The 6th Annual Rock & Read 5K is set for September 19, 2015 in Plaza Midwood. What is the R&R5K, you ask? It’s a small community race full of personality: music at miles 1, 2, and 3; a cause that resonates (our local library); and a neighborhood that makes a fangirl of us all.
If September 19th seems far off (“don’t make me plan that far ahead…”) – it’s not. It’s only 9 weeks. If you were training for a half marathon, 9 weeks wouldn’t be quite enough time. But look – here’s an 8 week Couch to 5K plan. My friend’s brother did one of these little plans two years ago, and he just got back from his 5th marathon in London, where he ran a 7:47 pace. This could be the start of something big for you.
If you’re out of town that weekend, you can still join by running a Virtual 5k. That means you register as a runner, but you can run your own 5K from anywhere – like the hotel treadmill where you’re stuck for your cousin’s wedding, the VRBO house your college friends rented for the game, or… your subconscious, because let’sbehonestyou’resleepingin.
(You can also walk. Lots of people raise their hands for that one.)
Set in late summer, the event organizers chose a day that won’t feel like you’re running inside of a dog’s mouth. Plaza Midwood is the perfect setting. I’m not going to call the route flat, exactly, or even close to flat, but it’s enjoyable: you’ve got a leafy canopy, a band (putting the “rock” in Rock & Read) at each mile, and three year olds in their jammies waving ecstatically. Plus, last year there were Chick-fil-a breakfast biscuits, mimosas, cold beer, and Starbucks coffee at the finish line (in case you’re like me and attend events for the food).
But the real reason to run this race is because it’s a way to truly invest in the Charlotte ecosystem.
By choosing to run the Rock & Read 5K, you’re choosing to support the efforts of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation, which exists to help the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library create a community where reading, learning, and imagination thrive. Created in 2012, the Foundation supports the Library’s programs and services through advocacy, fundraising and building relationships with others who share a passion for the Library’s work.
The Foundation believes that free and open access to information can change lives for the better, and build a brighter future for our community.
Here’s what they mean: you can walk into any library location or browse cmlibrary.org to access hundreds of programs, titles, and databases. You can use your library card to read ebooks on your Kindle and iPad. You can get all kinds of sessions on tutor.com. And you can work from a branch and use their WiFi anytime (without buying a $5 pour over).
Basically, the library has been co-working since before it was cool.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is working for and with the people of this city– with veterans, with CMS, with literacy groups, providing job placement help and more. All proceeds from this race will go towards keeping this engine of positive change in motion. It will be distributed to fund new books and ebooks, support continued expansion and innovation of its digital presence, and maybe even cover other library necessities like those cool beanbag chairs you sat on in middle school.
You can also support the race by eating at JJ’s Red Hots. During the month of August, they’ll be revealing a special Dog of the Week series inspired by the Rock & Read 5K. JJ’s will donate a portion of their Dog of the Week sales to the Foundation, as well as give R&R5K registrants a free hot dog token. In addition, they’re hosting a registration party on Wednesday, August 19th from 5-8pm, to kick off the one-month countdown until the race.
So pony up and register. Commit to a grassroots Charlotte race, and Rock & Read with Charlotte on September 19. Go race… rockandread5k.com.