Monday, June 2, 2008

Cabarrus County - Young Life 5k at Lowe's Motor Speedway - June 1, 2008

We are both Christians and NASCAR fans, so having the opportunity to run at Lowe's Motor Speedway and benefit Young Life, a Christian youth outreach organization, while collecting a new county, was a natural. The Sunday morning race required an early departure for the drive to Cabarrus County outside of Charlotte, but it was worth it to see Lowe's Motor Speedway looming ahead of us in the morning.

Several of the Young Life counselors were helping to organize and entertain the runners, including a couple who were dressed in NASCAR racing suits and providing laughs and commentary before and during the race. Young Life also hosted a non-denominational worship service in the Busch garage after the 5k was over.

Lowe's Motor Speedway itself has no shade, so the rising sun heated everyone up in a hurry. The race itself was two laps of the 1.5-mile speedway -- fortunately I didn't get lapped -- plus a stretch on pit road to the finish that stretched it to the full 3.1-mile length. The banking on the turns is so much more severe in person than on TV; some of the runners ran up onto the banking, but no one had the speed to stay in that high track.

From my spot safe in the back of the pack, I was able to enjoy the whole panorama of the speedway, because you can see the entire track from inside the bowl. In my second lap I could see the runners strung out all along the raceway plus the activity at the finish line.

Where else to pass out the awards than the Winner's Circle? The Young Life organizers gave out lots of door prizes in addition to the race awards. They really did do a great job with this race, putting on a great event while making sure everyone had a good time and enjoyed their opportunity to run on a track where the traffic is usually much faster. After the enjoyable run and the worship service afterwards in the garage, it was time to hit the road home. We both thought it was worth coming back to run with Young Life on Lowe's Motor Speedway again.

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