Charlotte Motor Speedway to host Eggnog Jog 5K course
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Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

Charlotte Motor Speedway to host Eggnog Jog 5K course

Charlotte Motor Speedway will host the first Eggnog Jog 5K fun run Nov. 22 through an untimed course lit by more than 800 light displays containing more than 3 million lights.

The run will begin at 7:30 p.m. outside the Speedway’s Turn 3 and enter the infield through a tunnel of lights. Parts of the run will be on the surface of the Speedway’s main track.

Displays will include such tunes as “The Abominable Snowman” and “Old Man Winter,” and lights will be timed to holiday music on part of the course.

The run will be immediately followed by a two-hour concert in the infield by Charity Case, a cover band fronted by Ace of the “Ace and T.J.” radio show. Concessions will be served during the concert, including eggnog.

The run kicks off the Speedway Christmas season, a drive-through light show and infield Christmas Village that will be open from Nov. 23 to Dec. 30.

The drive-through course – open 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays – offers participants the chance to drive on the track. The Christmas Village includes a petting zoo, Bethlehem Village, vendors and photos with Santa.

On Friday and Saturday nights, the experience will also include various Christmas movies being played on what the speedway bills as the largest HDTV in the world.

“The goal of the event is to create a fun and festive atmosphere that brings the holiday spirit to people in a way that has never been done before with Speedway Christmas,” said Daniel Bandoly of Speedway Motorsports Inc.

“Not only do runners get to see the Christmas lights but they get to be a part of them and Charlotte Motor Speedway as they wind their way through the track.”

Participants are encouraged to wear costumes. Though the organizers do not know what to expect when it comes to costumes because it is the first time they have hosted the run, said Bandoly, they hope to see a lot of tacky sweaters and Santa hats.

The event website says, “We cannot wait to see what you come up with! Bonus points go to runners that work lights into their outfits.”

Part of the proceeds from the run will benefit Speedway Children’s Charities, which was founded by speedway owner Bruton Smith. The nonprofit organization’s mission, said Bandoly, is “to care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives.”

“We believe strongly in what the charity does and what they stand for,” he said.

Proceeds from the concert will be donated to Ace & T.J.’s Grin Kids, a nonprofit organization that the radio personalities started in 2000 to help terminally ill and disabled children in their listening area.

“We hope to generate as much as we can for both charities involved,” Bandoly said.

People of all ages and beliefs are invited to enjoy the festivities. Strollers will be admitted for free.

Registration packets include tacky-sweater-themed T-shirts, holiday lights necklaces, and admission to the Charity Case concert. For those who wish to attend only the concert, tickets can be purchased for just that.

“We wanted to create a new way for people to get into the holiday spirit while experiencing Speedway Christmas like never before,” said Bandoly. “We saw this as an opportunity to create a family-friendly way for people to spend time with each other, experience the magic of millions of lights and stay healthy in the process.”

Event sponsors include Hanes, Circle K, Bojangle’s and Bank of America.

Marjorie Dana is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marjorie? Email her at marjorie.dana@yahoo.com.

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