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My Kind of March Madness: BB&T Corporate Cup 5K Recap

Some people think March Madness is about basketball.

For me, March Madness is about running a race on all five weekends in March. And... basketball! Because Clemson's in the NCAA tournament for the first time since like 2011 and we're all pretty excited about that. Back to the running though.

My friend Steven convinced me to sign up for the BB&T Corporate Cup a few weeks back. His logic was that he was helping organize it, there would be free Olde Meck beer at the finish line, and I'd get to hang out with his wife, Laurel. Sold. Somehow, I managed to convince another friend, Drew, to run it with us. We woke up bright and early Saturday morning, threw on our running shoes, and headed into uptown for the race.

Mile 1
{9:11 / mile}

I never remember this part of running a race in Charlotte until the race starts: there are so many people in Charlotte races! I'm used to the tiny races in Columbia where I can start up at the front and where there are times I'm running solo along the course. Not quite the case here. Laurel, Drew, & I stuck together for most of the first mile and we spent the entire mile weaving in and out of people. It did make the first mile go by pretty quickly, but my watch was reading a little long at the first mile marker thanks to all the weaving.

The course starts out in the middle of Uptown and headed south down Tryon. It's a nice, easy downhill path that nearly every race out of uptown follows and is one that I've run a dozen or so times. Nothing too crazy.

Mile 2
{9:01 / mile}

We hit the beginning of mile 2 just before turning onto West Blvd and I knew our days of downhill running were over. It was either going to be flat terrain or slightly uphill the rest of the way. There were at least a half dozen times that I was tempted to take a teeny, tiny, little walking break. But, with Drew running along side me... I knew that wasn't happening. We ran through some neighborhood streets and had a few people hanging out on their front porches, waving as we all ran by.

Mile 3
{9:01 / mile}

Mile 3 took us by a few of my favorite places in Charlotte: Unknown Brewing, the Panther's stadium, the Charlotte Knights' stadium, and Romare Bearden Park. Between having plenty to see along the way and knowing that I was less than a mile from the finish, I powered through some of the trickier gradual hills in this mile. I knew that the finish was going to sneak up on us at the end as we ran up 3rd Street and made the turn back on Tryon. Y'all. That finish line really sneaks up on you, especially if you miss the 3 mile marker. As soon as we turned onto Tryon, we were running across the finish line.

Final Results
Watch Time - 28:54
Chip Time - 28:50
Pace - 9:06/mile
Age Group - 37/158
Gender - 127/829
Overall - 415/1580

Y'all, I am super happy with the way I ran this race! It was my 2nd fastest 5K in Charlotte to date and the best one that I've run probably since last spring. It might have only been a second faster than last week's race, but... there was no stopping to walk in this one. Just a steady pace from start to finish to get across the finish line.

We grabbed our beers from Olde Meck, watched some of the end of the 5K race, and then headed down to where the Half Marathon was finishing to wait for Steven to come across the finish line. The half started 30 minutes before our 5K, but we got to the finish line just in time to catch all the runners finishing 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours. I could watch race finish lines all day long... there's always so much emotion going on as runners get to the finish line and see their time up on the clock.

Next up: Get to the Green 5K! It's one of Columbia's bigger races since everyone likes to get in a good run before heading out for all of the St. Pat's in Five Points shenanigans. Can't remember why I skipped this race last year, but I ran it back in 2016 for the first time. I'm looking forward to being one of the only people not wearing green for the race again this year!


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