Monday, March 1, 2010

Corporate Cup will runneth over Charlotte

It seems like there's a 5K somewhere in or around Charlotte every weekend, sometimes two or three.

But half-marathons? They're pretty scarce around here. And that's unfortunate, because 13.1 is a great distance: It's serious enough to feel like an accomplishment, but doesn't require the punishing training of a full marathon (or a long, painful post-race recovery).

So excitement is understandably building for the Alston & Bird LLP Corporate Cup on Saturday; the event features a 5K and the first half-marathon to be hosted in our area since the Amica Insurance Half Marathon held in conjunction with Thunder Road this past Dec. 12.

The deadline has passed to assemble a team of co-workers to compete for the Corporate Cup, but there's still a week and a half left to register for the two races (or the team half-marathon relay).

YCommunity special events director Erin Morris gave us some details on this event, which has been around for 31 years and is the largest race within the YMCA of Greater Charlotte.

PARTICIPATION: Morris says they're expecting 2,600 participants. ... The number of corporate teams participating is up from 31 in 2009 to 37 this year. ... At last check, there were 126 relay participants registered. (Half-marathon relay teams will feature three runners; two of them cover 5-mile legs and one covers 5K.) ... The 5K, half-marathon and half-marathon relay races all start at 8 a.m.

THE HILLS: Charlotte's half-marathons are notoriously hilly, and Corporate Cup is no exception. Morris says "this course offers medium hills. There are two tough ones -- by the Providence/Queens area and then by Myers Park -- and the gradual one on Morehead that seems tough because it is Mile 12. ... I would rate our course about a 7 (on a difficulty scale of 1 to 10)."

POST-RACE FOOD: Treats and drinks from Bruegger's Bagels, Zoe's Kitchen, Caribou Coffee, Cookies by Design, Energy Café, Dilworth Coffee, Great Harvest Bread Company, Smoothie King, BJ’s and Trader Joe’s. No post-race beer at this one, FYI.

SHIRTS/AWARDS: The race tees are short-sleeved and cotton, with a small pocket logo on the front (unlike last year's, which had a huge logo on the front). ...
All half-marathon finishers will receive a medal. Overall and age-group winners will get trophies; the top overall corporate team will receive a Cup-type trophy.

VOLUNTEERS: Morris says volunteers are still needed for the event: "Getting volunteers is a struggle, simply for the amount of people needed. For instance, this race has 200 various 'jobs' for volunteers. Events like this would not be possible without volunteers. We are grateful for their help, and will be sure to take care of them race day. Our volunteers receive a long sleeve T-shirt, breakfast and snacks throughout the day."
If you're interested, contact Emily Ratliff at 704-716-6407 or

CHARITABLE BENEFICIARIES: Proceeds from the Corporate Cup support the following YMCA of Greater Charlotte programs: Starfish Academy (literacy program for rising first- and second-graders); Strengthening Families (social workers who work with more than 150 families to bring them from various stages of crisis to stability); and English as a Second Language courses.

NEW THIS YEAR: Alston & Bird has partnered with the Arts & Science Council and the organization Eat Charlotte to offer Corporate Cup participants special discounts at uptown museums, restaurants and cultural destinations.

For more information on the Alston & Bird LLP Corporate Cup, click here.
Registration is $30 for the 5K, $45 for the half-marathon, and $70 for relay teams. Race-day registration will also be available ($35/$55/$75). To register, click here.

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Anonymous said...

They have the medals and t-shirts displayed at the uptown Y. They look pretty good.

I think it's odd that there are more half marathons than 10k's in Charlotte. If you run the half at Charlotte Racefest that really only leaves

Austin said...

I ran this last year, it was my first half-marathon, actually it was my first race all together. I had a great time, but that final slow uphill mile was rough.

I'm not a competitive runner at all (I average 10 to 11 mins usually), I do it just for the accomplishment. That being said, I'm hoping to shave at least 15 minutes off my time this year.

Aaron Linz said...

If you are on the fence to run this one this year, go for it! My guess is it will be one of the biggest fields ever and it will be fast up front for both men and women and relays based on the grapvine. Fun to watch and/or volunteer if you have a little time Saturday am to drift over to the course. Good luck to all.