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.