Tuesday, September 13, 2011

You? A cross-country coach? Why not?

Do you get a lot out of running? Would you like to give something back?

Here's an opportunity: It's called Cross-Country for Youth, a 10-week after-school running program designed to combat childhood obesity and promote character-building among middle schoolers. More than 325 students participate in the five-year-old program run by Reggie McAfee, the first African American to break the four-minute mile barrier.

What does this have to do with you, and with "giving back"? Well, the program -- which is in about 22 Charlotte-Mecklenburg elementary and middle schools and three Mecklenburg Parks -- needs coaches and character presenters.

In addition to practices, held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m., student participants will be competing in a series of cross-country meets. The estimated weekly time commitment for coaches is two hours over the 10-week period; all materials and training will be provided, and it's OK to buddy up and coach with a friend.

For details on Cross-Country for Youth, click here. If you are interested, contact McAfee via e-mail (reggie.mcafee1@gmail.com) or phone (704-634-4688) this week -- the program's fifth season is just about to begin.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Inaugural 5K to support Let Me Run

Fix 4 the Day -- a local "network of people inspiring each other to live a healthier lifestyle by exercising their bodies, minds, and spirits" -- has announced it will sponsor and coordinate a 5K run/walk that will benefit Let Me Run of Charlotte.

The Fix 4 the Day 5K will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, at McAlpine Creek Park. The out-and-back course is on a gravel footpath that is 10 to 15 feet wide; there'll be a water station at the 1.7 mile mark. Former Carolina Panthers safety Leonard Wheeler will speak before the race, and plans to hang out afterward. Post-race food and refreshments will be available.

Let Me Run is a non-profit "aimed at strengthening boys in body and spirit," which "use(s) the power of running and lively group activities to equip boys with tools to lead a balanced and fulfilling life.

For more info and to register, click here.

Also: Volunteers are needed to assist boys, and to cheer them on as they run. Anyone interested in helping out can contact volunteer coordinator Kirsten Wrinkle at kwrink@bellsouth.net.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Want to race on Sept. 10? Take your pick

Lots of Charlotte's fastest runners will be out of town next weekend for the Blue Ridge Relay, so consider one of several races happening next Saturday -- each offers a chance to snag that elusive age-group award before summer ends. Read on for details.

Hog Jog
The Time Warner Cable BBQ & Blues Festival has moved locations to the NC Music Factory for the event’s ninth year. The Charlotte Sports Commission’s Hog Jog has" piggy-backed" that move and will also begin and end at the NC Music Factory. In addition to the change in location, numerous new components will be included this year. The Hog Jog will extend in length to a 10K while partnering with a 5K, the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run. The overall male, female, and "squealchair" winners of the Hog Jog will receive a prize pack worth $450, including $300 cash, a pair of Adidas sneakers, and a gift certificate from Dick’s Sporting Goods. Once again, the first 200 runners who sign up for the Hog Jog 10K and Finlandia Bloody Mary contest will participate in a tasting competition between five local bars and restaurants. The post-race Piglet Fun Run will take place at approximately 9:30 a.m. and include mascot appearances from Chubby, Norm the 49er, Lug Nut, Monkey Joe, Rex and Bruggie. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers began in New York City in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, to honor firefighter Stephen Siller -- who ran eight miles in full gear from the Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers that morning. For the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, race managers and the Stephen Siller Foundation decided to extend the race to take place in several U.S. cities, including Charlotte. To register for the Hog Jog 10K ($30 in advance, $35 day-of), the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run ($25) or the Piglet Fun Run (free), visit www.hogjog.org.

Piedmont HealthCare Historic Mooresville 5K
In addition to the 5K, organizers are hosting a one-mile event. The One Mile Challenge starts at 8 a.m. and offers prize money for the first- ($150), second- ($100) and third-place ($50) men and women. The cost of this race is $10 (no T-shirts for this one). The 5K will start at approximately 8:20 a.m. There are awards and prizes for top overall and masters finishers, plus age-group awards. Male and female winners receive a free pair of running shoes from Fleet Feet Huntersville; masters winners get shoes from McLelland Family Shoes in Statesville. Cost for the 5K is $20 (includes T-shirt). Runners can enter both races for $25. There is registration and packet pickup on race day at the race site: Mooresville Public Library, 304 S. Main St. in Mooresville. Prices for registration increase on race day. There will be door prizes, including a free mattress from Sweet Dreams Mattress Company. All proceeds from the race are going to help children learn to read who are struggling in school; the YMCA and the Mooresville Library are the beneficiaries in this effort. Details: www.historicmooresville5k.com. Register: www.queencitytiming.com.

Rock & Read 5K
The Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library once again will host the event, which supports the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system. Last year, at the inaugural race, more than $13,000 was raised for the library as more 500 runners participated. The race again will feature bands and music at every mile, and a festival atmosphere following the event in front of one of the city's finest library branches: Scaleybark Library Branch (101 Scaleybark Road). The Friends of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is a non-profit organization established to champion the efforts of the Public Library System. Details: Click here.

Tyler’s Treehouse 5K
The sixth annual race will be held in Charlotte at the Olde Georgetowne Swim Club (located off Sharon Road near the Harris YMCA). This event is being organized in memory of Tyler Scott. Tyler’s parents (Howard and Dana) and brothers (Chase, Bryce, and Aidan) live in Charlotte. Tyler was just 5½ years old when he was diagnosed with brainstem glioma on Jan. 30, 2006. He did not show any symptoms of this deadly disease until a week before his devastating diagnosis. Tyler died 9 days later on February 8, 2006. The goal of Tyler’s Treehouse Inc. is to find a cure for brainstem glioma with the help of researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Info on the foundation: www.tylerstreehouse.org. Registration: www.sportoften.com. Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome; there's also a 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk. A family-friendly post-race party will be held at the OG pool until 1 p.m.

Big Red Shoe 5K
The Cornwell Center at Meyers Park Baptist Church (2001 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte) is host for this eighth annual event, which supports the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. The carefully mapped road race will appeal to runners of all levels; kids are able to compete in their own fun 1k run/walk as well. This year, the family-friendly festival tied to the race includes a pancake breakfast, a rock climbing wall, a moon bounce, a petting zoo and sport massages.
All proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. 5K run begins at 8:05 a.m.; 5K walk and 1K event both begin at 9. Festival and celebration begin at 9:20. Parking is available behind the Cornwell Center on Roswell Avenue and adjacent streets; restrooms and locker rooms are available in the Cornwell Center. Registration: Click here.