Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Morning Birthday Run by Bobby Aswell

Today's post is brought to you by Cornelius, NC-based runner Bobby Aswell, who happens to share his birthday with baby Jesus.  Happy birthday!

After 4 hours of gift unwrapping and other Christmas Day fun
It was time to get dressed for my annual birthday run

With a piece of birthday cake in my belly I looked out the door
The weather looked dismal, I didn’t want to see any more

The rain was coming down so hard I could barely see
And the wind was blowing 20 to 25 mph easily

Out the door I went for an 8 mile run
Knowing that it was going to be a very memorable one

5 miles in and I had to go really bad
When I looked up and saw a porta-jon and man was I glad

Only 3 miles to go and I’d be finished with my run
Then I’d be looking forward to continuing my Christmas Day Birthday fun

So, have a Merry Christmas and a joyous day
And be thankful for what you have on this very special day

Bobby Aswell 

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Krispy Kreme Challenge February 6, 2010

Registration is open for the next Krispy Kreme Challenge which will be held on Saturday, February 6th, 2010.  For you runners who skip on the doughnuts during training, your time has come.

What it is
"The Krispy Kreme Challenge is an annual student operated race in Raleigh, North Carolina benefiting the NC Children's Hospital. Beginning in 2004 with a mere 12 participants, the race has grown exponentially to a whopping 5500 runners in 2009. The race has rapidly become one of NC State University's newest traditions."

What is expected
"Beginning at the NC State Belltower, each runner runs 2 miles to the Krispy Kreme store located on Peace St. in Raleigh. After downing a full dozen of the famous Krispy Kreme doughnuts, the runner must run the 2 miles back. All in one hour."
For more information and to register go to:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mount Mourne Elf Run 5k Postponed

According to, the 2009 Elf 5k has been postponed until January 2, 2010 due to snow in the area. Any questions please call Chris at (704)892-1530.

Allen's Thunder Road half marathon race recap

Local runner Allen Strickland has put up a new post on his blog, Allen's Road to Boston, in which he recounts his experience at last Saturday's Thunder Road half marathon in Charlotte.  Some of you may recall reading about Allen's Richmond marathon.

Here's the link to the post:

Monday, December 14, 2009

In case you haven't seen the DART calendar, there are three local area races this Saturday, December 19th. Interestingly enough, they are all 5k races. So, pick one that suits you best and get out there!
  • Frostbite 5k and Fun Run (Kannapolis): "Join us for our annual winter road race in Kannapolis! The Frostbite 5K features a one mile fun run that begins at 9am, the cost is $12. The 5K will follow at 10am and is $20 until race day. The race day fee will be $22/fun run and $30/5K".
  • Mount Mourne VFD Elf Run 5K (Mount Mourne): "5K Starts at the front of Mt. Mourne VFD and crosses Hwy 115 to Langtree Road. Runs along Langtree Road toTransco Road. Then go down Transco Road ½ a mile. Then returns back to finish behind Mt. Mourne VFD. Fun Run goes around Fire Station ¼ of a mile."
  • Lincoln County Family YMCA Jingle Bell 5K (Lincolnton): "Join us for the 3rd Annual Lincoln County Family YMCA Jingle Bell 5K! The course starts and finishes at Gaston College/Lincoln Campus located at 511 South Aspen Street, Lincolnton. It is a mostly flat run through downtown neighborhoods and the Marcia Cloniger Rail Trail."

Chad R.
Davidson Area Running Team

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thunder Road Marathon Race Recaps From the Blogosphere

While we feverishly put together a recap of yesterday's Thunder Road marathon, half-marathon, and 5k we thought it might be nice to post some links of runners who have already put in their two cents.  Some, like Theoden's, were chosen specifically because of their concise topics, while the rest were chosen at random from cyberspace.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Race Report: Santa Run/Walk For Hunger 5k

Have you ever gone to what you thought was a secret hideaway and found it populated with people you know?  That was how I felt when Laurie and I arrived at yesterday's Santa Run For Hunger 5k Run/Walk in Mt. Ulla, NC.

Only in it's second year, the Santa Run For Hunger 5k Run/Walk was put on by the good folks at Salisbury Rowan Runners for the benefit of the Rowan Helping Ministries.

The event's location was in western Rowan County, between Mooresville and Salisbury.  It's rural farm country with livestock and cotton fields dotting the landscape.  Scenic indeed, but hardly what might be called a hub of running.  I expected to know very few other runners, but boy was I surprised.  There were many of the usual suspects of area races, some from the Mooresville area, some from the Salisbury area, and a large contingent from the Charlotte area.

Although it rained prior to and afterward, we were given a respite during the race itself.  The course consisted of an out-and-back, climbing quickly within the first 1/2-mile and topping out at the turnaround.  From there it was mostly downhill.  No traffic control, as there was no traffic to speak of.  One aid station around the one and three-quarter mile mark.

I'll spare you the details of my run, other than mentioning that I started out nearer the front than usual and tried to hang on.  The runners in front of me pulled away despite my best efforts and no one was right behind me to prod me on, so I ran within my own sphere.  Twenty minutes and forty-five seconds later I was done.

The awards presentation was held in the Ruritan Building and the awards consisted of Santa trophies.  Laurie missed third place in her age group by 30 seconds or so.  Since they were giving out toothbrushes Laurie claimed one as her "trophy", which come to think of it is a pretty practical thing.

Chad R.
Davidson Area Running Team

Tony pre-race

Wayne warming up

Laurie pre-race

Me and St. Nick at the finish line

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Races in Familiar Places for This Weekend

As we slowly begin to emerge from the calorie-infused haze of our collective Thanksgiving repast, it's time to toe the line for a local road race or two.  This Saturday December 5th offers three area races for your consideration.

  • Santa Run/Walk for Hunger 5k and 1/2-mile Fun Run, Mt. Ulla, NC:  If you're seeking a small race in a rural area that's not too far away, then this is the one for you.  Where's Mt. Ulla?  Why, between Mooresville and Salilsbury off Highway 150.  Put on by the Salisbury Rowan Runners, the proceeds go to the Rowan Helping Ministries.
  • New Balance Girls on the Run 5K, Belmont, NC:  You don't have to be a girl to participate in this first annual 5k in historic downtown Belmont.  Proceeds of will provide scholarships for future Girls on the Run.
  • Mistletoe Half-Marathon and 5k, Winston-Salem, NC:  Sure, it's a little bit of a drive from the Charlotte area, but this race is worth it.  Very scenic hilly course that passes Reynolda Manor.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Race Report: 2009 Richmond Marathon

Dean King (l) and Allen Strickland (r) lined up for the Richmond Marathon.

Cornelius-based Allen Strickland recently ran in the SunTrust Richmond Marathon and posted a terrific two-part account on his blog, "Allen's Road to Boston", where he recounts his attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  Running with Allen was newest DART member Dean King, who PR'd with a 3:29.

Part I can be found here, and part II is here.  Way to go, guys!

Allen giving chase to Dean later on in the race.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fellowship of the Idiots Run, Saturday, Nov. 21st

There are a handful of legendary runs in the area, ones that are held at semi-regular intervals and are not races.  One I've heard of is the vaunted Mangum Track Club, held in Ellerbe.  When you see someone wearing one of their t-shirts you know they're part of a special breed of runners.  Not necessarily the fastest, but definitely into running, if you know what I mean.

Our friend in Advance, @scubasue09, let us in on an upcoming run to be held in Albemarle on Saturday, Nov. 21st.  For anyone looking for a just-shy-of-20-mile-run (19.7 to be exact) with no entry fee, then this is the one for you.  While it's been held since 2002, merely 35 or so folks have braved the run from downtown Albemarle to the top of Morrow Mountain and back.  These runners are part of the self-described Fellowship of the Idiots.  In addition to eternal fame, if you finish the run you are entitled to a t-shirt, certificate, and your name on the wall at Albemarle's premier running store, Vac & Dash.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Fall Harvest of Races This Weekend

A veritable cornucopia of local races is being offered this Saturday, Nov. 14th, though none of them are turkey trots (those will be the following week).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Race Report: 2009 Mooresville Pumpkin Run

The weather at the 10th annual Mooresville Pumpkin Run this past Saturday lent a seasonal spirit, as the skies were dark and gloomy, with a light mist settling on the racers at the beginning.

Over the years the turnout has usually been kind of light at this small town race, but this year was the largest ever at 101 finishers.  Unlike most races where runners leave pretty quickly once they're done, at the Mooresville Pumpkin Run most stay for the plenitude of door prizes.

Below is the unofficial route as determined by my Garmin Forerunner 205.  The course covered a residential section of south Mooresville and offered several aid stations.  Turns were indicated by helpful volunteers.  A little traffic control would have been beneficial at the corner of East Center Ave. and East Statesville Ave., as I (and probably a few others) had to wait for some cars to go through the intersection, which isn't something you want to do with only two blocks left to go.

The overall winner was Sawyer Bowman with a blistering 28:10; first female was Marissa Cooper with a 36:18.  Full results can be found here:

Steve Hauser in full stride nearing the finish.

Laurie Randolph stalking the finish line.

Todd Hartung basking in the glow of his fifth place finish.

James and his old man (me) chilling out after the race.

Chad R.
Davidson Area Running Team

Lake Norman Magazine Profiles Davidson Runner Maryline Roux

In the November 2009 issue local runner Maryline Roux is profiled by Lake Norman Magazine.  To read the full story, pick up a copy of the magazine or read it online at:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Races in Familiar Places

This Saturday being Halloween is the perfect day for you to practice running away from all those brain-eating zombies.  How's that, you say?  Well, there are not one, not two, not three, but four area races taking place on Halloween morning.

  • 3rd Annual Runway 5K Run, 8a.m. at the Charlotte International Airport.  Make like a bat and fly around the runways.  Sir Purr of the Carolina Panthers will be alongside Miss North Carolina 2009 Julie Tesh to present awards.
  • Pumpkin Run 8K Road Race & 2K Fun Run/Walk, 9a.m. in Mooresville.  They say Frankenstein's monster was slow, but you won't be at this race.  Proceeds will benefit the Mooresville Recreation Foundation.
  • Fall Harvest 10k, 5k, & Fun Run, 7:45a.m., Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics.  Prizes will be given for best costume, so come dressed up as your favorite vampire.
  • Second Annual Tarheel Realty II 5K & Fun Run, 8a.m., Statesville.  Runners are encouraged to dress in costume. To pre-register or for more information, call (704) 871-8770 or email

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Race Report: New River Trail 50k, October 10, 2009

The other weekend I trekked up north to Fries, VA to participate in the second annual New River Trail 50k.  Fries (pronounced "freeze") is a small community nestled alongside the New River that has as its roots a textile community and now is best known for outdoor recreation.

The course covered a portion of the New River Trail State Park, which is an abandoned railroad right-of-way.  The terrain consisted of hard-packed dirt and gravel, with only slight changes in elevation.  Along the course were several small trestles, one long trestle, and a short but VERY dark train tunnel.

The New River Trail 50k is put on by local ultrarunner Annette Bednosky, who runs competitively for the Montrail UltraRunning Team.  Annette decided to give back to the running community by organizing this event.  It's also one of the "green" events that are becoming more and more popular.  What's green about it?  Race applications are available only online, participants are encouraged to bring their own water bottles in order to reduce waste at the aid stations, and very little schwag (you know, that stuff you get in your race bag that you get all the time, like ball point pens from banks, note pads from realtors, race adverts, and such).  Participants had the option of paying a little more and getting a very usable Patagonia technical long-sleeved shirt and also had the choice of either a Nathan handheld water bottle or a locally made pottery vase.

I'll spare you most of the details of my experience except to say that this year I managed to shear 25 whopping minutes off my last year's time and finished in 4:23:38, putting me 12th overall out of 105 starters.  I would have to attribute my faster time to a) knowing the course this time around, b) lighter trail shoes, c) a change in gait from heel striking to midfoot striking, and d) the fear that someone was about to pass me in the final 5.5 miles, which turned out to be only my imagination.

Last year I made the slow, arduous walk up to the community center for a shower before heading home. This year I decided to walk down to the New River at the start/finish line and take a soak.  Aahh, relief!

Chad R.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Samaritan Christian Ministry of Wilkes' Race for the Hungry

As many of you have observed, half marathons are a little scarce these days.  However, there's a new one taking place on Saturday, Nov. 14th, 2009 in Wilkesboro.

As someone who cut his teeth on long-distance running in Wilkesboro, I can attest that there are some terrific places in which to run.  Back in the day there used to be a half marathon and 5-miler, but alas that disappeared.  Now there's a new set of races in town, called the Samaritan Christian Ministry of Wilkes' Race for the Hungry (scroll to the bottom for race brochure, driving instructions, and map), which will consist of a half marathon, 5k, and fun run.

I know what you're thinking:  Wilkesboro, being at the foot of the Brushy Mountains, must mean that the courses are hilly.  Far from it.  The 5k course is nearly pancake flat and suitable for PR performance, and the half-marathon is mostly flat, with a hump in the middle.

Where's Wilkesboro?  From Davidson take I-77 north to exit 73, then west on Hwy. 421 toward Boone; about an hour's worth of driving.

Thanks, Jim Crotts and Randy Brooks!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Local Races this Weekend

Fall racing is underway.  Some of you may be heading off to faraway places, such as the Bank of America Chicago Marathon or the New River Trail 50k.  If you're staying put this weekend, you can still hit the road with one of these races:

  • Historic Salisbury's OT5k, coinciding with Historic Salisbury Foundation's tour of historic home, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10th in downtown Salisbury.  There will also be a 1/2-mile family fun run, so bring the kids.  -Thanks, @scubasue09!
  • Home Run 2009, also this Saturday, brought to you by the Regional HIV/AIDS Consortium.  The race will take place on the McAlpine Creek Greenway 5k cross country course and will also offer a one mile fun run.
  • Hopebuilders 5k, this Saturday, at the Carolinas Medical Center, just south of downtown (or is it uptown?).  There will be a post-race family festival.
  • 5th Annual Oktoberfest Footrace 10k & 5k, in downtown Hickory.  All net proceeds will be sent to the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministries.
  • United Way Run for Life - Fun Run/5K/10K, this Saturday in Concord.  Suitable for everyone, but if you're a firefighter, police officer, or EMS person you are eligible for a special award if you're the fastest.
  • “Wake the Library” 5K & Fun Run, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem.  -Thanks, @scubasue09!
Have a great weekend, whether you race or not.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blazing a New Trail at Fisher Farm

I was reviewing my notes and realized that I haven't posted anything about Fisher Farm.  Fisher Farm is part of the Town of Davidson, though you probably wouldn't realize it.  It consists of four or so miles of single-track trails just east of Davidson and truly in a natural setting.  While utilized primarily by mountain bikes, it's also a great place to perform some solid trail running.

I'm going to post a full report on running at Fisher Farm at a later time because I'm in the process of mapping (via my Garmin Forerunner) the various routes.

This morning twenty volunteers got together at Fisher Farm to put in a new section of trail.  Under the direction of Mark Sullivan, owner of The Cycle Path, we scratched out a new intermediate section of the main trail just before the finish.  With the large number of people we were able to knock it out in less than three hours.

The Tarheel Trailblazers are also intimately involved in maintaining the trails at Fisher Farm.  They have recently been awarded a grant by REI to add another section of trails.

To get involved in adding to and maintaining the trails at Fisher Farm, contact Mark at The Cycle Path,

Chad R.
Davidson Area Running Team

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Race Recap: Salem Lake 30k Trail Race

Every year Winston-Salem's Twin City Track Club puts on a notable 30k (as well as a 10k) trail race, which was held this past Saturday.  It's a mostly flat out-and-back course that consists mostly of hard-packed dirt, with some asphalt greenway thrown in at the midpoint.  It covers most of the perimeter of Salem Lake, hence the name.

DARTers Adam Mayes, Chris Jones, and Mike MacIntyre participated in the 30k this year, and kicked up some serious dirt.  They were kind enough to provide a race recap.

Adam:  "The weather was gloomy and there was a light rain during the entire race.  The course had a few wet areas that probably slowed us down a little.  It was my first time doing that race and first time running those trails.  I enjoyed it, although I wished that the weather would have been better.  I know that I started out too fast but I figured that I could hang on at the end.  Thats exactly what I did.  I started out running something like 6:20 a mile for the first few miles.  But then I backed it down close to the halfway point and started doing some 6:45 and 6:50 miles."

"Chris and I discussed the water stops.  We both agreed that the people working the water stops pretty much had no experience working a race before.  We even passed a group of workers walking to a water stop before they even had a chance to set it up.  So, we were just out of luck at that stop.  I have to agree with Chris that this is a great training race for a fall marathon."

Chris:  "It was a gray day at the lake on Saturday.  This is usually a beautiful place to run...and probably ranks among my favorite places to hit the trail.  About 10 years ago Runner's World actually ranked the Salem Lake trail among the Top 50 running trails in the US.  But on Saturday, everything was shut-in with fog and a dreary mist.  Fortunately the trail wasn't too bad as the drizzle had just started, and temps were cooler than they had been earlier in the week which was nice.  Nearly 1,000 runners turned out for the 30K or the 10K - so quite a crowd amassed in the unusually dark morning hours at the East Winston lake.

Personally, I was about 1 minute and 30 seconds off of last year's time.  Everything kinda fell into place last fall...and I had already run a low 1:18 half up in Pittsburgh prior to Salem Lake last year so I had a good gauge of what kind of shape I was in endurance-wise.  Felt OK through 14 or so and didn't have much left after that.  I think my half-marathon split was 1:20:30 or so; the last 5.5 wasn't too pretty.  

Advice to Davidson Area runners attempting the race in the future - bring two gels for the 30K due to somewhat limited water stops / opportunities to refuel."

Did I mention that Adam and Chris kicked dust?  Chris nabbed fourth overall and first in his age group with a time of 01:56:03 while Adam took 12th overall and second in his age group with a time of 02:03:47.  Way to go!

While Mike had a good time at the Salem Lake 30k, he experienced some duress prior to the race, which fortunately didn't keep him from going the distance and then some, as you'll read in his recap:

Mike:  "Started the Salem Lake 30k Trail Run 2 hours late (long story), but I finished 19.0 miles (another story) in 3:42:33 after walking 5 miles before starting (another story that is part of the 2 hours late story).  For the first 5 miles of the run, it was fun as I got to cheer on all of the runners on their way back to the finish.  After that I saw no one, but they did leave the Gatorade and mile markers up.  The good news is that I forced myself to do it even though it was just me, and the better thing is that they gave me a shirt and a number without paying since I got there so late.  The best news is that I now feel that I can complete a marathon after run/walking 24 miles. 

Yes there were some parts where I questioned my decision to start running in the first place, but once I got back on the trail around mile 12, it got much better.  Note to self: next year I will buy a set of trail shoes to protect my feet."

Dealing with adversity is the key to a successful race.  Mike cast off the negative, embraced the positive, and therefore not only finished the race but had a good experience.  Good job, Mike!

Have a race report you'd like to share?  Send it to the Davidson Area Running Team.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Race Recap: Hit the Brixx 10k & 5k

The annual Hit the Brixx 10k & 5k run/walk was held under cool and misty conditions this past Saturday.  This event is somewhat unique in that one can run the 10k and then, time permitting, run in the 5k.  There was also a kids' fun run at the end which was my five-year-old's first race.

Generally speaking, the 10k course started with a downhill section, then uphill, then downhill again, and finally a series of uphills leading to the finish line.  That is typical for most Charlotte-based races, and was also true for the 5k.  There were more participants (869 finishers) in the 10k than in the 5k (509 finishers).

There were several DARTers in attendance, including Kara Pettie (51:10 in the 10k), Jim Crotts (43:51 in the 10k), Laurie (1:01:29 in the 10k) & Chad Randolph (50:13 in the 10k and 23:00 in the 5k, pushing James in the ubiquitous baby jogger for both races), and our newest member, Wayne Eckert (50:12 in the 10k).  If you were there for one or more of the races, sorry I missed you and lemme know so I can post your name.

Post-race pizza provided by sponsor Brixx and beer provided by Carolina Beer and Beverage made it a worthwhile trip.

You can find results of both races here.

Wayne Eckert

Jim Crotts

Laurie Randoph with son James

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Race Recap: Run for Green 5k, 10k, & Half Marathon

Congratulations to DARTer Kathy Rink for winning overall female for the Davidson Run for Green half marathon held this past Saturday!  Kathy cranked out an unofficial time of 1:34:25.  Way to go, Kathy!  Also participating in the 13.1-mile race were Chris Alexander (1:39:13), Chris Brown (1:40:47), Chris Flaherty (1:49:25), Heather Bellemore (2:11:58), and Mike MacIntyre (2:27:37).

As for the newly added 10k, there were some familiar faces including Bobbi Luster (55:21), Natasha Marcus (57:09), and Allyson Greenwood (1:18:49).

In the 5k division, Chad Randolph (a.k.a. Yours Truly) took 1st in male 40-44 while pushing his five-year-old in a jogger in 22:25.  Steve Hauser ran a solid 27:19.

Normally after a race the DART blog would mostly consist of a general recap and a mention of participating DARTers.  In the case of this past Saturday's Run for Green 5k, 10k, and half marathon, the post will instead provide grounds for discussion, particularly of the half marathon.

About a month prior to the races there was an open question regarding the route of the half marathon; mainly that the bulk of it winds through a large residential area, which isn't what one normally thinks of as green space.  The question was whether or not there is another viable route that would be more scenic.

More recently an anonymous reader gave their race recap, which echoes part of the first comment.

Anonymous said,
"There is almost nothing good that I can say about this race. Without a doubt, it is one of the least interesting half marathon courses I've ever run. It is sadly ironic that this event - which is held to support the conservation of open space - takes place almost entirely in one of the worst examples of urban sprawl that you are likely to encounter. Plus, they charged an extortionary late fee of 33%, and on top of that, no t-shirt for race day registrants. You have to hope that they treat their other donors a little better. No way that I'll ever be back at this event."

All good points worthy of consideration.  While I ran in the 5k and not the half marathon, much of my training occurs along this course so I feel somewhat qualified to chip in.

I'm not enamored with the half marathon route either; I like starting and finishing downtown and running on the greenway- heck, I even like running up Patrick Johnston Lane(!)  However, going through River Run can be uninspiring (perhaps familiarity breeds contempt in my case).  As for alternate routes, it'd be hard to put together thirteen miles and stay within the confines of Davidson.

As for the race day price increase, that's pretty standard.  As for the t-shirt, I got one, but it's from last year (suggestion- don't print the date of the race on the shirts, as it's like getting a Christmas ornament with last year's date on it).

If you ran the half marathon, what did you think of the course?  How was your experience overall?  What about the 10k, which was new for this year?  How about the 5k with its new route?  Let's hear about your experience (and not your opinion of someone else's experience).  In other words, constructive criticism.  Add to the comment section or send an email to

Monday, September 14, 2009

Update to the Davidson Cross Country Trail Post

I've added a couple of paragraphs at the end of June's Davidson Cross Country trail post, suggesting a route that will give you about 8k's worth of running.  Thanks go to reader JimmyMac for inquiring.

Chad R.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Races in Familiar Places: Historic Mooresville 5k

It was a beautiful day to run a 5k in downtown Mooresville, with sunny skies and temps in the upper-60's.  This was the fourth year since its inception, and this time around the course had changed.  Whereas in years past runners would enjoy two trips up E. McLelland Ave. next to the Willow Valley Cemetery, road construction on Church St. enjoined something a little different.  This year's course took runners up and down historic downtown, with a tough uphill around mile 2.6 on E. Center Ave.

Several DARTers were in attendance, including Chris Brown, Steve Hauser, Chris Flaherty, and Laurie & Chad Randolph.  Below are some pics of the race:

Steve Hauser
Chris Flaherty

Chris Brown, Laurie & James Randolph

Chad, Laurie, & James Randolph
Complete results can be found at:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Races in Familiar Places: Aquesta Bank/PostNet 5K Run/Walk

Fellow DARTer Mike MacIntyre mentioned another upcoming local race that's truly worthy of your consideration.  It's the Aquesta Bank/PostNet 5K Run/Walk, and will take place on Saturday, Oct. 10th at 9:00a.m.  The race will begin at the Aquesta Bank on Jetton Rd. in Cornelius and finish at Jetton Park.

The race is intended to "raise awareness and funds to fight a horrible disease that most people know by the name Lou Gehrig's", or ALS.  Dennis Coogle, the owner of PostNet in Jetton Village, was recently diagnosed with this disease.  He and his wife Sherry are teaming up with Aquesta Bank to offer a family-friendly 5k run/walk.

A fundraiser will be held on October 8th.

For more information and to register go to:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Race Report: Lynch's Woods 50k Trail Race

Some say that trail running is more akin to dancing than it is to road running.  Having to account for your every step by watching out for rocks, tree roots, water crossings, stinging/biting insects and other unsavory creatures makes you tread lightly.  Rather than muscling through a road course, trail running forces you to vary your cadence.  Going faster while trail racing is usually a recipe for disaster - slow and steady will finish the race.

That was what I was thinking about as I was heading down to Newberry, SC for the inaugural Lynch's Woods 50k trail race, which was held on Sunday, Sept. 6th.  Lynch's Woods 50k is part of a series of annual races put on by Terri Hayes, an ultrarunning veteran who now gives back by putting on such races.  Terri states that her intent is for people to complete her races first and foremost, and to put a lesser emphasis upon competing.  To that effect, there's no set cut-off time, no entry fee (though donations are gladly accepted), and there's no commemorative t-shirt nor swag.  So what do you get for your efforts?  A sense of accomplishment of course, but also a challenging course, friendly volunteers, camaraderie, well-stocked aid stations, and a unique finishers' medal.

Lynch's Woods is a park nestled nearby downtown Newberry, SC, and is composed of 286 acres of heavy woods.  There is a fire road on its outskirts and miles of single-track within, primarily used by horse riders, mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers.

And so around 7:30a.m. Terri gave us the go ahead and all 49 of us took off.  Terri also ran the entire course, a cool thing that isn't something you see race directors do very often.

The course consisted of five loops.  The first loop was on the fire road that circled the park and the remaining four were repeats of a hilly 6.8-mile trail, completely single-track.  At some trail races that start with single-track, participants get bunched up at the beginning and passing gets to be tricky.  Having us start with the wide fire road allowed us to spread out nicely so that by the time we entered the single-track we didn't have to jostle for position.

The inner four loops were pretty tricky so I had to keep my eyes on the path constantly.  Imagine a lightly used deer trail meandering up and down through the woods and that pretty much describes it.  Throw in a couple of small stream crossings for good measure.  Add roots and rocks and pine cones.  Being somewhat clumsy at trail running, I managed to trip and fall down at least six times, three of which were full face-plants.  There was company in my misery, as I saw several other runners sporting bloody knees.

I finally "heard" the rhythm of the trail and managed to hang on for a 6:42 finish, putting me squarely in the middle of the results.  While I would have liked to have gone faster, I was afraid to, as every time I sped up I ended up tripping on some immovable object like a rock or root.  Slow and steady finishes the race.

Summary:  A super-low-key 50k in a scenic setting which offers much more than material rewards.  Best for trail nerds.

Equipment of note:  My new Inov-8 f-lite 230's, Injinji toe socks, 12 gels, about 20 Endurolytes (I lost count), eight bottles of whatever was available at the aid stations, Oreo cookies, and green grapes.  Après-run, I stopped by McDonald's for a 1/3 lb. mega burger of some sort.

Chad R.
Davidson Area Running Team

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Charlotte's Greekfest 5K Race Report

DARTer and local speed demon Chris Jones gives his recap of last week's Greekfest 5k race, which was held in Charlotte.

"I enjoyed my first Greekfest 5K this past Saturday. Temps were in the high 60's but without the oppressive humidity that was in place throughout most of August. A whopping 1,278 runners took part in the race - clearly this is one of the most popular Charlotte area 5Ks of the season.

Rumor had it that the Dilworth area course was flat and fast, and it lived up to its billing. When the gun went off, runners streamed down East Blvd, enjoying the nice gradual downhill which lasted most of the first mile. I was out in 5:14, which was a little fast....but given the downhill nature of the first mile, I was OK with that time. Several runners must have been in the 4:40 range - a really smoking pace to attempt to maintain. Mile 2 included a deceptively gradual uphill on Kingston St and masters runners Bill Shires and David Dye powered past me, leveraging their great endurance base to blow past people on the slightly tougher part of the course. I was through Mile 2 in 10:42, slowing down but realizing that if I held it together I could break 17 minutes. At Mile 2.5 we turned back up East's a tough stretch but I like the fact that you can reel in the finish line because it is in sight the whole time. I barely made it past fellow Charlotte Running Club members Bill Shires and Kent Morris, but never caught David. All three of us were very pleased to go sub 17 minutes. I ended up running a 16:52, good for an 8th place finish.

This was a really fun 5K and I recommend it to fellow Davidson Area runners looking for a really fast end-of-summer 5K time. I'd like to congratulate Adam Mayes - he ran the course in 17:21 to capture another impressive PR. This guy is PR'ing in every race he runs right now. Awesome job Adam! Jim Crotts also ran a solid time of 20:10, chasing down Grand Prix points to repeat his impressive Grand Prix division win last year. There were probably some other DART runners out was a HUGE crowd! "

Friday, September 4, 2009

There's a New Marathon in Town - Blue Ridge Marathon on the Parkway

Fellow DARTer Chris B. just informed me of a new marathon (and half marathon) taking place on April 24, 2010 in Roanoke, VA called the "Blue Ridge Marathon on the Parkway". I realize that this isn't exactly a race that's local to the Davidson area, but it's less than a half-day's drive.

The marathon was created to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which connects Shenandoah National Park in VA with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in NC.

The race begins and ends in downtown Roanoke and appears to be quite challenging as well as scenic. Scenic in that most of it takes place on the parkway proper; challenging in that there will be a lot of hill climbing, especially in the first 15 miles.

I'm mentioning this marathon and half right now as I'd imagine that it will fill up quickly. So if you're interested you should register quickly. Here's the official link:

The Roanoke Times profiled the new race, and you can read about it here:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fall is for Racing

Now that the oppressive heat and humidity have mercifully abated for a few days, it's time to think about the fall season, and especially racing. I was talking to DART member Whitney this morning, who was doing speed work with her running buddy Jean. Whitney is prepping for the Ridge to Bridge Marathon to be held on Sat., Oct. 24th. Other DART members prepping for fall races include Mike M. (OBX Marathon) and Heather B. (I forgot which marathon, but I know it's in the fall) I personally am in last-minute preparation for this Sunday's Lynch's Woods 50k in Newberry, SC.

In looking over my calendar for upcoming local races in Sept. and October I see the following:

Sept. 5: Valle Crucis 7 Miler, Dash For Don 6k (Huntersville)
Oct. 10: New River Trail Run 50k (Fries, VA)
Oct. 17: LungStrong 5K/15K (Cornelius)
Oct 31: Pumpkin Run 8K Road Race & 2K Fun Run/Walk (Mooresville), Runway 5K Run (Charlotte International Airport)

I'm sure I've missed a few, so if you know of any additional local races in Sept. or Oct. please let me know. DART members, what are you prepping for this fall?

Chad R.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Least Popular Gel Flavors

Editor's note: In a departure from our normally semi-serious blog posts, this one is a humorous list of some of the least popular flavors of gels. Can you think of any other flavors that might make for a bad-tasting gel? Remember, this is a family blog, so keep it clean!

Least Popular Real Food Gel Flavors in no particular order:
1) French onion
2) Hot dog water
3) Guacamole
4) Chicken gravy
5) Parmesan peppercorn
6) Au jus
7) Mustard
8) Ketchup
9) Soy sauce
10) Licorice
11) Tomato soup
12) Pea soup
13) Prune juice
14) Wasabi
15) Deviled eggs

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Races in Familiar Places: 2009 Pumpkin Run and 1 Mile Fun Run

Just received word from Dave Adams, Assistant Athletic Manager, that the 2009 Pumpkin Run and 1 Mile Fun Run will be held on Saturday, Oct. 31st in Mooresville, NC. The Pumpkin Run is an 8k that starts at the War Memorial Building and winds through residential sections of Mooresville. The route is generally flat, with one gradual uphill around mile three.

To obtain a flyer and registration in PDF form information go to:

From personal experience, it's a friendly small race where you might stand a chance of getting an age group award. It's also conducive to running with a baby jogger.

And since it's on Halloween day, it's your chance to run in a costume without getting too much grief from your running buddies.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Charlotte Running Club - A Passion for Running

Many of you have asked about the presence of running groups that meet at regularly scheduled times and places. Some of us are training for specific races and some just want to get together with other like-minded runners. Well, I have good news for you. Unbeknownst to me until last week, there is such a group. It's called the Charlotte Running Club. Last week I talked to Jay Holder, who is the Marketing Director about the club.

From their website:

"The club is for Charlotte, North Carolina runners who are interested in competing in various running events and want to be part of a collaborative group that helps each other improve."

"We are in search of runners who love the sport as much as we do. While the club is blessed to have some very fast runners, we welcome and are looking for runners in the community of all abilities. Charlotte Running Club encourages runners to have a passion for running. The club is always looking for new leaders to help establish new regular locations for running together in town. If you are currently part of a running group or know of one, please let us know. We publish dates, times, and locations for as many running groups that we know of in the area under Weekly Runs. Join us today!"

Although it's called the Charlotte Running Club, they have a number of weekly group runs in the Lake Norman area, especially around Huntersville and Davidson. Also, if you happen to work in Charlotte, you could train with them there. The runs are posted regularly on their website.

To become involved in the Charlotte Running Club, visit their site or send an email to

Monday, August 17, 2009

Final Day of the MILES OF MOORESVILLE Summer Race Series

This note from the good folks at Queen City Timing:

The final race in the 'Miles of Mooresville' series is coming up! Friday, August 21 is the last summer night of running for 2009. REGISTER ONLINE EARLY to guarantee your race shirt. The number of runners nearly doubled from June's race to July's so we can't guarantee a shirt on race night.
NONRUNNERS, you can walk the course, or please VOLUNTEER! We need you!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Boston Without the Marathon

DART members Chad and Laurie Randolph (married to each other, by the way) just returned from a trip to Boston, MA, where they celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary. While there they stopped by the famous Bill Rodgers Running Center/Store, just inside Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

For those of you who might be relatively new to running or otherwise unfamiliar with the name, Bill Rodgers is a legend of American long-distance running. In the late 1970's, as the nation's obsession with running was growing, Bill won the New York and Boston marathons four times each. He also competed in the marathon portion of the 1976 Olympics held in Montreal. Bill has also won many races of shorter distances throughout the years. He is also in constant demand as a motivational speaker.

Bill wasn't working at his store the day we visited, as far as we could tell. However, the gentleman there was very nice, friendly, and knowledgeable. Interestingly enough, he told us that one of his favorite marathons was in Charlotte, which he ran in the early eighties.

The store itself was interesting in how small it was; probably no bigger than your average living room. The main store was in the basement, and was crammed with racks and piles of clothing. The shoe wall was covered in brands both recognizable and unrecognizable, from daily trainers to spikes to a limited number of trail running shoes. A small selection of socks, nothing unusual brand-wise. Also, the watch selection was limited to a couple of Timexes. Above the main store was another store that was somewhat connected in that it sold Bill Rodgers t-shirts, but mostly it offered Boston Red Sox paraphernalia.

We picked up a couple of Bill Rodgers branded technical running shirts as souvenirs, which we will wear to remind us of being in Boston without having run in the Boston Marathon. There's always next year, right?

Monday, August 10, 2009

There's Gold in Them Thar Hills!

By gold, I mean not gold in the literal sense but in the rewards that hill work brings to your running regimen. Doing hill work is a terrific way to tax your legs and cardiovascular system without having to increase your speed. Being allergic to running fast during training, I like to think of hill workouts as a poor man's speed work.

Most half- and full-marathon schedules prescribe some amount of hill work. Runner's World put out a concise list of hill workout sessions they recommend. See the link here.

Those of us who live and run here in the Piedmont region are blessed (or cursed, depending on your viewpoint) with a multitude of rolling hills. There are many places where you can crank out a few hilly miles. Here are a couple within the confines of Davidson that I use on occasion. One is hill repeats and the other is a hilly course.

* South St. Davidson: Park near the McEver baseball fields in South St. Begin your uphill run where the greenway begins, but run uphill on South St. toward downtown. Stop at the three-way intersection near CVS. Turn around and do a slow downhill jog back. Each way is six tenths of a mile, so if you're trying to do six miles, run this ten times (five up and five back).

* River Run Subdivision: Park across from the soccer field at the Robert Walker Dr. entrance to River Run. Begin your run there and head into the River Run subdivision. Right turn at River Crossing Blvd. Left turn at River Falls Dr. Right turn on River Ford Dr. When you get to Greyton Lane (near the community swimming pool), turn around and head back. Each way is about three miles, thereby giving you six total of rolling hills.

* Bonus Route - Grey Road: This route isn't nearly as user-friendly as the other two, in that there are no sidewalks, there are the occasional critter (skunk, snake, dog, deer, etc.). Also, while there isn't much road traffic with which to contend, be prepared to step off the road and into tall grass if need be in order to let a car pass by. If this isn't your cup of tea, don't attempt it. If you're still interested, you will be rewarded by a couple of BIG hills. Later on I will use Grey Road in some longer runs.
Route begins at the intersection of Davidson-Concord Rd. and Grey Rd. Take Grey Rd. all the way to the new Abersham development, stopping at Abersham Lane on the right. Turn around and head back for a run that's just over 4.5 miles.

P.S. Thanks to Kara for suggesting this topic!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Area Greenways Profiled in August Issue of Lake Norman Magazine

Lake Norman magazine's August 2009 issue has an article on the area's greenways, both current and in development. Not all greenways are dirt trails, nor are all greenways asphalt. For example, Lake Norman State Park has nearly 13 miles of trails suitable for running and mountain biking. Conversely, Davidson's Southeast Greenway of nearly six miles is a combination of asphalt with concrete sidewalk connectors. Also good for cycling and running.

Pick up your copy of this month's Lake Norman magazine at most any local shopping center.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Davidson Lands Conservancy Run For Green 2009

It's hard to believe that it's August already and that fall is around the corner. In addition to cooler temperatures and colorful leaves, fall also brings races.

A terrific local race which started only three years ago, Davidson's Run For Green is where you can kickstart your autumnal racing. There are the usual half-marathon and 5k, and this year a 10k has been added. All races will begin near the town green, next to CVS in downtown Davidson, and will end at the town green behind the public library.

All three races will offer a challenging mix of uphills and downhills. The 5k and 10k will stay mainly within town, while the half continues throughout most of the River Run subdivision and back.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Do the Dew, Part Two

A few weeks ago we discussed the role the dew point plays in how one feels while exercising outside. After this morning's run with Todd, Kara, and Jim, we all remarked at how muggy the air was and how the seven-miler wrung us out.

So, me being me, I went online when I got home and checked the stats. While it was only 75 degrees out, the humidity was 86% and the dew point was an uncomfortable 70 degrees. To reiterate, a dew point 60-69 is perceived by most as somewhat uncomfortable, 70-74 as very uncomfortable, and above 75 as being extremely uncomfortable.

Today the New York Times has a good article about how to avoid heatstroke. Definitely worth the short read. Some key takeaways include slowly acclimatizing to the heat over the course of days or even months and stopping if you truly feel bad.

Keep cool and keep running!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pothole Report for Davidson Posted on Google Maps has a great article about local resident and cyclist Scott Denham and his report on Davidson-area road hazards, including potholes and grates. The neat thing is in how he has portrayed the problems, in that he's used Google Maps to show specifically where the hazards are and has also included photos. Great use of technology!

If you run in the Davidson area you've probably seen most of these situations, so it's a good idea to keep in mind where they might be in case you're running in the dark. Us runners aren't as fast as cyclists, but we're still prone to trip up every now and then.

Go to this link to see Mr. Denham's report in Google Maps.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Local Runner Profile: Kara Pettie

This time around we're profiling local runner Kara Pettie. Kara runs in most of the Charlotte-area races, and works at Run For Your Life. She's a great training partner who does her running homework in order to achieve her goals.

Name- Kara Pettie

Age- 27

Home- originally Rochester, NY currently residing in Huntersville, NC.

Years of Running- 5 years of running, 1.5 years of actually enjoying running.

Favorite Running Shoes- Mizuno Inspires

Where Do You Train- Anywhere and everywhere especially if I can find friends to run with. Running is more fun when you change the scenery and definitely more fun with friends.

Favorite Race Distance- I like 5k's because it's an all out war between some of my friends & I and I also enjoy trying to beat my own PR's.

Miles Per Week- It depends; usually anywhere between 25 and 40.

Favorite Race- Twlight 5k because I love running through uptown Charlotte at night and going to the restaurants around it after. Makes people give you weird looks because you're actually not dressed up and hanging out down there. And 26.2 With Donna was the Fight Breast Cancer Marathon and I did it in honor of my mom, it was a HUGE accomplishment for me.

Next Big Race You're Training For- Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in October and I'm trying to qualify for Boston.

Any Running Insights You'd Like to Share- I think it's really important to find your happy place when you're running. Run because you want to and enjoy doing it, not because you have to. If you don't, you're not going to want to continue running.

Thanks, Kara, and good luck with Marine Corps and qualifying for Boston!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Race Results

A couple of local racing events were held this weekend- July's Miles of Mooresville and the Streetlight 5k in Concord.

The second in a series, Miles of Mooresville consisted of a one-, two-, and three-mile race. There were 129 finishers in the one-miler. DART's own Todd Mayes finished second overall in the one-miler with a blistering 5:03. Kathy Rink cranked out a solid 6:00, and was first female overall; Chris Flaherty a 6:39; Clint Siemers a 6:44; Wendy Siemers an 11:07.

In the two-mile race, Adam Mayes finished second overall with an 11:11; Clint Siemers a 14:08; Chris Flaherty a 15:20; and Wendy Siemers a 17:34.

In the three-mile race, Clint Siemers finished eighth overall with a 20:00 flat; Wendy Siemers a 24:08; and Chris Flaherty a 24:28.

The Streetlight 5k and one-mile fun run were held in Concord beginning at 8:00p.m. last Friday. There were 171 finishers. Jim Crotts finished in twelfth place overall with a 20:41; and Todd Hartung a 21:06.
Full results of both races can be found at Queen City Timing.

Way to go, all you DARTers! If I missed anyone please let me know. If you're reading this and wondering how you can get involved in the Davidson Area Running Team, send an email to

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rumble in the Woods Trail Races Nov. 14, 2009

Attention all trail runners and those aspiring to be trail runners!

Sue Mitchell of Team Triumph NC notified us that they are sponsoring a series of trail races at Lake Norman State Park on Saturday, Nov. 14th, 2009, at Lake Norman State Park in Troutman, NC.

The 5k trail run will follow the Hawk Loop, rolling hills, minimal roots and rocks. The 5k course will not have water stations. The 6.6 miler and 12.6 miler trails will follow the Monbo Loop with the 6.6 miler running the Monbo Loop one time and the 12.6 miler running the Monbo Loop two times. The Monbo Loop is smooth and fast with rolling hills. The 6.6 and 12.6 mile courses will have two water stations (one at approximately the 3 mile mark and one at the 6.3 mile mark).

You can find out more information and register online via

Team Triumph NC is a local all-women's triathlon group based in the Lake Norman area. Team Triumph encourages women to "take the plunge" into tris and support them as they grow in their tri experience.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Doing It Old School - Grandfather Mountain Marathon

This morning was the annual Grandfather Mountain Marathon, which starts in Boone, NC and finishes at the base of Grandfather Mountain. It's a point-to-point race with, as you might have gathered, many a hill to be climbed. It's one of my favorite marathons, not only because the course is challenging and scenic, but also because it hearkens back to old-timey marathons, where there were few rules and they were strict.

If you're looking for a large marathon, look elsewhere. The race is capped at around 475, and usually fills up, though not quickly, which is an indication of 1) the perceived toughness of the course, and 2) the relative remoteness of the location (Boone being well over two hours from either Charlotte or Greensboro airports).

You must show valid ID when picking up your race packet. There is no timing chip. After the first couple of miles there is no traffic control. There is a five-hour cutoff, and you will not be allowed to finish at the official finish line if you go much over that time. Age group awards are meted out in 10-year increments (e.g., 40-49) instead of five. Back in the day, but not now, you weren't awarded a t-shirt until and only if you finished the race. I've been told that during its initial years there were no aid stations, just one-gallon jugs of water placed intermittently for all to share.

The pluses, for me and other hardy souls, include spectacular scenery, friendly volunteers at all the aid stations, and a finish that's completely out of the ordinary. Imagine toiling over 26 miles, often alone or nearly alone, and then running up a short hill onto a cinder track, where 12,000 spectators are there, cheering you on. Okay, actually they're there for the Highland Games which are going on concurrently, but it's weird to see lasses dancing around on stage while burly men in kilts appear to be tossing telephone poles around. Psychedelic tartan.

My first Grandfather Mountain Marathon happened in 1999, and was my second marathon overall (My first was the Jan. 1999 Run For Peace Marathon, which went from Davidson College to Johnson C. Smith University, but that's another story). Since then I've run it six more times; unfortunately I couldn't pull it off today due to injury.

I want to give a big shout out to my Wilkesboro, NC-based running buddies who were able to run it today. They put in some serious training leading up to this event. Jim Allen, Heather Barnes, and my running mentor, Rickey Reeves. Great job!

Chad R.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lake Norman YMCA - Oakhurst Route

Today's running route is another option if you're using the Lake Norman YMCA as your base. It covers the outskirts of the Oakhurst and adjoining communities in Cornelius. All streets are marked with signs, and there are sidewalks throughout the course. Be aware of automobile traffic when crossing streets.

Start by going south on Church St., crossing Catawba Ave., winding around Oak, Hickory, and Tryon Streets before going right on Washam Potts Rd. Continue on Washam Potts all the way to Oakhurst Blvd., and turn left. Take Oakhurst Blvd. and turn left on Coachman's Trace. Right turn onto Meadow Crossing Ln.

At that point you'll find yourself on Hwy. 115/Main St. Go left and continue north for over 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Cornelius St., go a block, and you'll find yourself where you began.

Below is a map of the route. Click on it to open. Have a good run!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Race Report: HFFA Firecracker 5K

This race recap of the Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics Center Firecracker 5K is brought to you by DART member Adam Mayes, who put in a 17:37, good enough for sixth place overall and first in his age group.

"The morning was cooler than usual which made for a good P.R. day. It got warm right about time for the start of the race. I particularly like this course. It's more on the fast side rather than slow. Mile one of the race was mainly downhill and was the fastest mile. I hit a 5:29 for the mile which was right about what I thought I would have. Mile two was all a slight uphill that wasn't too bad but was a change from mile one. Mile three was a slight downhill which made for a good finish."

"I thought the number of participants was pretty good and I believe they said it was the biggest showing since the race started a few years ago. I was surprised that the race did not have a cyclist to lead the way. The front runner at about mile 1 missed the turn and possibly missed his chances for the win because of it. That was really the only disappointment that the race had. I was pleased overall because I ended up with a new PR by 6 seconds."

A quick glance at the overall results show a number of DART runners, including but not limited to: Jim Crotts, Todd Hartung, Chris Flaherty, Kara Pettie, and Beth Michels.

If I missed your name and you'd like to get a shout out on the DART blog send an email to Full results are available for your viewing pleasure at:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Quickie Book Review: Born to Run - A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

For Father's Day I asked for and received a copy of Christopher McDougall's new book entitled "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen". I've always been a keen reader, especially of non-fiction, and since I'm a runner...well, there you go.

I've read several running-oriented books over the years. Unfortunately, like a lot of other sports, the topic of running doesn't exactly make for gripping reading. A plenitude of statistics and a paucity of human interest, along with precious few photos, makes for a dry read.

I'm pleased to report that "Born to Run" doesn't fit the mold of a typical running book, and that's a good thing. It's a good read for anyone who runs and would be entertaining for anyone who doesn't. Think of it as an adventure book akin to something that Ernest Hemingway or Redmond O'Hanlon might produce.

I won't summarize the plot, since Amazon has a review as well as an interview with the author. There is also a video of McDougall on YouTube.

"Born to Run" won't make you faster, but it just might make you change the way you think about running.

Chad R.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Run To The Hills: St. Albans and McConnell Neighborhoods

Tucked away on the north side of Davidson between Grey Road and Davidson-Concord Road are two relatively new developments, St. Albans (also known as New Neighborhood in Old Davidson) and McConnell. Both are runner-friendly in that they have sidewalks, little traffic, are lighted at night, and connect to one another. All this sounds like it would make for a pleasant yet maybe boring run, except for one thing - the hills.

Davidson-Concord Road runs like a spine eastward toward River Run and the terrain drops off on each side; more so on the north. which is where St. Albans and McConnell are. Many of the roads in these communities have a fair amount of ups-and-downs in them. It's a great place to do hill work.

Below is a map of a suggested route around the area. Inside roads can be added to increase your mileage. Also, it's easy to get here from downtown Davidson via a sidewalk that runs along Davidson-Concord Road.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Local Runner Profile: Chris Jones

This post will be the first in a series of local runner profiles. Ever wonder who that person was you saw running recently who looked so fast (or slow, in my case)? Well, it's time to put the face with the pace. We're starting this off by interviewing Chris Jones.

Name: Chris Jones
Home: Davidson, NC
Age: 32
Years of Running: 17

Why Do I Run? Wow, too many reasons to list this point running is a big part of who I am. I'm not sure what will happen down the road, but I feel blessed to have had a good running career, even if it were to end tomorrow. Still whittling away at PR's though, so I guess I'm a late bloomer when it comes to getting faster.

Favorite Running Shoes: Asics Bandito

Running Insights: A few based on my experience: (1) Mileage is the #1 predictor of faster race times, but must be developed and built up very slowly (we are talking YEARS of progression here, not weeks or months). (2) Strength-training will help you stay injury-free - I do 2-3 30 minute sessions a week working all parts of the body. (3) Walking is a good way to cross-train and keep the blood flowing; I like taking a 20-30 minute walk during the afternoon if I do a fast session in the morning.

Where Do You Train: Primarily the roads and trails in the Davidson and Cornelius areas.

Favorite Race Distance: Don't really have a favorite....5K to marathon, and everything in between.

Miles Per Week: Usually 50 or so. During recent marathon training, I've been able build up into 80's without a problem though.

Favorite Race: The Great Race, a point-to-point 10K in Pittsburgh PA. The event usually pulls out 10-12,000 runners. Scenic, fast, and fun.

Proudest Race Accomplishment: 53rd place in the 2008 Marine Corp Marathon (editor's note - 2:46:28). Though I think this answer may change based on how good my training and racing has been of late!

Heroes: My grandfather George Dill. He was a mayor, a pharmacist, and a funeral home director all at the same time (not to mention an active churchgoer and a leading member of many commissions, clubs and activities). He died when I was 4 but I remember taking walks with him and swinging on the porch swing.

Thanks, Chris, and keep up the blistering pace!