Around Town

Who is joining us—and a few thousand friends—at Around the Crown 10K?

Courtesy of Nakisha Washington
Training with Andre Procope
Courtesy of Nakisha Washington Training with Andre Procope

On Jan. 1, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to become physically active. With the help of local fitness trainer, Shayla Nyree, I lost 25 pounds in the first quarter of 2019. 

Meanwhile, my boyfriend, Andre Procope, was well into a health journey of his own. In 2016, Andre was obese. At 6’10, he weighed 362 pounds. That year, he decided to make serious changes to his lifestyle. 

Three years and 100 pounds later, Andre is ready to kick his journey into high gear. On Sept. 1, we will participate in the inaugural Around the Crown 10k. Andre and I will join more than 4,200 runners from 30 states at Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte in our first race both together and as individuals.

“The allure of running on I-277 is definitely drawing in new runners. Charlotte has not seen a landmark race similar to this in its history,” race organizer Brian Mister told CharlotteFive.  

Due to our hectic schedules, Andre and I have trained separately more often than together. We stay connected using our Apple watches and compete in weekly challenges. To complete the race, runners cannot fall below a 13:45 minute-mile pace. While Andre bragged, “I can walk a 14-minute mile,” I’m struggling to run a consistent 16-minute mile. The pressure is on.

Courtesy of Nakisha Washington<br>I hiked Crowders Mountain with my brother, Keith Stanford, and friend Harper Nowlin in May. My pace was 17:32 minutes per mile.

I have been running three times a week for an hour, switching up between the treadmill and scenic runs up Crowder’s Mountain. For me, it’s about increasing my endurance. I’m not ready to call myself a runner, however, I’ve run consistently over the past 12 weeks. 

Andre decided to prep for the race in a different way. He plays basketball for 3 hours a day, four times a week. In addition to that, he runs two post-game miles at a pace of 10:27 minutes per mile. “I’m in the best physical condition since high school. I’m looking forward to running around the city and challenging myself in a new way,” he said. 

Photo by Nakisha Washington<br>Andre Procope trains for running on the basketball court.

For us, this 10k is much more than a race. It represents the accomplishment of individual and combined goals. It’s a bonus that we get to do it in the city that we’ve both called home for more than 10 years. Stay tuned to CharlotteFive’s Instagram after the race to find out how we did.

You can still sign up

Feeling inspired? There’s still time. Registration will remain open through the Around the Crown expo at Camp North End on Aug. 31 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. The expo is open and free to all. There will be food trucks, live bands and a kid’s race.

The beneficiary of the Around the Crown 10K is Partners for Parks, which teams up with community groups, including the Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation Department to fund park capital improvements in the Charlotte region. These partnerships help preserve and maintain over 200 parks and facilities covering nearly 20,000 acres of park land.

Are you running the race? How did you train? Are you drawn to this one specifically because we get to run on I-277 or do you race every weekend? If you have any advice for some first-timers, let us know in the comments.