For the third straight year, the Cherokee Fall Classic had near-perfect weather and good turnout, with a broad spectrum of runners. This is one of those “must do” events for our family: worth squeezing into our overbooked Saturday schedule.
The annual event features a 10K, 5K, and 1 mile fun run. The 10K and 5K courses are now USATF-certified – good for qualifying times and accurate comparisons. Each race offers its own appeal: the 10K route is very scenic, particularly for an “out and back,” and the 5K route is flat. The race coincides with the adjacent and popular Cherokee Pignic for those who worked up an appetite for barbecue.
As always, the race was very well organized and well promoted locally. Having full access to the YMCA facility on a chilly morning is a huge plus. The volunteers were knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly.
Due to time constraints, both Stephen and I ran the 5K. Lydia was disappointed that she couldn’t run it, but she had to stay fresh for a competitive soccer game that followed. Stephen had a good run in his usual style: striking up conversations with adjacent runners while maintaining a strong, steady pace. I had several clues that I took it too easy: I had too much energy at the end, my first mile was the slowest by far, and I got nowhere near a record time despite the flat course. But it was good enough for a second place age group finish, since some of the faster runners were in the 10K. Besides, for nice races and great family events like this, “a good time” measures fun more than speed.
I wish I could report on the post-race activities because they’re always excellent, but we had to leave immediately after Stephen crossed the finish line to make it to an early morning soccer game. But I heard it was enjoyable from folks I talked with later in the day.
I expect the folks at the Canton YMCA will do a jam-up job with this race again next year, so count me in!