A week after being snowed out, the Charlotte Running Club's Winter Classic 8k was held this past Saturday under bluebird skies and 60+ degree temps at McAlpine Park in Charlotte, NC.
This race has been a focus on our club’s calendar for several years due to our great rivalry with the Charlotte Running Club. While this clash reaches its climax at the Blue Ridge Relay every September, the CRC Winter Classic has been a welcomed opportunity to keep the competitive fire going and test ourselves (and each other) in the “off season”.
This year’s Winter Classic 8k looked to have one of it’s most competitive fields yet, as it was serving as both the USATF-NC XC Championships and Road Runners Club of America NC XC Championships. Even with team and individual conflicts arising from the Winter Storm Jonas race-day postponement, CRC and ARC were still able to field competitive teams and put on a good show.
On race day, CRC showed up to the start line with a deep roster of guys ready to defend their home turf. The Collective was forced to play catch-up from the gun as Charlotte had a large pack pushing the pace at the front. While some Asheville racers were able to move up, Charlotte’s depth proved too much to overcome. In the end, CRC won the belt back with a 21-45 team score. Well-earned victory, guys.
All was not lost, as Asheville was able to score the individual victory with Mark Driscoll’s third Winter Classic win in four years. Driscoll battled with a pack of CRC racers for the majority of the race before pulling away in the final mile to cross the line in 25:07. CRC put the team title out of reach by snagging the next four spots, before Javan Lapp, Caleb Masland, and Phil Latter finished in 6th, 8th, and 9th, respectively.
We’d like to thank our competitors and hosts at the Charlotte Running Club for putting on such a great event. Be sure to take good care of the belt - we’d like it in tip-top shape when it returns to its rightful place in the mountains later this year.
Charlotte Running Club's Winter Classic 8k - Charlotte, NC
Mark Driscoll - 1st - 25:07
Javan Lapp - 6th - 26:04
Caleb Masland - 8th - 26:11
Philip Latter - 9th - 26:13
Brent Schouler - 21st - 27:18
Colin Kalescky - 23rd - 27:39
Ryan Courtoy - 28th - 29:03
Photo Credit: Emily Egelhoff-Whalen