Saturday, July 19, 2014

CRC's Summer Track Night

Tuesday night, I organized CRC’s summer track night under the lights. Frankly, leading up to this evening, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never done anything like before so I was very nervous about doing a good job. Mostly, I just hope the runners would like the idea of running under the lights as much as I did. This is all came about because several years ago I ran a 5k under the lights in south Charlotte. I have run numerous night road races but there was just something different that night. I have always wanted to repeat the experience. Although on this night, I would not get to run myself, I would at least give others the chance at the same experience.  

Behind the scenes I had spent countless hours emailing and talking with people. I managed to get all the running stores in Charlotte to say that they were attending. I talked up the event almost constantly over the last couple of months.

In the end, I just hope to have 20 runners come out and enjoy a fun evening at the track.

The day before the event was pretty much a mad house. Tons of emails flying around asking where to park, what time to arrive, what was the address of UNCC. Oh yeah, and what happens if it rains. Just my luck, Monday not a drop falls around Charlotte. But Tuesday, the storms start rolling through about 3pm.

I tell everyone that unless it is thundering and lightening, we will be running. Luckily, the running gods smiled down on us. The rain halted or stayed at a distance from about 6:30 pm to 9:30 PM. In fact, it was starting to rain as we finished packing up.

I have to say I could not have done it with Mike, Jeannette, Lori, and Audrey’s help. They were just awesome. Setting here now, there is no way to fully express in words how thankful that I am. They were on top of the every task from handing out water, to registration of runners, to timing. I saw them doing things that I hadn’t even thought of doing.

Ed had sent me an email saying that the field was off limits. UNCC had invested in a new turf for the soccer field and didn’t want anyone on it.

I knew that I had a bunch of tents coming so I wondered where I was going to put all of them. A few minutes after 5, I was out the track and started accessing the situation.  Most people have either 10 x 10 or 12 x 12 tent or something slightly in between. Fortunately, the UNCC track has just enough room to setup the largest of these tents between the stadium seats and the track.  All during the event runners could mingle at the tents and watch the events as they happened. It couldn’t have worked out better.

I had budgeted out roughly 10 minutes between events with the first event starting at 7 PM. One of my main concerns was could we stay on time or would we be running behind. To my surprise, we stayed right on time and at one point were about 5 minutes ahead of schedule.

We ran two heats of the 5k. The first heat was an open heat and the night cap was the faster heat.  Counting laps while running can be difficult. This is especially true once a runner gets to laps 6 -11. I have done it numerous times. But everyone was great at counting their own laps. When it comes to runners,  I find they are all about the honor system. No runner wants to run a short race.

Thus, both races turned out to be awesome.

All in all, it was an amazing evening. Like I said, I hoped for maybe 20 runners to show up. We had over 70 runners and with supporting crew and spectators over a 100 people.  The event turned out to be something beyond my wildest dreams.

The one question that I have been getting is will I be doing more of them. The answer is probably yes.  Having never run track in high school or college, I find a certain fascination with track running.

At this time, I don't have any solid plans for events. 

I love the whole relay lay concept. I have had a few requests for a 4 x 800 event. I would like to do entire event of just relays. May be a relay with a 4 x 100, 4 x 400, 4 x 800, 4 x I mile, and a medley relay - 4 x with legs of 100, 400, 800, and 1.  

I have also never done a 10k on the track. This is something that I would like to do as well.

Then, there is the Ultimate runner concept that the Twin City Track Club does. Remember back our to local summer track meets where I ran all of the events, I would love to hold a similar event here in Charlotte.

In the end, it is all about time and energy. My family, my paying job, and my own running takes precedent. Then, there is being the Charlotte Running Club President and the running of the Charlotte Running Club. I sometimes feel like I need two of me to get it all done.

So stay tuned. If there is enough interest and I found the time, I may just make it happen.


Sharing one thought at time,

The Cool Down Runner




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