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  • October 01, 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Ralph Shore never thought of himself as a runner. But he makes a great Santa Claus. And his love of running grew from that.

    Shortly after his sister died of breast cancer in 2000, Ralph called Levine Cancer institute to ask how he could connect with cancer survivors. In memory of his sister, he wanted to give back. Levine was seeking a Santa Claus for the children’s Christmas party, and Ralph fit the part. After extensive screening & training, he didn’t want to stop there. Inspired by the children at Levine, which he continues to work with, he started volunteering for Camp Care, a camp for children with cancer.

    At that point in his life, Ralph weighed 265 pounds and was out of shape. Since Camp Care’s annual fundraiser is a 5K at McAlpine Creek Greenway, he signed up for his first race. He remembers walking the event the previous year, holding his nephew’s hand as the policemen were shutting the course down. Next time, he was going to run it.

    Ralph hired a personal trainer, changed his diet, and dropped 67 lbs. With his wife’s support, he ran ten 5Ks in a matter of four months. He joined the Omega Nation running group and trained for the 2013 Savannah half marathon. He ran an impressive 2:03 half, making top 20% in his age group. He thought about running a full, but was deterred after a runner died on the course. That’s when his wife said, “You can do all the 5Ks you want, but no marathons, and no more half marathons either.”

    To satisfy his passion for running, he decided to run fifty 5Ks in one year. That equates to one race almost every weekend! He made it to 48, but a hamstring injury got too painful for him to run any more. He is currently on a respite from racing, but he knows he will get back to it.

    Nevertheless, his work with children with cancer continues. You may see Ralph dressed as Santa Clause at the kid’s Christmas party. And someday, just maybe, you’ll be running next to Santa during a local race.

  • October 01, 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Cross Country For Youth, a unique fitness program that introduces boys and girls to cross-country training and character-building concepts, is seeking volunteers for meets and site locations this fall. The program culminates in a 5K run on November 16, where additional volunteers are needed.

    Please go to to learn more and to help out!

    Cross Country for Youth

  • October 01, 2019 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Be on the lookout for our Member Survey!

    In a few weeks, all members will receive an email with 14 questions that can be answered in 5 minutes. This is YOUR club and we want to hear from you. Let us know how CRC can continue to Build a Strong and Healthy Community through Running.

  • October 01, 2019 7:30 AM | Anonymous

    Oct. 5:  Komen Charlotte Race for the Cure (Uptown)

    Oct. 12:  Walk for Life and Famously Hot Pink Half Marathon, (Columbia, SC)

                **Discount Code Available!**

    Oct. 12:   Let Them Soar 5K (Matthews)

    Oct. 15:   CRC FREE 5K, Park Road Park, 6:00 PM

    Oct. 19:   Rocktoberfest Half Marathon & 5-miler (Midtown)

    Oct. 26:   Running Scared 5-miler (Uptown)

                **Discount Code Available!**

    Charlotte Running Club members login to the Club website (see upper right corner) to access the member only area for race discount codes).

  • October 01, 2019 7:30 AM | Anonymous

    The Olympic Marathon Trials are coming to Atlanta, and you can be there! While you’re at it, sign up for a race the next day!  Click here to learn more about the package being offered to our CRC members: 

    Group Trip to Olympic Marathon Trials & Atlanta Half & Full Marathon

  • October 01, 2019 7:00 AM | Anonymous

    by Kelly Fillnow

    Why Wait for Motivation?

    Some days our motivation is high. We are extremely motivated to get out the door and go for a run. Maybe we are meeting a fun group. Or our incredible PR has inspired us to get back to work. Or the sun is out, the temperature is perfect, and we can’t wait to catch that vitamin d and flee the office. Those are the days we long for, but the reality is that constant motivation is a far cry from reality.

    Often, we struggle to get out the door. Maybe we are facing a lot of life stress and want to ignore the alarm. Or that injury has made us feel like a snail instead of a gazelle and the last thing we want to do is see our sluggish splits. So we look up some “Running Motivation” quotes on Twitter or open up Instagram to find inspiration so we can attempt to find motivation. We figure that will lead us to lacing up our sneakers. But why do we have to feel inspired to get motivated? What if our action can instead lead to the inspiration and motivation we are searching to find? 

    Mark Manson calls this “The Do Something Principle.” When one of my athletes is trying to get back into a routine, I often encourage them to wake up, put on their exercise clothes, and tie up their sneakers. That is their one and only workout goal for the day. They are doing something and creating a positive step forward. Most of the time it leads to a short bout of exercise. However, that is not my goal. They are actually overachieving! This one small step leads to habit formation and repeatable action results. Accomplishing a goal after taking action creates a powerful change in mentality.

    Instead of waiting to feel inspired to go after your goal, take that small step forward. This will eliminate a reliance on motivation which will inevitably oscillate. Each time you move positively in the right direction, you are creating opportunities to reach your goals simply through habit formation and action. 

    Kelly Fillnow is the owner of Fillnow Coaching, a group of athletes and coaches whose goal is to inspire people to reach the greatness within them. For more information you may contact Kelly at or 704-412-8561, or visit

  • September 09, 2019 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    CRC Members,

    I hope that each of you enjoyed a great Labor Day weekend.  This weekend was not only a great day for the running community but a landmark day in the city of Charlotte. Sunday, September 1, at 704 a.m., was the start of the inaugural Around the Crown 10k. 

    I was proud to be a part of the nearly 5000 runners from over 30 different states who got to experience what it was like to run on I-277 as they closed it for pedestrians for the very first time.  I was amazed at the excitement of the crowd gathered at the start line.  I got shivers crossing the Church Street bridge looking down to see the leaders step on the interstate for the very first time.  I smiled as I was able to do the same thing a few minutes later.  A mile later I beamed with pride to look and see the beautiful Charlotte skyline. 

    Brian Mister and his team did an amazing job with the this incredibly creative concept and executing every detail of the race.  I'm sure many of you noticed that the route was a little short.  It was 6 miles according to my Garmin.  Keep in mind that that the first time Brian was able to officially measure the course was a few hours before the race when they closed I-277 for the first time.  I'm sure the course will be tweaked for next year's race. 

    Congratulations to CRC Members Chad Crockford and Kelly Fillnow for winning this year's race.  I'm so proud of both of them.  Chad does an outstanding job serving as Director on the CRC Board.  When he is not running and coaching Let Me Run, Chad is an attorney with Wells Fargo.  Kelly has been my personal running coach for over 5 years.  She travels the world as a professional triathlete and owns a highly successful coaching company - Fillnow Coaching.  I've shared many things with you that I've learned from her.  She has truly changed my life. 

    Sunday was also the unveiling of the Charlotte Running Club PR bell. Special thanks to Mike Beigay, Bethany Salisbury, and Chad Crockford for making this bell a reality.  It was so amazing to hear the bell ring and see the smiles that went with it.  We will showcase the bell at many of the local races, including the upcoming Charlotte Marathon this November. 

    Fall is close by ... and that brings my favorite weather. I hope to see many of you at a CRC group event, a group run, or race. 

    In great strides, 

    Chad Champion
    President, Charlotte Running Club

  • September 05, 2019 7:29 AM | Anonymous

    The Mountains are Calling!

    In less than 12 hours, over 200 teams from across the Southeast will begin the grueling 208 mile journey from Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia to Asheville North Carolina in what is known as the Blue Ridge Relay!  They will run day and night with over 38,000 feet of elevation change through some of western North Carolina’s most beautiful views and vistas. 

    In what has become the most well known rivalry of the relay, the Charlotte Running Club Men’s Elite team will challenge co-favorite, the Asheville Running Collective in the annual “battle for the belt” for the title of the best distance runners in the state. 

    Asheville looks to avenge last year’s devastating losses in both the Relay and Charlotte’s Winter Classic 8k Championship in January, while the Charlotte team will look to take back and defeat the relay record of 19 hours, 12 minutes, and 3 seconds over the 200+ mile course (an average pace of 5:35/mile).  This is the equivalent of running from downtown Charlotte to Wrightsville beach in less than 20 hours… except for uphill the entire way.

    But that’s not the rivalry we want to talk about.

    There are few fights as old as time.  Good vs Evil, North Carolina vs Duke, Rocky vs Creed, Celtic vs Rangers, Cady Heron vs Regina George, and the most passionate rivalry of all… JITFO vs Stache and Dash.

    Once Blue Ridge teammates, Allen Strickland and Rob Ducsay (both Charlotte Running Club Board members) split ways in 2012.  Only the two men know the whole story, but rumor says it has to do with management discrepancies over their original team. 

    In 2013 both men started their own squads of runners, selecting the very best men and women across the Charlotte region to compete in the Blue Ridge Relay mixed division.  Stache and Dash won, but the rivalry continued with the trophy jug being passed back and forth for half a decade. 

    As Charlotte and Charlotte Running Club grew, the teams got faster and the rivalry became even more bitter.  The teams routinely finished first and second in the mixed division of the relay every year.  Soon, Allen Created a second team, “Lil Jitty” and the men were now more coaches than competitors on teams with members faster than they were. 

    Things changed in 2018, though, as Asheville brought a competitive team of their own.  Both JITFO and Stache and Dash were beaten soundly by over an hour!  Asheville completed the course in 21:59:56, less than two minutes shy of the Charlotte Running Club’s 2010 mixed course record.  Asheville vowed to come back the following year and take the record in 2019.

    Later that year at Triple C Brewery, the two men came together.  Like Billy Hoyle and Sidney Dean before them, they put aside their differences and focused on what they had in common… running, a love of craft beer,  fast blonde women (the two men’s better halves and teammates are now faster than they are) and the desire to be the best Blue Ridge Relay mixed team on the planet.

    This year JITFO and Stache and Dash are no longer.  The two men have joined forces to create the StacheFO CRC mixed super-team and StacheFO Fun team (also extremely fast, but more fun than the super-team).  The two men will hand over the reins to former teammates and compete in the Mix Masters division on a team of their own. 

    Later this evening at Triple C, a few of the team members will meet to talk logistics and the rosters will be revealed.  We’ll follow up with the full rosters and bios and follow all 4 teams along the way.

    by Franklin Keathley

  • May 07, 2019 12:15 AM | Anonymous

    Five months ago, City Manager Marcus Jones left City Council members "stunned", "outraged" and "embarrassed" by announcing the Cross Charlotte Trail would be $77 million short of the funding needed for completion.  Last night, Council applauded Mr. Jones and the rest of staff as he announced $54.4 million in his proposed budget to complete the seven unfunded segments already in the plan or design stage.  Jones also promised $2 million over the next two years to study and plan the final two segments of the City's signature pedestrian project.

    The future of the Cross Charlotte Trail has remained in limbo since Mr. Jones’ announcement this past January.  Council delayed a vote to award the contract for the South Charlotte Connector, effectively halting progress.  Engineers and staff scampered to bring about makeshift solutions to complete the trail. 

    Ideas such as way-finding signs and "bike boulevards" replaced multi-use paths and a place-making program.  Some council members talked tough on fiscal responsibility and others questioned why wealthier parts of town had their sections funded while some northern sections hadn’t even been designed yet.

    After taking a step back (and some heavy lobbying from groups like Carolina Thread Trail, Sustain Charlotte and others), Council finally decided to bring back the vote to award construction for the South Charlotte Connector in February.

    Charlotte Running Club spoke in favor of awarding the contract at Febuary's meeting, after which a spirited discussion ensued.  In the thick of it, Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera asked City Manager Jones: What happens to the rest of the trail if it takes years to find out the cost of just one section?  Jones responded with a promise to provide the money needed to fund the study of the missing segments of trail, a commitment he followed through with last night… and more.

    By providing funding for the seven designed segments of trail, Jones’ budget would complete the majority of the trail the City promised voters years ago.  By studying the final sections from Mallard Creek Church Rd. to the Cabarrus County line, Jones commits to continuing work on those portions of the trail while appeasing budget hawks by not playing the guessing game that led to the initial cost miscalculation.

    The budget process will continue over the next month, just in time for contract approval on the Brandywine to Tyvola section that would take the trail from Uptown all the way to Ballantyne and the South Carolina State line. 

    Article by: Franklin Keathley

  • February 05, 2019 8:15 AM | Anonymous

    In January, City Manager Marcus Jones told City Council the “additional funds” the city knew about since the conception of the Cross Charlotte Trail amounted to 77 million dollars.  Last night, he presented Council with two options:

    Option 1: Start over and re-evaluate how to build the trail in its entirety. 

    Option 2:  Continue with “Shovel ready”, funded projects and create “bike boulevards” to direct the trail on to streets for the unfunded sections of “trail”.

    Mayor Vi Lyles and six City Council members, Larken Egelston, Julie Eiselt, Tariq Bokhari, Gregg Phipps, Ed Driggs and Justin Harlow voted for Option 2.  Even though Councilman Egelston described the option as a “band-aid solution” there is no set directive to complete any other portions of the trail as of yet.

    What’s next?

    If the vote holds true, the council will start awarding contracts for three upcoming sections of the trail: Tenth Street to Seventh Street, Brandywine to Tyvola, and the South Charlotte Connector.

    First up: The South Charlotte Connector

    The South Charlotte Connector is the cheapest, easiest and most efficient portion of Cross Charlotte Trail.  It connects McMullen Creek Greenway to Little Sugar Creek Greenway to create a 15-mile trail network from Rae Road all the way to Tyvola Road.  Over 76% of voters approved the .7 mile section of trail as a separate budget item from the rest of the Cross Charlotte Trail in the 2016 bond cycle.  The trail will cost 2.3 million, within its 3 million dollar budget.

    Council will have to move fast, though.  Despite the South Charlotte Connector being a separate item from the original trail cost, under budget, and the most efficient section of trail, City Council refused to award the expiring contract last month.  In a rare move, vendors extended the bid.  If Council actually lets the bid expire the process will have to start over.  Each bidding process costs thousands of dollars and takes months to complete.

    Section 2: Brandywine to Tyvola

    The "crown Jewel" of the Cross Charlotte Trail, this section will connect Park Road Shopping Center to the Tyvola Road trail-head.  When complete, we'll have over 18 miles of Cross Charlotte Trail from Uptown to the South Carolina border.  The aforementioned South Charlotte Connector would also allow access from Uptown to McMullen Creek Greenway.  At a projected 17 million dollars, this is the most expensive dollar per mile trail.  The low terrain and creek crossings through developed neighborhoods make both property and construction expensive.  Council will vote later this year to award construction.

    Section 3: 7th Street to 10th Street

    Connecting Uptown Charlotte along this section closes the gap caused by 277 and US Hwy 74.  While not a glamorous piece, it allows access from north of 12th Street at a price tag of $4.3 million. 

    Other items of note:

    We also noted that even though Councilman Winston voted against option B, he still spoke in support of completing the trail in its original form.  In addition, Dimple Ajmera made a simple, yet salient point when told sections of trail in low-income neighborhoods had low priority because there were no other trails to connect to… “We have no trails to connect to because no one builds trails in low income neighborhoods”.

    At the end of the day we are almost exactly where we started in early January.  On a positive note, we will likely have 18 miles of continuous trail in the next few years.  Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the trail will be completed in its original form.  

    Troubling to us was Council’s continued dismissal of “recreational usage” of the trail.  Multiple times, council members argued which sections were for “transportation” and which ones were for “recreation."  The dismissive nature of the argument justifies “bike boulevards” or “painted roads” designed for scooters and bikes instead of actual greenway sections that protect pedestrians.   We will continue to point out that in a city of over 850,000 people, the Cross Charlotte Trail is for recreation, all non-vehicular modes of transportation and so much more.

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The Charlotte Running Club consists of passionate runners that strive to spread the love of running and to help each other grow. The Club's goal is to bring the expansive, diverse, and exciting Charlotte running community together under one umbrella through motivation, group runs, and social events. 

"Charlotte Running Club" is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization. Contact: P.O. Box 34763, Charlotte, NC 28234.

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