Saturday, February 27, 2010

Odds + ends for my running friends

Here's a bunch of assorted racing news, some of which appeared earlier this month on my Facebook Fan Page:


The River Bound Race Series, a trail running race series I first mentioned a little over a month ago, will kick off with a 5K race on Saturday, March 13, at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. This four-race series will also include a 10K on May 22, a 15K on July 17 and a half marathon on Sept. 25; all races take place on the Whitewater Center’s trails. Proceeds will support North Carolina Outward Bound’s Charlotte programs, including the Unity Project and scholarship assistance for youth, educators, and military veterans attending wilderness courses in the N.C. mountains. For details, click here.

The second annual Earth Day 5K, set for 8 a.m. Saturday, April 17, starts and finishes in downtown Monroe; it is being held in conjuction with family-friendly Earth Day activities taking place nearby. Course is reportedly flat and fast. Proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity in promoting environmentally friendly building practices. Race tees are made from recyclable material. Prizes will be given to runners dressed like “environmentally friendly items” (e.g. a hybrid car, a tulip, a bumblebee, a recycled can, etc.). Register for the costume contest the day of the event. To register, click here.

The sixth annual Morrison Family YMCA 10K/5K Race and 1 Mile Fun Run is set for Saturday, May 15. More than 760 runners participated in 2009. Although the event is still being held at Ballantyne Corporate Park (Exit 61 off I-485), there’s a new certified course with a new start/finish line. Also: Organizers are looking for a catchy new name; if you’ve got suggestions, e-mail them to (limit three ideas, one e-mail per person). Deadline is March 4. Winner gets free race entry and recognition on the day of the event. For more race details, click here.


Female triathletes are invited to a Team TRIumph open house at 7 p.m. Thursday at Brooklyn South Pizza in Cornelius (19400 Jetton Road). Team TRIumph is an all-women’s triathlon and endurance sport training group in the Lake Norman area. New and experienced triathletes welcome. Members train together, and participate in clinics on topics including nutrition, yoga and Pilates. For more on the group, click here. Questions? E-mail

If you do yoga (or want to start), here’s something that might interest you: Asana Activewear is hosting the “Yoga Jam,” a one-day event that brings together 13 Charlotte yoga studios as a showcase for a variety of yoga classes, styles and instructors. It takes place this Saturday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel in SouthPark (6300 Morrison Blvd.). Registration is $65 and includes four yoga classes (from a choice of 20), lunch, and goodies from Asana Activewear. Space is limited to 170 people and each class is capped at 35 participants. The beneficiary of the event is Presbyterian Hospital’s Cancer Rehab and Wellness Center. For details, click here.

The 2010 Carolinas Open/Masters Track and Field Invitational will be held on Saturday, April 10, at the Irwin Belk Track and Field Center at UNCC. Track events include 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m, 3,000m, relay, and hurdling races. Open to athletes 19 and older. This is a USATF-sanctioned event and therefore requires that all participants be active USATF members. If you are not a member of USATF, click here to join. For details on the meet, click here.

Got other running-news tips to pass along? Or have ideas for future features? E-mail me at


Anonymous said...

Hi Theoden - A bit off topic, but in sync with the word "odd".

So...I was doing a pace workout at an outdoor track this Saturday, moving along at a pretty good clip. There was this dude at the track with his dog, which he let run free, and as I was rounding a turn on my second interval, the dog came bounding into me and under my legs and I went down...REALLY REALLY HARD.

I slowly rose from the fire with a bloody shin, elbow and shoulder. WOW I was PISSED!

I screamed at the dog's owner about track etiquette. I then walked up to him, trying to maintain my composure as I made my way across the infield, and told him FACE TO FACE that he needed to get his dog off the track. He halfheartedly apologized and leashed his dog. At this point my running frame of mind, which was prepped towards a tough workout, was feeling sort of fragile and disconnected. After a few minutes of analyzing my physical state I determined that all was OK and I resumed and finished my workout as planned. However later in the afternoon I noticed that my right lower rib cage was sore and later that night it was quite painful. And all day today (Sunday) it's been hurting like heck. It's hard to move or take deep breaths without pain, so no run today, in fact no nothing today. As I type this I'm sitting in front of my computer tilted to the left to take pressure off the right side. I never imagined I would sustain a rib injury as a runner, maybe by playing roller derby, but not by running...odd.

aaahh it's always so freaking discouraging and maddening when I experience people's inconsideration and un-courteous behavior when out running. (I really don't know how bicyclists out on the road handle it – they must experience 20 times more assaults on their personal well being than runners do.)

So anyway – I Googled "track etiquette" and compiled the following. I'm going to print these out and bring them to the track with me, and when necessary I'll hand them out to the offenders of etiquette.

1- Always run in a counterclockwise direction.

2 - Think of the track as your local highway: The fastest lane is to the inside, closest to the infield. Lane numbering starts at the innermost lane and goes up to 8 or 9 lanes. Lanes 1 and 2 are reserved for the fastest runners. Lanes 3 through 5 are generally for moderately fast runners, and the outermost lanes are for slow joggers, walkers or runners doing their warm-up or cool-down routines.

3- If a faster runner comes up behind you and wants to pass, they will say, "track." This is your cue to move to the right.

4- When passing someone, always give plenty of warning time. Say, "track," wait for them to move over, and continue in your lane.

5- Never STAND OR SIT on the track, especially in lanes 1 or 2. Always look both ways before crossing the track.


7- Always be aware of nearby runners. When you finish an interval, look over your shoulder and move to the right as you stop. If you move left you are more likely to get run over by another runner.

8- Don't use headphones. Your iPod is for non-track days.

9- If the track is not busy, it's usually acceptable to do warm-up drills in the outermost lanes. Often this means you will be running back and forth on one straightaway. This is the only time it's OK to run in a clockwise direction. When in doubt, do your drills on the infield.

10- Don't allow small children to run freely on the track.

11 - Pets (dogs) should NOT be allowed to run free on the track. Leash or tie them off track. Loose pets, being playful, could trip runners CAUSING SEVERE INJURIES TO THE RUNNER!


Anonymous said...

Where was the track? This doesn't help your injury, but what was the surface? There are many dog friendly parks in Mecklenburg County that allow dogs to run freely off lesh. I am a dog owner and only allow my dog off lesh in my fenced yard or at a dog park.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of running on the track, I totally gave up running on the indoor track at the Dowd Y. There is some class they turn loose on that thing. I toughed it out for a while but decided I'd rather run in the freezing cold wind in the dark that deal with the entire class all running abreast with no regard for anyone else who happens to be up there.

J Martin said...

I don't mean to sound rude or unsympathetic to the plight of a fellow runner. It sucks to get hurt because of someone's foolishness. I hope you recover quickly and get back on the road.

However, this stuff happens. Stupid teenagers throwing bags of leftover McDonald's at you, piles of dog poo in the middle of a trail, water fountains not turned on by Park and Rec., drivers not watching the road, bicyclists blowing through intersections and cross walks, etc. It's part of the game.

We, on the other hand, do our part to be inconsiderate as well. Peeing on bushes (and sometimes.....) in public, cutting across traffic, blocking roads for hours for races on Saturday mornings, scaring the crap out of walkers by not warning them with "on your left" when we run up behind them, and wearing minimal clothes or inappropriately tight clothes in public, as was discussed last summer on this site I believe.

It's all part of being a runner and these things happen. Most of us know the rules of the road or the track as you listed for us. If you run across someone who doesn't, just let it go man. In the grand scheme of things, it's just another obstacle to deal with and how you handle it is what really matters.

By the way, the dog parks in Charlotte are not a good place to take your dog. My dog got bit. There's no telling if the other dogs have their shots. They use to require it. Not anymore.

Anonymous said...

The Harris YMCA indoor track has the same issue with a class unleashing a bunch of rude sprinters who will knock you down....totally pissed me off one night.

Anonymous said...

To answer anonymous question about the track and surface – I was running at a public school – the track was set in a typical athletic field, with a football field in the center and the track around the perimeter. The surface was made of some type of asphalt composite. And there was a chain link fence surrounding the entire complex. I even think there's a sign as you enter the field that says no dogs on the track (I'll have to check that when I go again)

In reply to J Martin – thanks for your thoughts and insight. My ribs are still quite sore, but there's been an improvement, the pain has gradually diminished from a high of about an 8 to about 6.5, but still unable to run.

This whole episode is just so freaking frustrating. Us runners work hard and long to get to a certain condition and an injury or setback out of the blue is hard to take. And my injury (to my ribs of all things) occurred through no fault of my own, except perhaps a lack of awareness on my part, not seeing the dog and the potential mishap.

That being said – no more whining - a lesson has been learned – time to move on - allow the healing process complete...and get back to it!

PS – I listed the track etiquette not so much for runners but for educating non runners who might read Theoden’s blog.