One of the secrets to fitness, I’ve discovered, is that working out with others can be a major motivating factor. Team spirit is large part of the equation, as is a healthy competitive spirit. Also, having workout buddies beats the boredom factor of pounding the treadmill solo. Don’t have any like-minded friends? Joining a class (yoga, Pilates, Jazzercise), group (walking, jogging, biking) or team (soccer, softball, ultimate frisbee) is a great way to make some.
But even if you’re a lone wolf, workout-wise, the occasional bout of group participation can be a fun change. And late summer and early fall in Western N.C. offer plenty of opportunities to get in on the action: about 5 kilometers worth. To learn more about running in our area, visit Asheville Track Club. The organization offers monthly newsletters, tips for beginning and
5K runs are actually 3.1 miles, taking around 30 minutes to complete for many runners. Beyond being healthy, these races often raise money for various charitable and civic organizations. The $15-$30 entrance fees buy each runner a place in the race (and a ranking, or run time, so you can keep track of your progress), often a t-shirt, and the added bonus of contributing to a good cause like Autism research.
Want to know what’s coming up? Read on:
• Saturday, Aug. 11: Sourwood Festival 5K, held in Black Mountain, N.C. Race time is 8:30 a.m., entry is $20 before Friday, Aug. 10; $25 after. Valley Club runners receive a $5 discount. Packet pickup is Packet pick-up is Aug. 10, 5-7 p.m. and Aug. 11 6:45-8:15 a.m. at Cheshire Fitness. Info at 669-2052 or -664-0122.
• Saturday, Aug. 18: Mars Hill Climb 5K in Mars Hill, N.C. Race time is 8 a.m. Pre-registration by Friday, Aug. 10 is $12; $20 after. The starting line is on Athletic Street between Highway 213 and Bailey Street. Info at 206-1264.
• Saturday, Aug. 18: Maggie Valley Moonlight Race at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. The 5K Competitive Run and Walk begins at 7 p.m. (and 8K follows at 8 p.m.). Registration is $23 by Aug. 4 and $28 through Aug. 17. Info at (800) 334-9036.
• Saturday, Aug. 25: Springmaid Splash in Spruce Pine, N.C. Probably best known for the highly difficult 10K trail run, this race also features a non-competitive 5K trail walk, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $20 before Aug. 21 and $30 after. Info: 467-1812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Saturday, Aug. 25: Hot August Night 5K in Asheville, N.C. This evening race kicks off at 7 p.m. and winds through the historic Montford neighborhood. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Montford Community Center After School Project. $15 before Aug. 18, $20 after. Info at: 253-3714.
• Saturday, Sept. 8: 2nd Annual WNC Run/Walk for Autism at Deerfields, N.C. The 5K trail run begins at 9:30 a.m. Entry is $20 by Aug. 29 or $25 after. Info at: (919)743-0204, ext. 22 or email@example.com.
• Saturday, Sept. 15: Asheville Citizen-Times/ABCCM Half Marathon & 5K Run in Asheville, N.C. Race time is 8 a.m.; registration is $20 for the 5K (the half marathon costs $30 to enter) by Sept. 10 and $25 after. For info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter