University City’s premiere 5K race takes off Saturday morning down Mallard Creek Church Road with a dozen or so baby buggies in the lead and hundreds of runners and walkers on their tails!
It’s the 11th annual King Tiger 5K and kids’ Tiger Trot – presented by Novant Health, staged by our Run For Your Life running store and raising thousand of dollars for our YMCA and greenway parks.
Stay after for great post-race food from nearby restaurants and a RFYL sidewalk sale.
Chris Elkins, owner of the University City Run For Your Life store, says that the 5K is University City’s oldest and for many years largest 5K in University City, until UNC Charlotte launched its Gold Rush 5K, which RFYL also helps stage. He expects up to 700 people to take part this Saturday.
“When we opened the running store in University City 11 years ago, one of its challenges was letting the running community know that now there is a new running hub for you,” Chris said. The store launched running classes, a running club and the 5K.
The race has built a following among University City runners, Chris says. “Putting on a 5K continues to give the local community a race in their backyard that is their home course, and it gives them something to train for. There is a whole group of people who feel that this is their race,” Chris says.
The race has provided a marketing platform for local businesses. Boardwalk Billie’s sponsored that first race. King Tiger has sponsored for the last 4-5. Several nearby restaurants provide food to race participants.
Event proceeds will go to the University City YMCA and Mecklenburg County greenways. Many volunteers at Saturday’s event are YMCA members and staff.
Now, about the runners with baby strollers. Yes, the race really does start with them at the starting line. Stroller runners get a minute’s head start. Everyone is chip timed, so all that matters is how long it takes each person to cross the finish line – and some of those joggers with strollers are very fast, Chris adds.
“We’ve always done a baby jogger division, so when people sign up they can sign up for with stroller and without stroller,” Chris says. “They are just trying to best the other folks who are doing what they are doing, which is pushing a stroller for three miles.”
Join the fun
The King Tiger 5K starts at 7:30 am Saturday in front of the Run For Your Life store in The Arbors shopping center on Mallard Creek Church Road. Get all the details about the event, racecourse map, online registration and race-day registration at http://www.runforyourlife.com/Events/king-tiger-5k-2/
Volunteers always needed!
Don’t want to run? VOLUNTEER! We need volunteers to make this event a success. Please e-mail Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!