I was excited and a little afraid of this race. I hadn’t run much since Princess but I needed to get back to it. This was the morning after my birthday which made it even better. I left my house at 6:15 am to get to the parking deck early. Parking was in the deck across from the Stadium. I was one of the first people there. I walked across the street to get my packet. I was so early, the lady assumed I was a volunteer at first. She handed me a parking ticket. Then I told her I was a racer. She found my number and another lady handed me a t-shirt. The shirt was rather nice. I walked back to my car to leave the shirt and put on my bib. At this point, Nicki had made it to the parking deck. I walked with her to get her stuff. There were buses waiting by the check in table. We realized those were taking us to the start line. We walked back to Nicki’s car to leave her shirt. Robert arrived shortly after and we boarded the bus. I think we were on the first bus over. It dropped us off in front of Levine Cancer Institute. When we got off, there was already a DJ playing music. It turns out, it was the DJ from my wedding reception almost 10 years ago who also happens to be the official DJ during Panthers games. Sir Purr was there along with 4 cheerleaders.
We chatted and danced to the music snapping a few pictures while we waited. More people arrived. Soon they made some announcements including introducing a boy who had survived cancer and was running. They took a few group pictures and then we headed to the start line.
The race started on Morehead on the side of the building. We were only there for a few minutes when the race officially started. We ran down Morehead for quite a long way. Since neither Nicki nor I had really trained for this one, we did :30/:30 intervals. Occasionally we threw in an extra 30 second walk. The tree lined street was nice.
There was some construction going on in one spot. During some of the bridges, we had a nice view of the Charlotte skyline.
We run past Mint Street and then turned right to get to the Stadium entrance. The water stop was right before entering.
We walked up the stairs. Once through the gate area, we turned right and headed up the ramps.
We walked this whole thing, too. At the top, we were directed around to the right.
Shortly after starting around, we hit Mile 2.
We ran 1 1/2 laps around the top (passing the Mile 2 sign again). Then we headed down the ramps.
This time we ran. I had to take one short walk break in the middle, but I let my legs go the rest. We continued down to level 0.
We ran a short way through tunnels and back areas. Finally, a lady directed us towards the Player’s tunnel and told us we didn’t have much farther.
I decided to run to the finish and made a short video of that part. We came out the same blow up Panther head the players do during a home game. They also had a finish arch across the finish line.
A cameraman was filming as we crossed at it was being broadcast on the big screen. That was a neat experience. Even with all the walking, my official time was 41:10. I was very pleased with that.
We walked up to the refreshments. I got a banana and bagel. They had run out of water. We walked back out to the seats to watch the awards. Everyone who won an award got to pound the large drum used on the sidelines at the beginning of the Panthers games.
I think that was a nice touch. When the awards were over, we headed back to the car. I talked briefly to Nicki and Robert while we waited for the traffic to subside. Since we got free parking, we were not in a hurry. Soon, I was on my way home.
Overall, this is a good, well run race. I love that we run through the Player’s tunnel and are broadcast on the big screen. It really makes it a special experience. Since it is local, I will probably do this race again in the future.