Thursday, March 25, 2010

RaceFest has steep hills, free beer

At the end of the Charlotte RaceFest Half-Marathon and 10K on April 10, participants will find what many runners consider the ideal recovery drink: free beer. (Eight to 10 kegs of it, with a two-beer limit per runner.)

To get to it, though, you'll have to complete one of the toughest courses in the city.

I've never run the 10K before, but having done the 13.1 in 2009, I can offer this warning to first-timers: Enjoy the downhills in the first half of the course, but remember that what goes down must come up. Most notably, there's a gradual ascent on Sharon View between Miles 7 and 8; another short, steep climb on Valencia Terrace near Mile 9; then two decent uphills in the last three miles leading back to the finish near SouthPark mall. (Course maps are here.)

One new wrinkle for the 2010 RaceFest, which is now in its ninth year, is that the start time has been moved up from 8 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. It's a minor wrinkle, but it could potentially pave the way for major changes.

Says Neil Howard, one of the organizers of the event: "By pushing up the start time to 7:30 a.m., we've been able to alleviate some of the city's concerns when it comes to traffic delays, particularly along Fairview Road. However, after this year, we'll have to evaluate with the city again and see if we need to make wholesale changes to the course."

As of March 15, about 1,600 people had registered for the two races, and Howard expects that number could climb to 2,500 by race day -- "if the weather forecast is good that week. (Nice weather) gets us a good bump on 10K folks."

Registration for the half-marathon is $45 through April 7, $50 thereafter; the 10K costs $35 through April 7, $40 thereafter. In addition to a race T-shirt, all finishers (in both the half-marathon and 10K) will receive a commemorative finisher's medal. Full details are on the race Web site.


Abby Miller said...

Team In Training is in charge of volunteers for RaceFest and we need your help! To volunteer, please email Thanks!