By: Van Dang
If you have driven down Franklin Street you’ve seen the massive construction project underway. Enter Carolina Square. Carolina Square Apartments will be an incredible mixed use community featuring gorgeous apartment flats with retail and office space below. Look forward to an urban Target, and restaurants like Pieology and B. Good. The fitness amenities will be state-of-the-art with ample exercise equipment and a yoga room.
Speaking of fitness, nothing beats a run outside for a changing landscape. If you feel like testing your fitness and getting in shape this new year (after some training runs), read on for 5 road and trail races local to Carolina Square in Chapel Hill. These races are also located near Durham and Raleigh!
1. Tar Heel 10 Mile and 4 Mile Run: Chapel Hill- April 22nd, 2017
Calling itself “North Carolina’s Premier Running Experience,” this race draws a huge crowd year after year. Last year’s run brought out 6,400 runners! With it celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017, the race is destined to sell out. Runners start on South Rd. and get to finish inside Kenan Memorial Football Stadium. You can register here!
2. Little River Trail Runs: Rougemont- January 14th, 2017
If you’d like to race through scenic single track trails, Little River Trail Runs is for you. Presented by the Trailheads, a group of trail running enthusiasts in Chapel Hill, the Little River Trail Runs began 12 years ago as a way to get runners off the streets and into nature to enjoy their favorite pastime. There are 10 mile and 7k options for runners of all abilities. With over 500 runners, it has become one of the largest trail races in the area. This race has raised $73,000 for Little River Regional Park in its 11 years of existence. Proceeds also go to purchase carbon offsets with last year’s run being “carbon negative.” You can register here!
3. Tobacco Road Half and Full Marathon: Cary- March 19th, 2017
Runner’s World named this race as one of the 10 best new marathons. It’s easy to see why as this race is a nice, flat course and a Boston qualifier as well! Very few hills and a downhill finish help runners achieve fastest times. The course runs through the American Tobacco Trail (ATT) and is a USA Track and Field Certified Course. You can register here!
4. Mountains-to-Sea Trail 12M and 50K Challenge: Raleigh- April 9th, 2017
The Mountains to Sea Trail is a historic undertaking by NC State Park system. It stretches 1000 miles of trail across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smokies to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks. More than 500 miles of the official trail are now complete and you can run 12 or roughly 31 miles of it with this race. You can register here!
5. Krispy Kreme Challenge: Raleigh- February 4th, 2017
For a race that’s totally out of the norm, there’s nothing like the Krispy Kreme Challenge. The race began as a dare in 2004 among some NC State Park Scholars and has become #85 on the “102 More Things You Gotta Do Before You Graduate” by Sports Illustrated. How does it work you ask? Runners begin at Memorial Belltower in NC State and run 2.5 miles through historic downtown Raleigh to a Krispy Kreme. You consume one dozen doughnuts, then have to run 2.5 miles back to the Memorial Belltower. All this has to be done in an hour! The race raises money to benefit UNC Children’s Hospital, a specialty-designed hospital that caters to the needs of sick or injured children and their families. It has raised a whopping $1,149,000 in its 12 year history. You can register here!
Have you participated in any of these races? Let us know which one is your personal favorite!