The Davidson Lands Conservancy is again sponsoring Run for Green, a series of races that support our efforts to protect land and educate the public about the benefits of nature and open spaces. This year’s Run for Green will be held on Saturday, September 15, and will again feature a half-marathon, 10K and 5K. To register for Run for Green, please click here.
New this year!: The Run for Green 10K is part of the ‘Run for Our Communities’ race series, a points based series featuring several cause-oriented runs in Davidson and surrounding areas. This exciting series offers prizes and a great end-of-the-series party. Click here for details about the ROC Series.
Held in conjunction with the Davidson Lands Conservancy’s Green Day festival and exhibition — a day filled with live music and exhibits that highlight companies, products and organizations that employ environmentally sustainable practices — the Run For Green race makes its seventh annual running as summer is giving way to fall here in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, after a 2011 race that saw just over 800 runners cross the finish line in all three races combined.
Like the 10K and the 5K, the half marathon follows an out-and-back route that starts and finishes on the Village Green in downtown Davidson, which is home to more than 10,000 year-round residents as well as the student body of Davidson College, a liberal arts college that educates more than 1,800 students every year. If they haven’t already before the day of the race, runners will be able to register for any of the three races at the Village Green before the race starts (depending on space availability).
From there, runners then head out onto a course that winds southeast from town, along a route roughly in parallel with the South Prong of the West Branch of the Rocky River, which flows right through Davidson and Mecklenburg County. The first couple of miles along South Street and Avinger Lane lead to turns onto Pine Road and then Patrick Johnston Lane, followed by a roughly mile-long stretch along the paved nature trail that stretches between Hudson Place and Robert Walker Drive.
This stretch of the course, like most of the race, features rolling hills throughout and follows an overall gradual downhill until about the mile 3 marker, when the course flattens out some. Over the next few miles, runners make their way through residential neighborhoods that line the golf course fairways of the River Run Country Club. Runners wind their way along River Falls Drive and River Ford Drive before turning onto the West Branch Greenway, the newly-constructed greenway trail that winds along the West Branch of the Rocky River.
Runners follow the greenway out for about three quarters of a mile to the turnaround and then head back along the greenway along the route they’ve just run, and then back through the River Run neighborhood. They’ll run most of the same route they ran earlier in the race in reverse, all the way back to Pine Road. Instead of turning left onto Avinger, they’ll continue on along River Road back into downtown Davidson for the finish line back at the Village Green.