Charlotte runners will pound the pavement during next month’s reimagined Around the Crown 10K.
by Vanessa Infanzon
For most drivers, sitting in stopped traffic usually prompts frustration and annoyance. For husband and wife Brian and Chelsea Mister, a traffic jam on Interstate 277 sparked a business idea — a footrace on the highway.
“We were joking about the idea four years ago while stuck in traffic,” Brian, 32, says. “We joked about how funny it would be to get out and walk or run. We started joking about it so much that we said, ‘What if we actually did that?’”
Last year, the Misters launched Around the Crown, a 10K race with a course that takes participants on I-277 and through downtown Charlotte. The first race was held Labor Day weekend and attracted nearly 5,000 runners.
The second annual Around the Crown 10K, originally scheduled for May 31, will look different this year due to Covid-19. ATC10K has partnered with Truist Bank for Truist Time Trials, an in-person race beginning and ending at Camp North End that will take place over six days in December. Instead of running on the uptown loop, the course will take runners along the streets and greenways of uptown, north end and west Charlotte.
The Misters are both runners, and Brian’s marketing experience with Charlotte Marathon and the U.S. National Whitewater Center gave him the skills to build a company around racing and outdoor activity. Brian serves as the full-time race director, and Chelsea, a digital designer at Red Ventures, is a part-time creative director.
Around the Crown’s business model reflects the Misters’ personal commitment to sustainability. They want to bring awareness to how a race can be run without paper cups and plastic bottles. Last year that commitment included the use of polyurethane reusable cups for the water stations. This year, runners are being asked to bring their own hydration to the Truist Time Trials as a safety protocol. Nonprofits RunningWorks, Carolina Farm Trust and Partners for Parks are the beneficiaries of this year’s race.
“We, as a collective running community, are hungry for some competition to test ourselves and test ourselves against other people,” Mister says. SP
Ready, Set … Run
Around the Crown 10K will be held December 6-12 at Camp North End from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. December 9 will be a deep-cleaning day. Every half hour, 50 runners will start the course. A virtual option is also available. To learn more, register or volunteer for the race, visit aroundthecrown10K.com.