There will be a morning of great running Saturday in Rocky Mount at the Golf Club at Rocky Mount Races.
The race's runs — 1.5-mile fun, 5k and 10k — start at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Ford’s Colony development on U.S. 301 just north of N.C. Wesleyan College. The good news is that there are some spots — not many, though — available for each.
Based on my experience at the first two runnings, the courses are pretty and contain a bit of surprise. The beauty is the quiet of the links that the races’ routes follow. The surprise is that runners quickly learn that the routes are not typical of the flat land of Eastern North Carolina. The golf course’s designers trucked in enough dirt to add a dash of hills and inclines to the area’s usually sandy flatness. We’re not talking Mount Everest here, but don't expect it to be the same as running on a stadium’s level track.
The registration fees are not exorbitant — $10, $30 and $35 respectively for the fun run, 5k and 10k. Online registration is available.
On a related note, Telegram staff writer Brie Handgraaf reported a casualty of Hurricane Irene that, while important to runners and walkers, largely has gone unnoticed. The storm has forced Rocky Mount temporarily to close the Tar River Trail until fallen trees can be cleared.
I trotted down the trail’s western end Wednesday night to just past the point where it enters the marsh just past Sunset Park. One tree across the route was easily stepped over, but its larger cousin a few yards down the way was too big to cross and a sign that easier running surely was available elsewhere.
The good news in Brie’s story is that the city hopes to have the trail reopened today.
Ross Chandler is Life editor of the Rocky Mount Telegram.