Friday, July 24, 2015

Transylvania County - Brevard Firecracker 10k - July 4, 2015

If you’re going to run a race in Transylvania County, eventually you’re going to meet the Brevard Rotary Club, which organizes the three biggest races in Brevard – the White Squirrel Festival 5k/10k over Memorial Day weekend, the Firecracker 5k/10k on July Fourth, and the Flight of the Vampire 5k (a perfect theme race for Transylvania County).  After missing the White Squirrel Festival 10k over the last couple of years, we set our sights instead on the Firecracker 10k in order to get our race in Transylvania County. 
The Brevard Rotary Club works with Brevard College (home of the Tornados) to host the races and serve as the location of the start/finish line.  In spite of some threatening rain, all of packet pickup and registration was very organized and chugging along well when we arrived.  (They might could use some extra porta-johns.)  The race organizers had crafted some excellent red, white and blue tech shirts with the race logo for the runners, and there was even some pre-race food and water.  The Rotarians held a pledge to the flag, the national anthem, and then they recognized all the current and past military folks before lining up the 10k runners, who were starting about 15 minutes before the 5k runners.  Many folks had on festive Fourth of July costumes like stars-and-stripes socks and shorts, and there were even appearances by Captain America, Superman, Wolverine, and Wonder Woman, who gave great inspiration by reaching across the divide between DC and Marvel Comics to run together.  Just under 80 runners took part in the 10k, and just over 300 were in the 5k.

The courses for both races started out with some twists and turns through the campus before we turned out onto some of the roads through town.  Being in the foothills of the North Carolina mountains, we expected some hills and weren’t disappointed, but the race overall was much flatter than I had envisioned.  We hit one hill through the center of Brevard, then we passed by the Brevard Little Theater (see “The Miracle Worker” in August) and we were on our way out of town.  Many folks, probably used to all the races coming through their neighborhoods, were out at the street or having yard parties to cheer for all the runners as they came by in the morning.  The 10k course separated from the 5k course to take an out-and-back along the French Broad River, which treated us to some wonderful morning views of the Smoky Mountains, and we had a chance to see all the runners as we passed each other.  Excellent volunteers were stationed at all the race intersections to direct the runners, and law enforcement from throughout Transylvania County handled the traffic.

Once we returned into Brevard, we got another tour of some residential areas and another short but steep hill we had to climb.  We passed again down one of the main Brevard roads, circled Franklin Park and the public pool, and then a few more turns brought us back to Brevard College, were we re-traced our steps back to the finish line.  It was a great morning to be running, still cool and overcast enough to make it a pleasurable run even with higher humidity.  Post-race, the organizers quickly assembled the results from both races and passed out red, white and blue medals to the overall and age-group champions.  We replenished ourselves with more water, walked around the beautiful campus for a little while, and met some of the other runners who had some from throughout the Transylvania County area to take part in the race.  It was a great start to our Independence Day activities, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Brevard.  Thanks for putting on a great race!

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