Category Archives: Uncategorized

Will Lawson – Charlotte Sports Foundation

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.

Richard Sexton

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.

Gregory Washington – Black Men Run

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.

Matt Sharp – Running Works

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.

Joe Smith – Ambassador

We love our ambassadors — the guys and girls who spread the word about the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon, and train, and post about us all year. And they come from all walks of life, with the common threads of running and positivity.

Joe Smith is one of those ambassadors, even though he looks more like a defensive lineman than a marathon runner. But he’s also an incredibly multi-faceted guy, business owner, entrepreneur, photographer … and runner. And he’s here with us on the Running Around Charlotte Podcast today to bring some of that energy into the room.

David Jessey – Charlotte Turkey Trot

One of Charlotte’s largest Thanksgiving traditions has nothing to do with pumpkin pie or stuffing – and the only turkeys you’ll see will be on people’s heads – not plates. What could we be talking about? Why the Charlotte Turkey Trot, of course. That’s right – early Thanksgiving morning, thousands of people take to the streets and run off dinner before they eat it.

Joining us today is David Jessey – one of the owners of the Charlotte Turkey Trot.

Mike Sweeting – Rucking Division

Runners love a challenge – and training for a marathon is a great way to push yourself a little further than you ever have. If you’ve run one and enjoyed it, you push yourself a little more to do a PR the next time around. But we’ve got a challenge only a few hardy souls sign up for…. Running the half-marathon with a weighted backpack.

You may have heard of rucking – which is basically a form of military training where you run miles with a full backpack. The Novant Health Charlotte Marathon has a Rucking Division in the half-marathon race, and on today’s Running Around Charlotte Podcast, their fearless leader Mike Sweeting joins us to explain more about it.

Tim Rhodes & Alaina Williams – Charlotte Marathon

We’re dedicated to making this year’s Novant Health Charlotte Marathon the best one yet! Whether you’re running virtually or in person, we’re stepping up our game after all runners have been through with postponements and cancellations in the last 18 months.

That’s one reason we brought a pro on board to be our Event Experience Director. We first spoke to Alaina Williams last March on the Running Around Charlotte Podcast, and now we’re talking to her again about what kind of awesome experiences she has planned for the race.

Jessica Osborn – Hemby

We love our friends down at Novant Health and all of the support and guidance they give us here at the Charlotte Marathon. And we love turning over that big check to them after every race, with money we’ve earned, because we know it goes for a great cause — the Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital.

There is a lot of good work going on there, and if you’ve ever had to make a hospital stay with your child, you know how important that is. Jessica Osborn is an Ambassador at Hemby Children’s Hospital, where she advocates for the non-medical needs of kids and families during their stay. And she joins us now on the Running Around Charlotte Podcast to tell us how your race entries help kids.

Mike Cooke – Runner

We all have our reasons for running — for some of us it starts with wanting to get more exercise and lose a few pounds, right? Our next guest on the Running Around Charlotte Podcast is definitely one of those folks — a Charlotte native who looked at his high school Senior photo, tipping the scales at 300 pounds — and decided to do better. For the next 16 years, Mike Cooke decided to do better every day, but the journey was not easy.

Along the way he made changes in his food, his drinking, and himself, to get where he is now. We think a lot of you can identify with someone who makes the effort to go from less-than-perfect to better, without necessarily trying to be perfect along the way.