CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- If you're one of the 15,000 runners expected to line up for the early-morning start of Saturday's Komen Charlotte Race for the Cure, come even earlier and take in uptown's new Mint Museum.
The starting line is on South Tryon Street in front of the new Mint that will be midway through its 24-hour grand opening, starting today with a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. and ending Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
So the museum will have been open all night when racers start assembling out front. And museum entry is free all day Saturday.
"The Mint set their date for the opening not realizing that that was our race date," said Komen Charlotte spokeswoman Gloria Scienski. "So what began as a coincidence has grown into a partnership."
For months, race officials have worked with the Mint and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police to make sure "the Mint has access that it needs" for its opening, Scienski said.
Three races are planned and all should be cleared from the Mint area by 9 a.m. A competitive 5K begins at 7:15 a.m., with a recreational 5K starting 40 minutes later. A mile fun-run or walk is set to start at 8:30.
Police and race officials caution those not running or going to the Mint to steer clear of uptown Saturday morning. The race route roughly follows South Tryon, turning right on Morehead Street and another right on Mint Street, where it'll remain in the western half of uptown, traveling north on Graham and west on Fourth. It returns east on Fourth, finishing at Fourth and Mint.
"What this shows is that our city has grown to the point where there's so many cool things happening and that it can embrace two large events the same day," Scienski said. "As part of the partnership, we are encouraging (runners) to stay and enjoy the events at the Mint after the races."
And even before.