Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dowd Y Run offers magic number: 13.1

If you want to run a half-marathon within the city limits, there's Thunder Road in December, Corporate Cup in March, Charlotte RaceFest in April, and then ... well, that's it -- for more than six months.

So by the time fall rolls around, fans of the 13.1-mile distance are chomping at the bit for some action.

Enter the Dowd YMCA Run, which offers a 5K Run/Walk, but is far more beloved for its fairly challenging half-marathon. Earlier today, we got the scoop on Saturday's highly anticipated race from Erin Morris, YCommunity special events director:

Q. OK, first things first: On a hilliness scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the half-marathon course – with 1 being flat and 10 being superduper challenging – ?

I haven't actually run the course (but) I am told that our half marathon course is about a 5 or 6. [Blogger's note: If you've run the course and can elaborate, please do so in the comments section!]

Q. How about the 5K course, on the same scale?

This one I would give a 4.

Q. It seems like the half-marathon would be a great tune-up for runners who are doing the Thunder Road full next month. Do you hear that feedback a lot?

The Dowd YMCA Run Half Marathon is a great training run for anyone doing the full marathon at Thunder Road. The Dowd YMCA Run and Thunder Road have actually teamed up to offer the opportunity of a Double Medal. So, if you run the Dowd Y Run ½ Marathon and the Thunder Road Half Marathon, you will receive a 26.2 medal when you cross the finish line on Saturday, Dec. 12. A 39.3 medal and a Thunder Road Marathon medal will be given to you as you cross the Thunder Road Marathon finish line if you complete the Dowd Y Run Half Marathon and the Thunder Road Marathon. So, by participating in both events you will receive a total of three medals – all different.

Q. Does the half-marathon course cover a lot of the same ground as thefirst half of the Thunder Road course?

There is some similar territory in the races – the Providence Road area. It’s another reason why it’s a good training run!

Q. Given all the recent debate about "plodders," I've gotta ask: What's the cutoff time for the half-marathon on Saturday?

There is a three-hour time limit for our half marathon.

Q. The half-marathon is unique simply by virtue of the fact that it exists, given that there aren't many halfs at all each year in Charlotte. Anything, in your mind, that makes the 5K unique?

In my mind it is the scenery. The course is through beautiful Dilworth.

Q. How many runners do you expect in the half, and how many runners and walkers do you anticipate for the 5K?

I’m expecting to have around 900 half-marathon participants and 400 5K participants. Possibly more – we are getting A LOT of race week registrations.

Q. There's a blood drive Saturday morning, too, right? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but if runners are interested in donatingbefore/after ... medically speaking, is it safe/OK for them to do that?

I don’t think so. The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is hoping to pull in spectators, volunteers and members that day.

Q. What can you tell me about the perks – the race tee, the pre- and post-race festivities and food/drink?

Runners will receive a long sleeve T-shirt – who doesn’t love a long sleeve tee? They will also receive a goody bag with items generously donated by our sponsors. Pre-/post-race we have local support by Kiss 95.1, Trader Joe’s, the YMCA Fitness Bar and Restaurant, Dilworth Coffee, Great Harvest Bread, Crave, and Sub Station. We will also have the Coke Zero Interactive Truck.

Q. Finally, tell me about the charitable beneficiary for the race. Where will the proceeds go?

The Stratford Richardson YMCA is the beneficiary of this race. The dollars raised provide mentors for teens, send children to summer camp, help teach valuable job skills, offer health screenings for seniors and much more. Outreach programs such as after-school, photojournalism, summer camp and swim lessons have touched and improved the lives of thousands of Charlotte-area residents. Sponsorship dollars and race entry fees help to continue this support in our community. It’s a great event for a great cause – and the weather should be perfect for running.

Online registration for the Dowd Y Run is available until midnight Thursday -- cost is $35 for the half-marathon or $20 for the 5K; prices go up to $45 and $25 thereafter. For more information on the races, visit or click here.


Anonymous said...

I have run this race 5 times and I consider it a course with mostly rolling hills. It is challenging because there are some hills to remember. The uphill climb on Providence cresting at Wendover. Gradual incline up Fairview before turning onto Colony. The short, but steep hill at Myers Park High School. Then the uphill climb once you turn onto East Blvd that continue for almost 1 1/2 miles. The course is run on some of the most beautiful streets in Charlotte. Any race sponsored by local YMCA's are top notch as well.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that it's probably a five on the 1-10 scale of hilliness... It sometimes seems like it's worse because there are two challenging hills late... As mentioned above, the Myers Park HS hill can be mentally tough, and the East Blvd. climb just seems to go on FOREVER. However, the first mile is all DOWNHILL, and most of the rest is just gently rolling. My PR is on this course.

By comparison, the Davidson Green Day half a couple months ago was IMO considerably more challenging... Maybe a 7 or 7.5.

aaron said...

Ok, all Charlotte half marathons are hilly but this one has the best course of the bunch. A good race and the weather should be terrific for a half. Happy running and good luck to all running.

chupacabra said...

excellent race

The kids running the water stops were just TOO CUTE!

After all that rain last weekend I was a bit concerned about the weather but it turned out to be just perfect.

am already looking forward to next year