Dr. Christian Turner – Novant



School is just around the corner.. and let’s face it, this won’t start as a normal school year, just like the last one didn’t finish that way. On top of classroom learning, schools are weighing a return to sports — when many athletes have been out of practice since March. Dr. Christian Turner is a pediatrician with Novant Health – with a specialty of pediatric sports medicine – to give us some great back-to-school reminders.


Shaguana Hunt – Raise a Child



We have become especially aware this summer of the differences in opportunities across our city. We know going to museums or camps are good for kids, but not all kids get that kind of exposure to what’s called cultural capital. It affects education and upward mobility, something Charlotte struggles with, according to a now-well-known report putting us last among Top 50 metros when it comes to moving up in socio-economic status.

The non-profit Raise a Child of the Carolinas sets its goal of exposing kids to the kind of opportunities that are not evenly available across the city, in order to help them grow up to be responsible, engaged citizens and leaders. If you’re a casual runner or walker, you can help. Shay Hunt is the Executive Director of Raise a Child and is here to tell us how — and more importantly, why — you can do your part.


Jim Keffer – Keffer Auto Group



If you’ve been in Charlotte for even a few months, listening to the radio or watching local TV, you’ve likely heard an ad for one of the Keffer Auto Group’s 8 car dealerships like Hyundai, Volkswagen, or Kia. What you may not know is their namesake owner, Jim Keffer, is pretty good at getting around on foot, too — we mean, of course, running.

Jim likes training and competing in endurance sports, and in fact, is the name sponsor of our Keffer Cares Rocktoberfest Half Marathon and 5-miler, part of the Run Charlotte 6-pack of races leading up to the Novant Charlotte Marathon.

 


Aaron Beaver – The Suffer Club



We can all use a little encouragement in our running lives, and our next guest on Running Around Charlotte has some for you. Aaron Beaver is an ultra runner who created the Suffer Club on three points: encouragement, accountability, and consistency. He’s here to encourage us now with his story.

 


Cel Smart – Be Amazing



We love talking about running here, but the best part of running is knowing that you’re doing something to keep your body healthy and fit. Our next guest on Running Around Charlotte wants you to feel amazing in your body .. and, in fact, is inviting you to be a part of “Be Amazing Weekend” in October. Celia Thompson, or “Cel” to her friends, spent 10 years in competitive fitness and now focuses on keeping others fit. She joins us now to tell us how we can, also, “be amazing.”

 


Lindsay Walter – Runner



Running is a hot, sweaty business. And what’s the first thing you do after you cool down? Taking a shower and washing your hair is probably high on the list. Our next guest on Running Around Charlotte, though, got sick of running with her hair one day during a 20-mile run, and… took it off. No, she didn’t shave it — she was wearing a wig, like she had almost her whole life — and she was tired of it. Lindsay Walter is an athlete with alopecia, which means she doesn’t grow hair. And she’s here to tell us the story of how she embraced her bald head… and literally ran with it.

 


Bill Johnston – Recover Brands



One really cool thing about our Novant Health Charlotte Marathon is our love for local companies with what we choose to represent us, and the local sponsors who support our race. And we’re excited that once again, our race t-shirts are made by local company, Recover Brands. What’s even cooler is that Recover Brands supports the earth. They are made of 100% recycled material, designed, sourced, and sewn right here in North Carolina. Bill Johnston is the co-founder of Recover Brands, and he’s here to explain more about the amazing sustainable T-shirts that are the must-have accessory from every race around.

 


Jamey Yon – TriYon Performance



It’s always great to talk to an Ironman finisher — anyone who can go the distance in the mother of all triathlon races is usually a very positive, upbeat, energetic person. Jamey Yon has not only finished an Ironman, he’s done it 22 times! He was also the World Champion in his age group in 2017 Ironman 70.3, and an Olympic Distance Age Group National Champion. On top of that, he’s a father of 5, founder of TRiYon Performance, and maker of Yon-Bons energy snacks.

 


Michael Sweeting – Rucking Division



During the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon, there are a lot of runners who will grab your attention. One group, though, has its own division. This group honors the armed forces by walking the entire 13.1 miles of the half-marathon wearing weighted backpacks, or “rucksacks.” It’s the basis of military training. Rucking is a great workout for building strength and endurance, but mentally, it’s even more than that. It’s been called, “movement with a purpose,” and Michael Sweeting is heading up the Rucking Division of the Charlotte Marathon this year.

 

 


Bekah Eljoundi – Ambassador



We know runners love running, and our ambassadors are the epitome of that. We have with us today one of those ambassadors, Bekah Eljoundi. Her running story is pretty amazing, considering she spent most of her childhood held back by asthma and never even THOUGHT she could be a runner — even though she always admired them. She’s here to tell us how she went on to run 19 marathons now… even one, 6 months after having a baby.