Here's a rundown of several upcoming local races and events that might interest you:
- The sixth race of the 2011 Run For Your Life Grand Prix Series is the Summer Breeze 5K, which is set for this Saturday, June 18, at Freedom Park (1900 East Blvd.). Women's start is set for 7:30 a.m., with the men going off at 8. The staggered start allows men to cheer for the women as they finish, and vice versa. Cost is $25 in advance or $35 or race day. The event will double as the Carolina's Club Championship. See the race website for all the details.
On Saturday, June 18, the Home Run 5K Run/Walk will be held on the McAlpine Creek Greenway 5k Cross Country Course at 8711 Monroe Road in Charlotte. If you're unfamiliar with the trail, "there's a challenging hill in the middle, a beautiful lake at the end, and both straight shots and curvy parts." The 5k run will start at 9 a.m. and the 5K walk will start at 9:10. Register for $20 in advance or $30 on race day (walkers pay $15). Proceeds benefit the Carolinas CARE Partnership, which provides comprehensive AIDS resources and education for people living with and at risk for HIV and AIDS in the Greater Charlotte region. More race details: Click here.
- The new Run For Your Life Summer Track Series (formerly the Charlotte Track & Triathlon Club's Trenton Guy Sr. Summer Track Series) continues Tuesday, June 21, at the Myers Park High School track. Registration begins at 5 p.m., with the first event at 6 p.m. All ages and abilities are welcome. The entry fee is $8 for adults for a single-night pass, or $25 for a season pass (series runs every Tuesday through June). The events in order are: 50m, 100m, 1 mile, 4 x 100m relay, 400m, 800m, 200m, and 2 mile. For details, click here.
- If you're looking for a fun smaller race this month, consider the Upgrade 5K & Kids Fun Run at Birkdale on Saturday, June 25. The 5K is at 8 a.m., and the Kids Fun Run follows at 8:45 a.m. It's being put on by UpGrade Lifestyle Inc. of Huntersville, and will start at the Birkdale Resident's Club, 8915 Devonshire Drive (also in Huntersville). Cost is $20 in advance or $25 on race day (kids' race is $5). Proceeds will benefit the Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation. UpGrade employs a couple friends of mine as trainers -- professional triathlete Kelly Fillnow and two-time Olympic Trials marathon qualifier Megan Hovis; both of them will be there supporting runners on race day. Details: Click here.
- Charlotte Running Co. and Carolina Sports Clinic are launching a new evening race for Independence Day weekend: the first annual Charlotte Firecracker 5K, set for 7 p.m. Sunday, July 3, on a fast loop course through Charlotte's Olde Providence neighborhood. This family-friendly race will be followed by a pool party featuring music, food and drinks. Cost is $20 through June 26. Race website: Click here.
- 10Ks are rare in Charlotte, so it's nice to see that the OrthoCarolina Classic is back for its second summer after a successful inaugural event last August. The race's 2011 date is Saturday, Aug. 20, and the official starting area again on the corner of Randolph Road and North Colonial Avenue. The 10K starts at 7:45 a.m., plus there's a 5K that goes off 15 minutes earlier. The events are designed "to promote and encourage active families and healthy lifestyles ... while raising awareness for the OrthoCarolina Research Institute." Cost for the 10K is just $25 through July 31. Last year, 186 runners completed the 10K (170 ran the 5K). Race website: Click here.