Hallelujah and holla back- we’re officially headed full steam to another Carolina Summer!

Although Spring in Charlotte feels a lot like 3 gorgeous, unreal days giving way to blinding heat and humidity through September, we’re so happy she’s back for a brief 2019 tour of our Queen City.

When the weather shifts, most of us hang our winter vampire capes and are drawn to the great outdoors for a little vitamin D. While you can’t go wrong with an afternoon spent at the Whitewater Center or any of our beautiful area parks, there is good news for those of you looking to break out of your routine from 2018 while doing good for local charities- try any of our fabulous annual Summer races or dip your toes into one of this season’s new-comers. Personally, I can’t wait for the inaugural Around the Crown 10k or the oldie but (really) goodie OrthoCarolina 10k Classic.

#WalkCLT – May 31t – 5pm – FreeMoreWest: Sustain Charlotte and OrthoCarolina’s #WalkCLT initiative raises awareness for the role that walking can play as transportation and the social, environmental, and economic benefits it gives you and the community. This is a FREE event, but check-in to get your event wristband that will give you discounts and specials at participating business that evening. Free t-shirt for first 250 registrants and a map including the suggested route with a list of participating businesses.

NoDa 5k – June 1st – 6pm – NoDa Brewery: I call this event one of my favs all the time and, if you know me, it makes perfect sense. Anything before 10am or after 10pm is not usually my jam, so the fact that the good people at NoDa Brewery created a Saturday evening 5k where I don’t have to wake up before the sun and can still be in bed early sings to my old soul. Benefitting Girls on the Run and Let Me Run for elementary and middle school children learning valuable lessons on perseverance and goal setting, you can celebrate your victory at the finish with a cold “recovery” beer- I promise, it’s a thing.

Keep Pounding 5K – June 1st – 8am – Levine Cancer Institute: Levine Cancer Institute to the Bank of America field. YES, you the finish line is our Panthers’ home field! There is a requirement to raise $51 to honor #51 Sam Mills who lost his battle with cancer and 100% of the funds raised will go to cancer programs at Levine. What a great warm-up for the NoDa 5k later that night!

King Tiger 5k – June 2 – 7:30am – Keith Family YMCA: Proceeds from this event support Y programs for kids and families in our area. In the spirit of this mission, there is also a 1k “Tiger Trot” for the kids to join in on the fun too.

Ramblin’ Rose Triathlon – June 2nd – 8am – Harris YMCA: A 200 yard swim, 8 mile bike, and a 2 mile run in the name of women’s empowerment- I can get behind that! Beneficiaries are Try it for Life, Beautiful Together, and the Harris YMCA.

Race to the Taste 5k – June 8th – 9am – 4th Street in Uptown: Runners get a race shirt, swag bag, Charlotte Checkers hockey game ticket, a post-run Corona Premier, and a Taste of Charlotte Super Coin to sample one item from The Taste of Charlotte Festival. There’s also something called a Cupcake Run/Walk which sounds like… a stomach ache. But, hey, you also will get a shirt and “multiple” cupcakes throughout the course. Oh man.

Strides for Shelter 5k Run/Walk – June 22nd – 8:30am – McAlpine Park: Sponsored by the Housing Opportunity Foundation, a non-profit branch of the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association that strives to promote affordable homeownership. Proceeds from this year’s race will benefit The Relative’s youth crisis center’s purchase of a new van. Their current vehicle has over 100,000 miles and is a critical part of their service to their kids transport the kids to their home schools, as well to medical, dental, and counseling appointments, visits to their parents in the hospital, and to other group community events.

The Park Church 5k Domestic Violence Awareness Run/Walk June 22nd – 7:45am – The Park Expo and Conference Center: This race has the unique option to virtually participate anywhere any day in June and receive a tee shirt. Offering a couples option as well, there’s not a reason not to participate in this fundraising race for domestic violence awareness- funds raised will benefit the Park Church’s counseling services available to members and non-members alike.

River Jam 5k(ish)/10k(ish) – Every 2nd Thursday, May-Sept – 6:30pm – US National Whitewater Center: This isn’t a run club and the USNWC will give out awards to the winners of each race as well as series winners. Not usually a trail runner? That’s ok! Cut your teeth on these trails before hitting the big time at River Jam. Don’t miss other races like the Memorial Day Trail Race, Tread Nightly/Tread Brightly, Brew Dash, or the Labor Day Trail Race at the USNWC this season.

OrthoCarolina 10k Classic – August 18th – 7:30am – OrthoCarolina’s Sports Medicine Center on Randolph: For the past few Augusts, I’ve dragged my tired bones to an office building on Randolph Road at the crack of dawn on what has both times been a steamy and distinctly-Carolina summer morning: hot, bright, sticky. It sounds miserable, right? But it has become one of my favorite mornings each year. The OrthoCarolina 10k Classic brings runners from Charlotte and beyond together for a 6.2 mile hilly course through Plaza-Midwood and Elizabeth.  At the finish, there is beer. And not just beer, but a beer fest complete with local breweries and restaurants offering everything from booze to baked goods to help you refuel. If a 10k seems out of reach, there are other options including a 5k, an un-timed Rookie Run designed to take some of the stress out of running for beginners, and a kid’s 50-yard dash. Included in your registration is a OrthoCarolina 10k Classic shirt, a pint glass, medal that doubles as a bottle opener, and admission to the post-race Food Truck and Beer Fest. The course is challenging, the t-shirt is always a little better than your typical race shirt (can I get a hallelujah for tech fabrics), and the charity beneficiaries are top-notch (Care Ring, Running Works, and the Harris YMCA). There are also opportunities to do good on race day by volunteering at the registration table, along the course, at the finish line, in the food tent, and during packet pick-up.  

Around the Crown 10k – September 1st – 7:04am – I-277 (seriously): while Scoop ladies are used to stopping traffic, do it literally during this new-comer to the Charlotte race scene. They’ll shut down I-277 while you run the loop around Uptown and mid summer adieu during Memorial Day weekend. Brian Mister, Race Director, is no stranger to Charlotte running and has been instrumental in numerous running events prior to this one so expect an event that doesn’t resemble a race scene newbie. Your registration fee with benefit Partners for Parks, making Charlotte a better place for all.

See you all on the streets as we pound the pavement for great causes this Summer!

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