SportsEvents Magazine

SEP 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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www.sportseventsmagazine.com September 2018 31 Winston-Salem is located in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. With 48 hotel properties and 4,800 hotel rooms, approximately 100,000 square feet of meeting space in the M.C. Benton, Jr. Convention Center & Civic Center and an additional 70,000 square feet of space in the adjoining hotels, this destination has space for groups, as well as dining, enter- tainment and historical sites to keep visitors busy. With 80 recreational parks across Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, 12 golf courses, a Minor League Baseball park, Bowman Gray Stadium, and Winston-Salem State University, Wake Forest University facilities and four other colleges and universities, sports facilities and outdoor recreational opportunities abound. Bill Gibbs, a Frosty Fifty race director with the Twin City Track Club, said the club hosts six races each year, including the Frosty Fifty, a 50K, 50K relay and a 25K event that last year saw temperatures almost dipping into the single digits at the starting bugle blast. "We try to do all our races so that they are unique," Gibbs said of the race that started in 2000. "We try not to be just another distance timed race. The race takes place at Salem Lake on the outskirts of Winston-Salem. The race has grown from 40 people in 2,000 to 700 last year. More and more people are hearing about the Frosty Fifty and coming to run. Last year it snowed 14 inches and the temperature was 11 degrees at the start." The race is scheduled for the first Saturday in January when the weather can be unpredictable but Gibbs said race organizers decided not to change the date because of the inclement weather. Frosty Fifty is the first race of the new year and Gibbs said ultra-runners actually perform better in colder temperatures. "This is a unique event that runs the tree-lined route around the lake with four loops back to the start and finish line and it is viewer-friendly because of the van- tage points and locations where spectators can move around," Gibbs said. "That's different from other ultras where runners finish the race to a handful of spectators. Spectators lining the course give this race the feeling of a big-time event with hun- dreds of people watching the finish." In addition to the Frosty Fifty, the club also hosts the Salem Lake 30K, 7-mile and 5K trail runs, the Ultimate Runner sum- mer track series with four meets at Hanes Park Track, Beat the Heat 5K near Wake Forest's BB&T Football Stadium and Hobby Trails to You at Hobby Park. The Beat the Heat is one of the most popular races in North Carolina and it has been selected by Endurance magazine multiple times as the best 5K in the South. With an evening start, more than 100 participants run their first 5Ks and more than 50 elite runners compete in the North Carolina USA Track & Field (USATF) 5K Championship. Christian Schroeder, director of sales and services with Visit Winston-Salem, said, "This is another example of our cul- ture. We are passionate about sports and we embrace sports. Salem Lake where the Frosty Fifty is held is a real treasure in the community. It's a popular lake for locals to run and the city council opened new event space that can hold about a hundred people for receptions and family events." And with other track and field events, such as the Camel City Elite in February at the JDL Fast Track indoor facility, world-class athletes return each year to compete. JDL Fast Track also hosts the NCAA National Championships Qualifiers in Division I, II and III, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) indoor national championships, in addition to other invitationals and championships. "Sports has a significant economic impact and more visitors are coming here because of events like the Frosty Fifty and other running events by Twin City Track Club and JDL Fast Track," said Bonny Bernat, CSEE, senior sports and events sales manager of sports for Visit Winston- Salem. "This running event and others give added exposure to the city and surrounding area." n â–ºFrosty Fifty Winston-Salem, North Carolina t SPECIAL Report Old Salem Visit Winston-Salem Visit Winston-Salem

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