Weekend Pick: Crazy 8s 8k Road Race

There is something a little crazy about runners (let me be clear that I am not talking about joggers, but runners – there is a huge difference, mostly in the calfs, quads, abs, and competitiveness). Runners are not crazy in the classic Jim Carrey-as-The-Riddler-in-Batman-Forever mold, nor are they crazy in the crazy-like-a-fox mold, but they are just a little off in general. You can see it in their pre-race routines, relentless pursuit of a PR, the constant churning of the legs deep into a race and on the brink of exhaustion, the hair-of-the-dog recovery runs – a sport where you do the same thing, only worse, in order to feel better is odd, to say the least. This is probably why they spend their time running great distances, only to usually end up right where they started in the first place – only sweatier, and probably hungrier. It is no wonder that the bravest have taken running to its logical extreme with ultra-marathons becoming ultra cool, and ultra standard on the weekend running event docket. Well, crazies, this weekend is the running event you have been waiting for. An event with such high stakes, high energy, and low times, it has crazy right there in the name: The Crazy 8s 8k in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Over the years, the Crazy 8s 8k has become famous for being one of the most exciting races in the country and attracting the top runners in the world to humble Kingsport. BRO picked the race as the region’s Best Road Race in 2008, and one of the top road running events in this past February’s Race Ahead Guide. What makes the Cray 8s most compelling is the fact that it is run at night along candle lit streets, culminating in a festive stadium finish complete with music and fanfare. Also, if you beat the course record, you get a check for $10,008 – what they don’t tell you is the course record is also the 8k world record set at the Crazy 8s in 1996 (22:02 if you’re game to try).

Head to Kingsport on Saturday, July 13, and watch some of the world’s fastest runners compete for a big purse under the cool, starry skies of Tennessee. Sounds good to us.

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