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Rambling about the 31st Running of the Bele Chere 5k – July 24, 2010 – Asheville, NC

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31st Bele Chere 5k

The Bele Chere 5k is just a couple of days away and if you haven’t signed up visit imAthlete to do so (online registration ends tonight at midnight – visit the Bele Chere 5k website for more information).  The race is Saturday, July 24th 2010 at 8:00 AM, starting at McCormick Field.

I’ve run the Bele Chere 5k five times before and I’ll be out there again this Saturday.  Now, the five times I’ve run the race were along three different course routes.  I’m not sure how many times the race has changed its way but it’s one of those necessities as races get so big they can no longer start and finish in downtown Asheville but instead simply pass through.

ONE OF THE BIG RACES

We have plenty of local favorite races here in Asheville and the Western North Carolina region but there are some races that fall into their own category because of how many participants they attract.  I consider those races that attract 1,000-ish runners to be in a category of their own.  If you’re living and running in larger markets, 1,000 runners in a race may be no big thing.  But in Asheville you can count these races on one hand.  Three are ongoing classics – the Bele Chere 5k (expected to have about 1,500 or so runners this year), the Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon (expected to have about 1,500 runners this year) and the Turkey Trot (well over 1,000).  One is a classic awaiting reincarnation – the Kiwanis Biltmore 15k and 5k race which has been made homeless by the unfortunate turn of events that led the Biltmore Company to decide not to host the race in the future.  And the final one is a “Cinderella story – came out of nowhere” race – the Hot Chocolate 10k.  This one attracted 800 runners in just its third year and will hit 1,000 in 2010 (its cap will be increased to 1,000 to allow it) because of some great work on the part of its organizing team and race director Tim Grotenhuis.

THE COURSE – A FRIENDLY FINISH

The last mile is quite friendly – flat to downhill so don’t be afraid to turn it on!

The Map

LEADING THE PACK

The big guns come out for the big 5k races.  While I’m wrangling for 300-something-place on Saturday trying to get below 24 minutes for just the second time this year, the local speedsters and, perhaps, an out-of-towner or two will be trying their hardest to break 15 minutes.  So lace ‘em up and get out there.  Here’s what you’re up against …

2009 Leaders

Male

Ryan Kirkpatrick (14:38) – he was also 1st in 2003
Wallace Campbell (15:11)
Dan Amick (15:15)

Female

Mina Thorstenson (18:20)
Michelle Ziegler (18:46)
Marley Burns (19:14)

2008 Leaders

Male

Taylor Little (15:06)
Wallace Campbell (15:10)
Dan Amick (15:42)

Female

Jennings Minton (19:14)
Sarah Hope (19:43)
Lauren Wells (20:02)

2007 Leaders

Male

Stuart Moran (15:19)
Shiloh Mielke (15:24)
Alan Horton (15:38)

Female

Allison Grace (16:22)
Amber Moran (18:00)
Amanda Chase (18:37)

2006 Leaders

Male

Chad Newton (15:37)
Taylor Little (15:41)
Jon Stophr (15:58)

Female

Alisha Lion (18:00)
Jenny Lind Deweese (18:19)
Amber Moran (19:09)

2005 Leaders

Male

Joseph Gibson (15:27)
Taylor Little (16:29)
Gary Droze (16:46)

Female

Erika Schneble (18:32)
Michelle Krueger (19:05)
Jennings Minton (19:43)

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