Black Girls Run



Let’s talk for a minute about WHY we run. Of course, it’s great exercise. If we run in groups — we meet people, encourage each other, and get motivated to live our best, healthiest lives. That’s also the philosophy behind the group Black Girls RUN, whose goal it is to get African American women off the couch and connected to each other by running.

We’re DELIGHTED to have two ambassadors from Black Girls RUN here with us today on Running Around Charlotte because their message is an important one — a message that says everyone CAN and SHOULD get out and live a fit and healthy life. Welcome, Katossa Glover and Wendy Berry!


Emily Battle – Let Me Run



Most of you have heard of Girls on the Run, that awesome learn-to-embrace-running (and yourself) program that started here in Charlotte and is now an international program. You may or may not know there is a similar program for boys — started by a Girls on the Run coach — that is celebrating 13 years as an organization. It’s called Let Me Run, and has more than 50 chapters around the country. Their Executive Director is here on the Running Around Charlotte podcast to tell us all about it — Welcome Emily Battle of Let Me Run!


Anne Fechtel



There are a lot of challenges to getting out for your run — we know them all! Time, work energy, weather, family … you name it, they can all get in the way. Our next guest on Running Around Charlotte also has a few things pulling at her schedule, but she’s met the challenge and even took 3rd place at our 2019 half marathon! Meet our busy mom, Anne Fechtel.


Alaina Williams – NHCM



To say this year was a weird one, would be an understatement. But if you’re a runner — you already know that. So you probably know that presents some challenges to us at the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon. How do you get people involved in this great event while keeping them safe? What can we do to make race day special, even for runners who want to run virtually?

We knew we needed to find someone who could do that — and we did. Alaina Williams is the new Novant Health Charlotte Marathon Event Experience Director, and she comes to Charlotte with an incredible wealth of experience in that arena, and ideas to match. Welcome to Charlotte, Alaina, and welcome to the team!


Tom Perri



Running is a great way to stay healthy — and a great way to know if something just isn’t right. That’s exactly what happened to marathoner Tom Perri, who has run marathons in all 50 states — more than once! — and some ultras too. But in 2018, Tom sensed something wasn’t quite right and a visit to his doctor confirmed it. He had prostate cancer. And guess what else — the resulting surgeries and treatment didn’t stop him from running marathons. In fact, he’s completed more than 100 of them since his diagnosis! Tom is an Iron Man in the truest sense of the word, and he joins us on Running Around Charlotte to share how he kept going.


Kerri Vardon – Ambassador



We all have good reasons to run…. And some days, we tell ourselves we have plenty of good reasons not to. Work, school, kids, fewer daylight hours… our list goes on and on. Our next guest on Running Around Charlotte has all of those excuses, and still makes time to get out and get a few miles in before the sun comes up. Kerri Vardon is a busy marketing accounts manager and mom of 2 young kids, who calls herself an “average” runner, but has done 2 virtual half-marathons this year and one in-person relay down in Greenville, South Carolina. She’s also one of our Novant Health Charlotte Marathon Ambassadors.


Paula Pridgen – The Marathon Project



In a year with very few in-person marathons, one elites-only event allowed Charlotte’s Olympic Trials qualifier Paula Pridgen to hit the road with other runners. Only 50 men and 50 women were invited to take part in the Marathon Project on a closed course in Chandler, Arizona, in December. Pridgen has, of course, run a few marathons in her time, but this one was a little different — and Pridgen says she learned some things about herself along the way.

She’s our guest today on Running Around Charlotte, and she’s going to explain what she learned at the end of this very strange year for marathoners.


Dr. Karan Shukla – Novant



Hopefully, we’ve all gotten off to a good start with our New Year’s Resolutions, right? The top resolutions, most of us know, have to do with diet and exercise — but for runners, there’s even better news. If you’re trying to burn fat, running is the best exercise because runners burn more calories per minute than other sports like swimming or riding a bike. As a result, dedicated runners are leaner than most other athletes. Congrats to you if you decided to lose weight this year with running.

We thought we’d help out. Our guest on Running Around Charlotte today is Dr. Karan Shukla, a Family and Sports Medicine Physician at Novant Health Randolph Family Medicine. He is a GREAT resource for us about the science behind running and our continued good health.


Jeff Bundy – Charlotte Talks



We’ve heard it already a few times this year — one way to help you follow through on your New Year’s Resolutions is accountability! You have to set your goals, check off the steps, and measure progress along the way. Working out with a buddy also reminds you that you’d better not skip a day!

Well, local public radio station WFAE is helping you with your resolution to get active by giving you a goal, and some accountability. The “Charlotte Walks” fundraiser wants you to check off some goals to support a great cause — operating one of the best newsrooms in our region and the radio programs that go with it on WFAE! Jeff Bundy is here to talk about the purpose behind this fundraiser — welcome!


Stephanie Pope – Poll to Pastern



We love running, but we also know our sport comes with occasional aches and pains. Our next guest on Running Around Charlotte helps both people and animals recover from the inevitable soreness that come with training.

Stephanie Pope can help. She started her business of Red Light Therapy because of her lifelong love of horses. After studying Animal Sciences, with a specialty in Equines, at the University of Florida, she furthered her education with studies of accupressure and other alternate therapies. She joins us now to tell us how both pets and people can benefit from her work. Welcome!