Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I have no interest in visiting the NASCAR HOF, but it got me thinking about other hall of fames that I might be interested in. Football, Baseball, Country Music? Nah, nah, nope. But what if the sport that I not only love, but actually participate in had a hall of fame? A runner's hall of fame. Where would that even be? Boston? New York City? Oregon? Maybe it should exist online. Where everyone involved in the sport could visit!
Then I did a quick Google and found out that there is a National Distance Running Hall of Fame! In Utica, NY. Yeah. Utica. The only explanation given on the website as to why a city in the middle of New York was chosen was this:
"Utica, N.Y. is the home of The Boilermaker 15K Road Race, the largest 15K in the nation with nearly 10,000 runners. Though located in a small city, The Boilermaker consistently ranks as one of Runner's World's Top 100 Races."
Interesting. A 15K that draws 10,000 runners is such a big deal that the National "Distance" Running Hall of Fame should be located in the same location. Though most big city MARATHONS draw way more than 10,000 runners (ex. Chicago registers 45,000 every year), this race was such the big deal that the HOF is now located in Utica. Well, yeah, because the hall was created in 1998. In the mid-90s running started to take off as a sport. Between 1999 and 2009, the number of people running road races increased by 3 million. Had the hall been built today a different location may have been chosen.
So now I know that there is a Hall of Fame for running and it's in Utica, NY, which is small but in the same time zone and easily accessible from I-90. I have no desire to visit. I love this sport. I love going to races and cheering on my friends or people who look like they're struggling and can use some words of encouragement. But do I want to go and read about people I don't know? No, not really. I think running is a very personal sport. I care about how I perform and how that stacks up against how I performed in the last race. Isn't that the idea behind a PR (Personal Record)? I'm happy when my friends set a new PR or finish a milestone race or even place. But care about Ryan Hall breaking a world record or Kara Goucher qualifying for this or that. Not so much. Adam cares. He reads magazines, watches replays of races and can tell me who ran what at which race this past weekend. So maybe it's a guy thing.
Monday, August 16, 2010
"Between 2002 and 2008, the analysis found, Mecklenburg lost 9,475 acres, or 3 percent, of its trees as the population rose 21 percent. At that rate, the county would lose an additional 20,500 acres - more than the combined acreage of all county parks - by 2015." Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/05/19/1444305/city-tree-canopy-continues-to.html#ixzz0wmMablSe
Monday, August 9, 2010
Adam, me and 3 of our friends set up chairs at 4th & Tryon near the 24 HOB tent to watch. We brought a cooler with a six pack and sandwiches from HT. From our spot we could see the racers every half mile. They were going at speeds between 2:48-2:50 minutes per mile. It took roughly an hour and 50 minutes for the cyclers to complete the 50 miles. When they were pushing to finish, you could smell the rubber from their tires burning on the asphalt! There must have been something to gain for all of them to push to the finish but I haven't found any information on what that is.
We didn't see any of the wrecks, but we heard an announcer speak about two of them. We learned that the cyclers involved in a wreck have to be checked out by medical personnel, on standby, before they can return to the course. For that reason, if a cycler is involved in a wreck and is ok to return, he's not penalized a lap and starts behind the other cyclers on the same lap that they are completing. This made perfect sense to me as they couldn't possible catch up at those speeds! It's not like NASCAR where they pull into pits for a break giving someone the chance to get a lap back. We saw a couple of cyclers walking their bikes or riding them slowly down the sidewalk after the wrecks. They were pretty beat up and bloodied. We heard from friends who saw one victim close up that said he had a few teeth missing!
It's a nice event and there were quite a few people (more than 35,000 were expected) there to watch. While the entire course was lined with people it didn't seem to be more than one person deep. I'd like to see Charlotte do more events like this. It was fun, exciting, and promoted a healthy sport that is also good for the environment.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I begin with this photo of the strip mall where Adam and I had lunch today. This picture of this seemingly insignificant strip mall in Charlotte is actually indicative of Charlotte whose catch phrase could be 'The Land of the Strip Malls." On nearly every corner in Charlotte, if there isn't a church, there's a strip mall. Many visitors believe that all we do in Charlotte is shop, eat and go to church. That isn't ALL we do. Just most of the time.