Charlotte-area residents can give back this holiday season and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway by participating in the second annual Speed for Children in Need 5K on Saturday, Dec. 8. The 5K will benefit the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC), the Hendrick Marrow Program and Let Me Run as they continue their efforts to help local children in need.

“Speedway Children’s Charities is beyond excited to host the second annual Speed for Children In Need 5K at Charlotte Motor Speedway and is blessed to be able to partner with two great organizations,” said Lisa Starnes, director of the Charlotte Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. “In 2012, SCC grants benefitted more than 30,000 children locally. With Christmas quickly approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to cap off a great year of giving.”

The unique course for the 5K run/walk will start at zMAX Dragway, take participants past The Dirt Track at Charlotte, over the Highway 29 pedestrian bridge, through Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Gate 1 tunnel, down pit road and around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway, ending at the track’s start/finish line.

In addition to the 5K run/walk, there will also be a 1.5-mile track walk where race fans can step in the tire tracks of some of the biggest names in racing and experience the steep 24-degree banking. Also, children can participate in their own mini run/walk with the Kid’s Dash.

This year, nonprofit organization Let Me Run has joined SCC and the Hendrick Marrow Program. More than 600 boys, plus their parents and coaches will participate in the 5K.

“More than 600 boys in fourth through eighth grade have been training throughout the fall for the 5K at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with each boy striving to achieve his own individual goal,” said Lori Klingman, vice president of Let Me Run. “Their goals vary from trying to set a course record to crossing the finish line to receive a Let Me Run checkered flag medal. Gentlemen, start your engines! Let Me Run is proud to be a part of the Speed for Children in Need 5K.”  

After the event, participants are invited to stay and enjoy Speedway Christmas, one of the country’s largest holiday light shows, featuring more than 3.5 miles of LED light displays, made up of more than 3 million lights. Admission is free with running bib. In addition, the Christmas Village will open early, so families can enjoy the petting zoo, rides and activities in the infield before the light show.

“The Hendrick Marrow Program is proud to partner with Speedway Children’s Charities and Let Me Run on this exciting holiday event,” said Courtney Hurd, director of the Hendrick Marrow Program. “The participants can truly enjoy this amazing venue at Charlotte Motor Speedway and have the added bonus of getting to see the Christmas light show. And in the end, children in our community and patients who are seeking marrow transplants will benefit from the funds raised. They are the real winners in this event.” 

Check-in for the event will start at 1:30 p.m. and the Speed for Children in Need 5K will start at 3 p.m. The track walk will be held at 3:45 p.m., with the Kid’s Dash starting at 3:50 p.m. Let Me Run participants will start the 5K at 2:30 p.m.

Registration for the Speed for Children in Need event is $25 for the 5K run/walk, $10 for the track walk and $5 for the Kid’s Dash if registered by Nov. 30. The entry fees will increase by $5 after that day for the 5K and track walk. For those who register on the day of the event, the entry fees are $35 for the 5K, $25 for the track walk and $10 for the Kid’s Dash. Participants who register in advance will receive a commemorative t-shirt while supplies last.

For more information on the Speed for Children in Need 5K or to register online, visit www.charlotte.speedwaycharities.org.

About Speedway Children's Charities

The mission of Speedway Children's Charities remains true to the ideals it was founded upon in 1982: To care for children in educational, financial, social and medical need in order to help them lead productive lives. SCC provides funding for hundreds of non-profit organizations throughout the nation that meet the direct needs of children. Our vision is that every child has the same opportunities no matter what obstacle they are facing.

Hendrick Marrow Program

A nonprofit fundraising organization that works with the Be The Match Foundation to support the National Marrow Donor Program. The initiative raises funds to add volunteers to the Be The Match Registry, which helps patients find a bone marrow match, and provides assistance to recipients.

Let Me Run

Let Me Run is a non-profit prevention program aimed at strengthening boys in body and spirit. Our mission is to encourage boys to stay on track to living into their full potential by inspiring healthy friend, family and community relationships. We use the power of running and lively group activities to equip boys with tools to lead a balanced and fulfilling life -- emotionally, physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.