Many of us have had a hard 2021. Our Ambassador Blair Kitrick is no exception – she’s lost several friends and family this year. She’s here to share her a little about her grief and how running and the community have helped her heal – and even find some joy along the way.
We LOVE football, and 3 cheers to the Charlotte Sports Foundation for bringing 3 big college games to the Queen City every year. The ACC Championship, Duke Mayo Classic, and Duke Mayo Bowl, each bring “that little Southern something that makes good things better” to Bank of America Stadium in the fall, to the delight of ACC football fans everywhere.
But the Charlotte Sports Foundation is more than just football — it supports sports and events all over the region because it knows that from youth to pro’s, athletics make our community stronger. Will Lawson, Director of Sponsorship Sales at Charlotte Sports Foundation, is with us on the Running Around Charlotte Podcast to share some of their exciting events with us.
If you’re a regular reader of our RunCharlotte blog, you may have been “wowed” by this story back in April. Richard Sexton of Concord — a former furniture e-commerce entrepreneur, digital marketer, occasional substitute teacher, and last-but-not-least ultra runner — ran a full month of marathons last May with a 25-pound weight ball in his rucksack. Yes, we said a Full. Month. Of. Marathons. With a weighted ball named “Slappy.” Yes, Wow.
He did it all to raise money and awareness for Carolina CAN — or Champion Autism Network. His trip was long — from the mountains of Murphy to the beaches of Myrtle — and his goal was $50,000 dollars. Along the way, he threw in a stop at home in Charlotte, his daughter’s dance recital, and his 25th wedding anniversary. Now he’s joining us on the Running Around Charlotte podcast… which, in comparison, probably feels like a short sprint… to tell us how it went.
The numbers detailing America’s health can be staggering. According to the CDC, 42 percent of Americans are obese. You heard that right — 42 percent — a 12-point jump compared to 20 years ago. And the highest percentage of obesity when broken down by race is found in Black adults.
Those are the kind of statistics that prompted the creation of Black Men Run — a running group especially designed to combat health problems common in the African-American community. High blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease are culprits that affect the longevity of Black men, and Gregory Washington is Charlotte’s captain for Black Men Run. We’re delighted to have him with us on Running Around Charlotte today to share the important message that running is for everyone and beneficial to all.
If you ever needed proof about how running changes lives, just look at the nonprofit RunningWorks. The programs are designed to promote healthy lifestyles for our neighbors experiencing homelessness and poverty. And RunningWorks acts like the BEST running buddy — not only fostering relationships through running, but helping connect its team members with community resources in healthcare, jobs, and housing… to name a few.
RunningWorks also encourages rehabilitation and dignity for its members through volunteering. Serving others will get you on your feet to stand a little taller — and the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon is proud to say RunningWorks team members serve as volunteers on race day. Their Chief Operating Officer Matt Sharp is here with us today on Running Around Charlotte to bring us up to date on new programming since the group worked through the difficult times of COVID.