CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A major announcement Monday coming from the organizers of an upcoming Charlotte event that promises to give you a look at the city unlike any before. And it’s a first for a road race in Charlotte- something only a few other races across the country are doing.
It’s only appropriate that the announcement comes on Earth Day. So, here’s a question for you: What do I-277...you know, the loop around Charlotte...and eco-friendly sustainability have in common? Well, it’s about to all come together in the inaugural Around the Crown 10K Race on September 1st.
It’s a part race, part run, part walk celebration of Charlotte. And the race is going to take place on I-277. That’s right. Part of I-277 will be shut down to allow thousands of expected participants to cover the roadway...on foot.
Organizer Brian Mister says, “The idea came from, I think what everyone has said, where you’re sitting in traffic and you say, I could get out and run faster...I could get out and walk faster than this. It’s one thing to drive 277 and try to look at it as you’re going past and try to look at it. But it’s another thing to be able to stop at a water stop at a water stop and be able to see your city from that different angle, and changing that speed limit from 50 to five miles an hour.”
Mister and his wife came up with the concept for the race. Clearly, this will be a 10K unlike any Charlotte has ever seen before. But it isn’t just the course that’s different. It’s the manner in which things are being done.
The key being “eco-sustainability” For example, participants shirts are being made from 100% recycled materials. And this will be a “cupless” race. Instead of providing cups of water at each water stop, runners will be given recyclable cups at the beginning of the race.
Mister says, “So we’re really excited to be one of the first and one of the largest races to be cupless. So you would pull out your cup at the water stop, someone fill that up for you, take it, be on your way. Put it in a pocket, put it in a waist strap, whatever it might be. And then at the next one, pop it back out. So that way there’ll be no cups on 277 potentially blowing into one of the wards or blowing into south end or Dilworth or whatever it might be.”
The main beneficiary of the race will be Partners for Parks, a local independent group that works to promote the quality of life in our area.
“So it’s been a big focus for us, is sustainability and the green side of our race. And I think that’s the thing we’re most excited about. A lot of what we’re doing is very local to Charlotte through our sponsors and our vendors and our beneficiaries,” Mister says.
It’s a run for everyone. Actually, it’s more of a community event than a run, according to Mister.
“I think there’s some bigger pictures to take away. I think it’s...have a new look at Charlotte. How you view Charlotte. Not from the angle and perspective and the speed that we’re talking about. But more so of doing something different...and this is your city and that it’s time to claim it.”
Around the Crown 10K will also become one of the country’s most sustainable running races through multiple actions:
- Race shirts are 100% recycled
- Creating a “Water Only” event by partnering with I Heart Water, an initiative by Mecklenburg County Public Health and Charlotte Water that encourages people to adopt water as their go-to drink for life, work and play.
- All drinking water for the water stops and finish line will be donated by Charlotte Water reducing the carbon footprint .
- In an effort to be more sustainable and reduce waste, Around the Crown 10k will be a cup-less event. I Heart Water will be donating collapsible and reusable 7oz. HydraPak race cups which will be provided to all race participants to encourage a more environmentally friendly, low impact event.
- The Charlotte Water Wagon will be on hand at the finish line distributing water in reusable water pouches rather than plastic bottles for all race finishers.
And we're also excited to announce that WBTV is a primary sponsor of the race!
Again, the race is Saturday, Sept. 1. You can register all the way up to the day before the race. For more details, go to www.aroundthecrown10k.com