Novant Health Charlotte Marathon

Novant Health Charlotte Marathon

Novant Health Charlotte Marathon

( 9 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Charlotte ,
    North Carolina,
    United States
  • November
  • 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Relay
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

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Whether you’re crossing the finish line after 1 or 26.2 miles, discover a race day experience perfect for every goal. Get set to join the city-wide celebration!!!

1 Day. 5 Races. Countless Memories.

Onyotse Agbese

Waterloo , Iowa, United States
0 4
"Queen City Tour"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Onyotse Agbese's thoughts:

I always try to take my birthday week off on vacation from work. For years I have been wanting to run the NYC marathon, but the lottery hasnt been kind to me. This year was no different. We still try to find races to do that same weekend and Charlotte fit into the schedule for this year. I had originally planned to run the full marathon for this race, but after a less than stellar training cycle over the summer and not hitting my goals for my 2 marathons leading up to Charlotte I decided to just run the half. The marathon had a strict 6 hour cut off and the way I've been racing this year I ultimately decided i wasn't comfortable having that sort of cut off pressure looming over me. I signed up for the half about 3 weeks before. Nothing like waiting until the last minute to decide. By that point we already had all the other lodging and travel arrangements in place. My significant other was also registered for the half. This year's race only had the full/half option, though I think there was a relay option in the past

We traveled into Charlotte by plane from our home state of Iowa. I was able to use miles to book our tickets out of our small regional airport arriving around 3pm on Thursday before the race. Rental car pickup was easy and we made it downtown(uptown as the locals call it) in record time. Actually a bit too early to check into our airbnb/vrbo apartment. My significant other did an excellent job at find a place in uptown that was about 3 blocks from the start, 1 block from the finish line and directly across from the park where the finish line party was going to be held. Downtown (uptown) was easy to navigate on foot and we parked the car for the rest of the day and ate and drank around the area. The following day was my birthday so we ventured out of downtown (uptown). To freedom park for a shakeout run. It was quite chilly that morning! I like it cooler for running, but my toes were freezing for the run. It was going to be only a little warmer for the half the following day so it was a good mental preparation shakeout to anticipate what to wear for the race. After heading back to the airbnb to clean up. It had warmed up a bit so We decided to just walk to the expo which was located at the Sheraton hotel about a mile from us. As we got closer the excitement began to build as we noted other people walking away with their packets and bibs. There seemed to be nearby street parking for free and there was a parking discount/validation right at the entrance to the expo. The expo was a bit small, but easy to navigate if you're into smaller expos. Signs stated to go to ANY counter to pick up your bib as numbers we're assigned on the spot and not predetermined like several races choose to do. This would become a minor issue later on, but more on that later. A short distance away was a different table where you could pick up your shirt which was a purple canvas style t-shirt this year boasting your
Chosen distance on the front. The expo was relatively small with 1 booth selling official merchandise and a few others selling last minute items like gels, belts, and socks. We were through the vendors in about 15 minutes or so before we exited. We walked back to the airbnb and hit up some places for my birthday including hibachi and sushi. We could see them setting up the finish line and race area from the parking garage. We had Thai and more sushi for dinner before settling in and getting our gear ready for the next day.

Woke up around 6am with the race starting at 720. Went back and forth on how many layers to throw on with the temperature starting in the mid 30s that morning. We were on a high floor of the building but you could see small waves of people coming from every direction heading towards the race start. Decided on leggings, tank. Long sleeve tech shirt and throwaway gloves and a pair of handwarmers. I brought a used space blanket with me too that I threw on top just in case. As soon we stepped outside around 655 I was glad to see or feel rather that it wasn't nearly as cold as the morning before. We made our way to the start line and noticed that people were going to the front of the line and trying to swim upstream to the slower start areas. This seemed unwise so I told my significant other that we needed to just go along the side of the corral and try to jump in further back. They weren't well marked, but there were areas to get in with pacers sprinkled throughout to estimate where to seed yourself. There was quite the log jam at these openings so we weren't actually able to make entry until the race started and people started moving forward. We crossed the start line at 723am. The first mile weaved through downtown (uptown)area passing down tryon street and several restaurants and shops and turning onto e. 4th where we ran for a while. My significant other and I were running together, but hadn't originally planned on it. We caught up to the 230 pacer in this stretch and they had a large group with them. We stuck with them for a half a mile or so before speeding up and continuing on ahead of them. There were some short climbs here and there. But nothing completely debilitating. There were scattered chunks of people cheering along the way and great sections of cheering at the water stops. My watch was just a smidge ahead of the mile markers, but that was expected with starting downtown with all the bigger buildings and the weaving early on. I urged my significant other to go ahead a few times especially when I walked some of the steeper hills, but he stayed with me until about 8.5 miles where I walked on an uphill section and he kept on running (bye Felicia!) I slowed down a little in this section with rolling hills and during a long slow climb just after the mile 10 marker. During the climb we could start to see downtown off to the right side up ahead, only to be teased and sent to the left to continue on a bit of an out and back through a neighborhood we would visit a few days later to grab some great coffee(wooden robot, check it out!). Finally we turned back towards downtown and I could hear the 2:30/5:00 pace group hot on my heals. The turn went straight into an uphill and I lost them. We went under the highway and the panthers stadium came into view on our left side. This was right about where the full marathon took a right turn to continue on for the next 13 ish miles. I was losing steam and was happy to know I wasn't doing the full. One more small climb and the oh so familiar finish chute gates came into view. They were a bit narrow. It would be one last turn before we saw the finish line and it opened up wider. I instantly thought about the marathoners and how crowded it would get for them in that final finishing chute with the slower half finishers coming through. Medals came shortly after the finish line and I got into a line forming for the post race goodies immediately after the medals. We were given a small reusable bag from Publix and you were able to fill it with the granola bars, water bottles, Gatorade and a few other snacks. A little past this area was a BBQ sandwich from a local place for the half and full finishers. There were a few vendors selling refreshments and the free beer area wasn't too far away in the park where the post race activities were being held. We stuck around for a few minutes before heading back to the room to shower and warm up a bit. We enjoyed a late breakfast at the famous toastery a few blocks away and saw more marathon finishers in the park enjoying the finish festival. We passed back by the park after eating and we were surprised to see the festivities were nearly shut down. They weren't joking about the strict cut off time! The area was very quickly torn down probably within an hour of the cutoff time. And most nearby streets were quickly reopened as well. Pictures were posted within 24 hours or so of finishing via email. Here's where the minor problems arose. We looked at our results and there was a bit of a mix up. My significant other's results showed up under my name. His results showed a nearly impossible sub 2 finish after running the first 8ish miles with me at an 1115 pace. There were a few numbers surrounding ours that seemed to have mixed up results as well. Not sure if there was a mix up in number/chip assignment at pickup. We emailed the race organizers and they were able to get it all cleared up within about 1.5 weeks post race. We were able to go to a panthers game the following day and easily walked to the stadium. The team kind of sucks, but it was a fun experience with all the fans. If you're looking for a city race in Charlotte area, I would recommend this one. Youre always running with other people and lots of spectators to help you through the hilly sections. Everything was well run and very convenient for an out of town runner.

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