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Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Vibe That is...The Charlotte Running Club!

The purpose of this blog entry is my attempt to pay homage to just some of the members that make up The Charlotte Running Club.

I was at a race last summer and as I was cooling down I overheard some guys talking about a tempo run that was going to take place the following Saturday at McMullen Greenway. As soon as I heard that I thought..."I'm there!" When I got there I couldn't believe what I saw...10 super fast runners! I was stoked! I recollect that the workout was an 8 miler and I finished last in about 47 minutes and I was happy about it. My only connection to this group was Ben Hovis (he and I had coached together 10 years ago at PDS, he is still there and I'm at CCDS). Other then Ben, I knew no one. Ben introduced me to a couple of the other runners.

After that first tempo run, somehow I hooked up with Jay Holder for a repeat 800 meter workout at the Dilworth Road loop. Another awesome workout was had. Jay is one of the original founders of the Charlotte Running Club (along with Caitlin Chrisman and Aaron Linz).

My initial meeting with Caitlin was in a highly aerobic state as we were battling the 3rd mile at Greekfest together (she smoked me!) and then my son met her at the Grand Prix banquet. Very cool...hopefully, I will make it to next Thursday's 6am run from Dowd to run with Caitlin and Co...

I can't remember when I first met Aaron and what struck me was how much energy he has (I thought I was into it!) We have had some classic workouts over the last year and it has been fun. One of Aaron's main objective with the club is to make everyone feel welcome and a contributor to it. Last week, Paul, Bor and I were fortunate enough to watch the opening Cup match between England and U.S.A. (something other than running...imagine that!)

A couple of months ago, my kids and I went to Rabecca Tomasson's house for her monthly pasta party and I got a chance to meet some of the club members there. The food and fellowship were phenominal...

Over the winter, some of us club members started the now infamous "Miner's run." This run is held every Tuesday morning @ 5:30am and leaves from the PDS parking lot and we run down into McAlpine usually for a 10-12 mile run (be careful: the pace has a tendency to progress). The cast of characters on this run may include (and certainly not limited to): Mike Beigay (runs a 5k with a baby jogger faster than most of us run solo), Paul Mainwaring (my current training partner and a great Brit), Ben Hovis, Megan (see below), Bill Shires (the top masters running in N.C.), Mo Campbell (2009 Thunder Road Marathon champ), Stan Austin, Aaron, Jay, Billy (who sets P.R.'s by the week), Mike Kahn, etc...

Let me go back over 2 years ago: the gun goes off to start the Elizabeth 8k and I settle in with the top female and an Aussie on a bike. Me, who talks to any and everyone (my wife calls me the mayor), asks the woman what her name is and she says, "Megan!", to which I respond, ("oh, Megan Hepp!" We proceed to run the next 4 and a half miles together until she decides to slam the hammer down on me! That night, my wife and I go to a wedding engagement/going away party and who do we walk in with...Megan and Ben (what will become) Hovis. Megan and I have had some wonderful long runs together and most recently last Sunday at Beatty Park. Megan finished 12th at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Marathon Trials. Good stuff...

If you peek over to the right hand column of my blog you can see what a running geek I really am (Love it!) A club member, Paul M. noticed all of the books that I had read and asked if he could borrow one (a book club was formed). If you ever read my Athleticore entries, you'll see that I sometimes run with the likes of Rhiannah, Miley, Marshall, and Co. Jay picked up on this and the "ipod" exchange was initiated! It certainly helps the solo runs fly by...

Over the winter there was about six inches of snow on the ground and I met up with some of the members out at McAlpine for a long run and a guy shows up on a mountain bike with his daughter (it was Mark Hadley of MPR fame and his daughter Alana (37plus minute 10 K @ 13). Mark is a very generous person with his knowledge of all things running and he is never hesitant to offer you advice. You can ask Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher what they think of Alana...wow!

Just recently, the Division 2 Track & Field Championships were held at JCS University and club member Meagan Nedlo (current GPx leader) finished with All American status for the "5 &10!"

Some of the other members that I have met/ran with over the last year include (so far): Chad and Danielle Crockford, Boriana Bakaltcheva, Billy Shue, Jordan Kinley (2009 Thunder Road Marathon champ), John Compton (standout for Wake/PDS), Dan and Val Matena, Alice Rogers, Brian McMahon, and plenty more.

When you show up at a Grand Prix race or any other race for that matter in Charlotte, there is electricity in the air because you see so many faces that you know and people that you train with and are getting ready to do battle with that it makes it so special.

The Charlotte Running Club is a group of semi-competitive, passionate runners who enjoy running and want everyone around them to experience to many benefits of this life long sport...thanks Charlotte Running Club!


  1. LOVED reading this! Really glad to have you in the group! I remember those 800s in Dilworth quite well!

  2. We all owe you, Aaron and Caitlin a great deal of gratitude...thanks!

  3. Much thx Steve. Read that and feel proud to have been able to link some folks up and put smiles on some faces.

  4. Thanks Aaron! Continue to inspire...

  5. That was AWESOME :) It is funny how we met each other for the first time "twice" in one weekend :) It has been great having you run with us!!

  6. Megs...I'm enjoying the long run in the trails. Best of luck in Australia!