 4.9 is a magic number

A brand-new race set for Saturday, Oct. 24, on the campus of UNC Charlotte offers runners a guaranteed PR and an opportunity to help keep needy students in the university's classrooms.

About that PR: This is not your typical 5K. In fact, it's not a 5K at all. It's a 4.9K ... which is apropos when you consider that the UNCC mascot is the 49ers. So unless you've run another 4.9-kilometer race -- and I'm pretty sure San Francisco hasn't thought of this yet -- you're certain to put up a personal best if you run the school's inaugural 4.NINER K.

About those needy students: OK, so here's the deal: State budget cuts to need-based financial aid are leaving scores of UNCC students (1,300 last year alone) unable to continue their enrollment. This event is an outgrowth of the university's Stake Your Claim identity campaign, and its aim is "to help keep students in school who would otherwise need to drop out before next semester." One hundred percent of all race proceeds will support this cause, said race co-organizer Edna Dash of the university relations and community affairs office.

Pre-registration fees for the first-ever 4.NINER K run/walk are $15 for UNCC students, $26 for single runners/walkers, and $49 for couples or families of four (children ages 14 and younger can participate for free). Day-of registration will be higher. Click here for more info on the event, or to register.

Oh, and the start time? Runners take off at -- but of course -- 8:49 a.m. from the new Student Union on Craver Road.

In addition to a post-race barbecue, "49er Fan Day" will be held beginning at 11 a.m. inside Halton Arena, where UNCC men's and women’s basketball teams will hold scrimmages and sign autographs.

4.NINER K race partners include the Charlotte Observer, and Chartwells.