Thunder Road Marathon is now Charlotte Marathon and it’s about time

Thunder Road Marathon is now Charlotte Marathon and it’s about time
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Hold onto your old Thunder Road branded gear. It’s a collector’s item now.

The Novant Health Thunder Road Marathon announced today that the 12-year-old race will henceforth be known as the Charlotte Marathon. The inaugural race under the new name will take place Saturday, November 12, 2016.

photo via Charlotte Marathon

photo via Charlotte Marathon

“We have always been proud to be Charlotte’s marathon, and what better way to honor our hometown race than by naming it after our great city,” said Tim Rhodes, race director of the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon.

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The rebrand is a simple but strategic shift at a time when Charlotte’s unstoppable growth is being met by an infectious sense of pride for a city many have argued lacks identity. Marathon organizers are centering the race’s new name around a strong sense of place with the tag line: “Our streets. Our city. Our marathon.”

photo via Charlotte Marathon

photo via Charlotte Marathon

2016 is the year to #RunCharlotte. Stay tuned on 01/15/16 to find out why.

Posted by Charlotte’s Thunder Road Marathon on Friday, January 8, 2016

Charlotte Marathon is a smart differentiator for the race in part because Thunder Road was a confusing identity.

There’s a Bruce Springsteen song, an old Carowinds roller coaster (now retired), a raceway (somewhere in Louisiana) and a motorcycle magazine all by the same name. So where the old Thunder Road brand and logo sort of got lost in the mix and made no mention of Charlotte, the rename puts the city front and center alongside a stylized version of its signature crown. There will be only one Charlotte Marathon.

It’ll be interesting to see how veteran Thunder Road Marathon runners react to the name change, but I predict an uptick in registrations in 2016. Who doesn’t want to say they ran the very first Charlotte Marathon?

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