Race #393 – Race 13.1 Half Marathon – Greenville SC – 09/09/17

The Race 13.1 series has just been around a couple years but already seems to be making a big splash in the half marathon pool. I’ve seen some of their races advertised but since they have been in conflict with other races I had scheduled I haven’t participated in one until now. I saw that this half marathon in Greenville would be followed by one in Charlotte in just a couple weeks, and those two races fit into my schedule perfectly so I signed up for both.

I took advantage of the season’s pass, which costs $150 up front but then allows you to register for just $15 for any of their Race 13.1 half marathons that are scattered around 10 or more states, but heavy on the Carolinas since they’re centered in Raleigh. So right off the bat I saved around 100 bucks and I’m planning on probably running five or six of their races over the next year so it seems like a great deal to me.

With running friend Katie Freid after the race.

Since Greenville is about 80 miles from home I left early and arrived in plenty of time.  There was tons of free parking near the starting line and the porta potties were plentiful as well. There was a total of around 500 runners in the three races (300 in the half marathon and 100 each in the 5k and 10k) and that’s a good size for my tastes.

The course was almost entirely along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which is a great place to run. The trail is mostly flat and scenic, but the first half mile of the race that leads to the SRT was mostly downhill, which is great except to finish the race you have to come back up the hill. That’s not too bad but it’s a lot easier to finish downhill instead of struggling to the finish line.

The post-race party was great, especially the fresh pizza, and the finisher medals for the half marathon were really nice. The age group awards were also nice medals. There were just a couple of small beefs I had about the age group awards. One was that there was not an age group ceremony. Instead of calling the age group winners up to receive their awards you just went to a tent where they checked the results and gave you your medal. It wouldn’t be a lot more trouble to announce the winners and have them come up for their awards. Us age groupers kinda like it that way. The other small beef was that for the 5k and 10k there was only an award for 1st place instead of the top 3 in each age group. I realize there weren’t as many runners in those races but perhaps that’s one of the reasons why.

Overall it was a great race and I’m looking forward to more of the Race 13.1 series in the coming year.

Race Number:  393

Race Name:  Race 13.1 Half Marathon – Greenville SC

Location: Greenville, South Carolina

Date: September 9, 2017

Race Rating:  108

Winners:

 

Course:  Mostly flat out-and-back course along the scenic Swamp Rabbit Trail.  It’s all paved and plenty wide enough for runners going both ways.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 61 degrees, 8 mph NNE wind, 77% humidity.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race 13.1 Website

Professional race photos are available but kind of expensive. Could be worth it though if they caught a great pic of you!

My Stats:

Time:  1:45:03
Pace:   8:01
Age Group:  1 of 4
Overall: 44 of 246
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:53 (71.3%)

Great finishers medal and likewise for the age group awards!

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
1 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less) (* 1-deep in 5k and 10k)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
8 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
8 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
3 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
1 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  108

Race #392 – The Burn 5k – Gastonia NC – 09/04/17

Now in its fourth year, The Burn 5k has become my race of choice on Labor Day. It’s not that I’m in love with the course, but it’s my running club’s group run every Thursday so I’m familiar with every steep hill and winding turn along the way.

The race is 1.55 miles up the Tower Trail, which my Garmin says is a 536-foot climb, then thankfully it turns around and descends back to the finish. It’s so steep in several places that you have to hold yourself back to keep from losing control, but the downhill does help make up for a little lost time.

It’s no PR course for sure, and my goal this year was just to be a second or so faster than last year. That didn’t happen but I was just 1 second slower this year (26:32 vs 26:31 last year) so maybe not so bad for being a year older, although since I’ve recently lost 10+ pounds I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t do better.

This was the second race of the fall season of the YMCA race series so there were plenty of friends to make it more fun, and although I’ve complained about running up this mountain forever I’m kind of hoping the race will continue as long as I’m able to run it.

Race Number:  392

Race Name: The Burn 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina (Crowders Mountain)

Date: September 4, 2017 (Labor Day)

Race Rating:  64

Winners (Top 25):

 

Course:  Unpaved gravel service road to the top of Crowders Mountain. Mostly steep climb going up (especially after 1-mile mark) and steep descent going down.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 63 degrees, 94% humidity.

Race Results:

 

My Stats:

Time:  26:32
Pace:  8:34
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall: 13 of 70

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
3 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
3 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
0 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
0 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
0* – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
0* – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

  • *Parking is 0.7 miles up the road at a remote location and a bus takes runners to the start, then back to their cars after the race.

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  64

Race #391 – Pardee Apple Festival 8k – Hendersonville, NC – 09/02/17

This was my second trip to Hendersonville for this race that starts and finishes at the Pardee Medical Office Building on the campus of the Pardee Hospital. It’s held every year in conjunction with the Hendersonville Apple Festival, so if you run the race and you’re in the mood for a street festival you can take it in right after the race. Linda and I went after the race last year and it’s huge; so crowded that I decided not to mix it up with the festival crowd this year.

The 8k and 5k races begin together before the races split off in different directions. This year there were 228 finishers in the 8k and 117 in the 5k.

Just like last year, there were quite a few photographers taking pictures but so far I haven’t been able to find them. When and if I do I’ll add a few pics to this post and change my rating.  Oddly, sometimes there are photographers all around and the photos are never found. Not sure what they do with them.

My recent weight loss of 10-15 pounds (it seems to vary day-to-day) seems to have done the trick as I bettered last year’s time by over a minute (36:01 this year compared to 37:18 last year). I’m trying to drop another 5 pounds or so in hopes of having at least one more decent year of racing.

Race Number:  391

Race Name:  Pardee Apple Festival 8k & 5k

Location: Hendersonville, NC

Date:  September 2, 2017

Race Rating:  82

Winners (8k Top 3):

My Age Group (65-69):

Course:  Some hills, but not as bad as you might expect for a race in the mountains. Scenic course.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 59 degrees, 94% humidity

Race Results:

 

 

My Stats:

Time:   36:01
Pace:  7:15
Age Group:  1 of 7
Overall: 29 of 228
Average Heart Rate: 158
Maximum Heart Race: 167
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  28:00 (75.71%)

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
4 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
1 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
? – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
? – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
? – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  82

Race #390 – Yiasou Greek Festival 5k – Charlotte NC – 08/26/17

It seems I always have a conflicting race on this date that I choose, and I almost went in a different direction on this day until a friend reminded me that I was already registered. Several months earlier I had taken advantage of a cheap price and I had forgotten all about it. So for the first time in seven years I ran the Greek Festival 5k.

I didn’t remember a lot about the race except it’s always listed as one of the flattest and fastest 5k races in the Charlotte area. According to my Garmin it turned out to be 83 feet of elevation gain and 90 feet of elevation loss, so there were no hills to speak of but there were some areas of slight inclines and declines.

All of the pics of me in this blog post are from the pro photographers along the course (Marathon Photos). I’ve seldom bought an entire package of race photos but I thought these were exceptional and a good deal. The package was $49.95, which isn’t cheap, but there were 20 different pics in 5 formats (this one’s called the “Race Time” format, so for a total of 100 pics they’re just 50 cents each. I won’t use them all but it’s a much better deal than it used to be. Of course everybody’s pics will be different — some better and some worse — but I was happy with these.

My main concern going to the race was parking. The race website said there wasn’t much local parking in the area and recommended parking at some other locations outside the area and even taking the light rail to the race site, so I left early enough to arrive about an hour and a half before the race just to make sure I found parking. It turns out there was plenty of parking within just a couple blocks of the race venue, or it seemed that way to me, and none of my friends had any problem parking nearby as well.

I guess one reason I’ve bypassed this race for so many years is because of the size. It’s just a personal preference but I’m more comfortable finishing 10th in a race with 100 people than I am finishing 100th in a race with 1000 people. Both are okay and I’ll do either one, but I tend to enjoy the smaller races more. It’s usually easier to park, easier to find your friends, not as crowded at the start and along the course, and that kind of thing.

There were some perks in this race that you wouldn’t normally find in a smaller race such as a great finishers medal (rare in a 5k) and professional photography.

The race turned out well for me. People don’t usually ask me what time I’m shooting for but a few did ask about this one. I’ve lost a little over 10 pounds lately and have been running pretty well for a 65-year-old and better than I have in a year or two, so I reluctantly said I’d like to run under 22 minutes. The last time I was under 22:00 was about a year and a half ago so it wouldn’t be easy, but with race being flat it’s possibly one of my few chances to do it. It’s not life and death, of course, but it’s nice to have a goal to try to accomplish.

As I crossed the finish line and hit my watch it stopped on exactly 22:00, but since it had taken me a couple seconds to get to the starting line after the gun sounded my official chip time was 21:58, so I was happy with that.

I did enjoy the race and maybe I’ll try to do this one every year that I can in the future just to get a benchmark of how I’m doing. I’m past the point of getting faster each year but it would be nice not to slow down too much every year.

Race Number:  390

Race Name: Yiasou Greek Festival 5k

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina

Date: August 26, 2017

Race Rating:  100

Winners (Top 15 Overall):

 

My Age Group (65-69):

Course: Around Charlotte streets in the Dilworth neighborhood, it’s about the flattest 5k that could be run in Charlotte with less than 100 feet of elevation gain and loss.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 70 degrees, 88% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from Marathon Photos

 

My Stats:

Time:  21:58
Pace:  7:05
Age Group: 2 of 20
Overall:  91 of 1146
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:08 (75.8%)

As happy as I was with my time of 21:58, my hat’s off to Paul Myers, who ran even faster (21:07) and won the age group.

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
8 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2- Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
4 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
7 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
1 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
4 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
3 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  100

Race #389 – R(un) for One 5k – Cramerton, NC – 08/19/17

This was the first race of the Gaston County YMCA Fall Race Series and I’m registered for all of the races, so even though many of my friends ran a popular Charlotte race, a few of us decided to stay local and get some series points.

It’s for a good cause — unadopted children — and the race revolved around that topic unlike many races that have a cause that hardly gets mentioned.

The race venue was Stuart Cramer High School, which provides a great backdrop for a race with plenty of parking. I ran a race earlier this year that followed a different course, through the park and downtown Cramerton, all on paved paths and streets. Unfortunately, this race followed a completely different route, mostly on the Carolina Thread Trail in back of the school. That’s fine if you’re in love with running on trails, but I’m completely uncomfortable on trails because of the increased likelihood of tripping or twisting an ankle, etc., so it’s an understatement to say it wasn’t my favorite 5k course this year.

Because of the young children involved with the adoption program there were also numerous people pushing strollers during the race. For that reason alone it would seem reasonable to go to an all-road route in the future. I would estimate that about two-thirds of the race was on the trail.

Race Number:  389

Race Name: R(un) for One 5k

Location:  Cramerton, North Carolina

Date:  August 19, 2017

Race Rating:  74

Winners (Top 25):

Course:  About two-thirds trail, some single track, lots of gravel and uneven surfaces. Thankfully it wasn’t muddy or it would have been a huge mess.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 75 degrees, 4 mph NE winds, 89% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:23
  • Pace:  7:33
  • Age Group:  1 of 4
  • Overall:  11 of 118
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race:  171
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:14 (71.2%)

 

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2- Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
0 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0- Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1- 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
0 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
6 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
4 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2- T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  74

Race #388 – Great Waldensian Foot Race 5k/10k – Valdese, NC – 08/12/17

For the past 42 years this race has been held in conjunction with the Waldensian Festival, a celebration of the history of Valdese. After the race it’s fun to stroll through the downtown festival just a couple blocks away from the race venue (the local community center) and check out the craft tents, entertainment, and food, all of which are hopping by the time the race ends.

The $10 race day entry fee (without a shirt) makes this the cheapest local race I know of, and every year the race draws lots of old school runners from surrounding communities but also quite a few high schoolers as well. I’ve run the race multiple times and have always chosen the 5k option. The rumors run rampant about the big hill on the way back if you choose to run the 10k, and I’ve never been in the mood to tackle an extra big hill. This week though, I missed a day of running as I was traveling and I needed a few extra miles so I figured I might as well see what all the fuss was about the famous hill and I opted to run the 10k for the first time.

It turns out that the big hill was tough, but I’d heard so many horror stories I thought it would be even worse, so it was a relief to find out it wasn’t that big of a deal. My Garmin measured the elevation gain of the entire race at a little less than 300 feet. That’s a speed bump compared to the Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon that I ran earlier this year, which had an elevation gain of 1,668 feet. I believe the hill might be more of a psychological roadblock in this race because it’s predominantly downhill going 3 miles out (maybe 75%) then it’s 75% uphill on the way back, making for an uncomfortable final 3 miles. It wasn’t easy but I enjoyed it (by the time it was over) and if I’m feeling good I’ll probably do the 10k in the future. The 5k always has many more runners than the 10k. This year there were 135 finishers in the 5k but only 39 in the 10k.

Race Number:  388

Race Name:  Great Waldensian Road Race 5k & 10k

Location: Valdese, North Carolina

Date:  August 12, 2017

Race Rating:  81

Winners – 10k (Top 25):

Winners – 5k (Top 25):

Course:  Out-and-back on country roads with rolling hills. Both courses go along the same route but the 5k turnaround is much less hilly since it turns around before the big hill.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 70 degrees, calm winds, 100% humidity

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  48:50
  • Pace: 7:52
  • Age Group:  1 of 3
  • Overall: 12 of 39
  • Average Heart Rate: 159
  • Maximum Heart Race: 169
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time: 37:57 (70.41%)
After the race with running friends Mike Albright and Dean Simon.

 

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
1 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
5 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
4 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
0 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
2 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  81

Race #387 – Walnut Beach Ice Cream Run 5k – Milford, CT – 08/06/17

Here’s a race that answers the burning question, “What if we put ‘Ice Cream Run’ in the name of the race but didn’t have any ice cream?” That’s right. It’s a very pleasant race and there are a lot of good things I could say about it, but zero ice cream. I heard one of the volunteers say that if you wanted ice cream you could go to the Walnut Beach Creamery just up the road, but we decided to just skip the ice cream. I actually feel kinda bad complaining about the lack of ice cream since everything else was so great.

 

The race was in a beautiful setting along the beach, a nice course, and there was pretty good food that available both before and after the race. The weather was sunny but cool, so the free coffee before the race was especially nice.

It was a family affair for us! My daughter and son-in-law ran the 5k and both granddaughters ran the kids run. Linda was going to run too but instead watched the kids during the 5k.

This was the first time I had run a 5k after running a half marathon the day before, and I was surprisingly not too stiff or sore to run. Once again there were 10-year age groups, but this time around I was able to win the 60-69 age group with a time of 22:52. It was one of the few races over the past year that I ran without taking any walk breaks.

 

Despite the lack of ice cream the whole family had a lot of fun, and I’m hoping I can do this again in the future.

 

Race Number:  387

 

Race Name:  Walnut Beach Ice Cream Run 5k

 

Location:  Milford, Connecticut

 

Date:  August 6, 2017

 

Race Rating:  91

 

Winners (Top 10 Overall):

 

 

Course: Along the beach and through local neighborhoods. Mostly flat.

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 70 degrees, 9 mph WNW wind, 53% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos on Facebook (278 photos)

Click Here for Race Website

Almost 300 free pics of the race were posted by the Boys & Girls Club of Milford CT

 

My Stats:

 

  • Time: 22:52
  • Pace: 7:23
  • Age Group:  1 of 16
  • Overall: 34 of 404
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:50 (72.81%)

 

 

I ran the kids run with 6-year-old Ella… Took me a while to catch her!

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
0 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
5 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
6 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
0 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
7 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
5 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  91

 

 

Race #386 – John & Jessie Kelley Half Marathon – New London, CT – 08/05/17

Since I was visiting my daughter in nearby Essex, Connecticut, I was excited to see a local half marathon that I could run. This race has been held since 1962, making it the oldest road race I’ve ever been part of and I would guess one of the oldest in the country. It’s named after John J. Kelley, winner of the 1957 Boston Marathon who later went on to coach Runner’s World editor and Boston winner Amby Burfoot when Amby was in high school. Kelley was also a two-time Olympian and winner of several other marathons, including the Yonkers Marathon eight times.

 

The race is held at the beautiful Ocean Park Beach in New London; unfortunately, this year was a washout with constant rain during the race so the beach setting wasn’t great on this particular day. No problem though. The pre-race downpours settled down and by the time the race started it was more of just a light rain that continued throughout but never became too bad. I’d like to come back next year in what will hopefully be better weather.

 

It wasn’t my best half marathon but I was actually pretty satisfied to finish in 1:44:09, which landed me in 6th place out of 32 runners in the 60-69 age group. At age 65 I’m really not thrilled when there are 10-year age groups, but it seems to happen more often, especially as you get older. If there had been the normal 5-year age groups I would have placed 3rd in the 65-69 age group, so that’s a little consolation.

 

This race has been different distances (around 12 miles) over the years, and in recent years 11.6 miles, but this year was the first time it has been measured as an actual half marathon (13.1 miles).

 

Finally, I’ve got to mention that this race is entirely FREE… No registration fee at all! Apparently it’s always been that way. I didn’t know what to expect when I registered online after finding the race listed, but it’s not only a legitimate race but excellent in every way: plenty of volunteers, great timing (although not chip-timed), good food afterwards (think clam chowder), and lots of runners. There were 552 finishers this year but I think the crowd was lower this year because of the rainy weather.

Race Number:  386

 

Race Name:  John & Jessie Kelley Half Marathon

 

Location: New London, Connecticut

 

Date:  August 5, 2017

 

Race Rating:  76

 

Winners (Top 25 Overall):

 

Course:

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Rain, 72 degrees, wind SSE 11 mph, 94% humidity.

 

Race Results:

 

Click Here for Race Website

I was happy with my time of 1:44:09 but it was only good enough for 6th place in the 10-year age group.

My Stats:

 

  • Time:  1:44:09
  • Pace:  7:57
  • Age Group:  6 of 32 (60-69 age group)
  • Overall:  118 of 552
  • Average Heart Rate:  158
  • Maximum Heart Race:  171
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:11 (71.92%)

 

 

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
10 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!   (10)–>>> FREE!!!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
7 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
0 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
0 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
x – Design: (1-5)
x – Material Quality: (1-3)
x – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  76

Race #385 – Meet Me at the Fountain 5k – Forest City, NC – 07/29/17

This week I headed up to the town of Forest City to run the “Meet Me at the Fountain 5k’ sponsored by Smith’s Pharmacy, a well established local drugstore that seemed to be a hub of activity for everybody in town. The race was well organized and a lot of fun, and the weather was perfect (for me anyway).

 

I recently watched a food documentary called “What the Health,” which has caused a stir lately with some people changing their diets to whole food plant-based, and others complaining that the science was faulty and biased and that you’d be better served doing something else. For me, I’ve never been a big fan of eating meat anyway although I’ve done it plenty, and there’s no way that all the ice cream I’ve consumed could be beneficial, so a change seems to be right for me personally.

 

Since changing my diet to whole food plant-based a couple weeks ago I dropped 10 pounds and feel great. But hey, that just me. I’m not about to start arguing that my diet is better than anybody else’s. Anyway, it’s working for me and in this race I was faster by a little more than 2 minutes over my last 5k (Cat’s Cradle) in late June.

 

I started out about 20 pounds over my ideal race weight of 140 so I’m hoping I can lose another 10 pounds and possibly shave some more time off my 5k. It would be great to get under 22 minutes again but I’m not sure if that will happen since I’m a lot older now than when I was at that weight before (six years ago).

 

Race Number:  385

 

Race Name: Meet Me at the Fountain 5k

 

Location: Forest City, North Carolina

 

Date: July 29, 2017

 

Race Rating:  91

 

Winners (Top 25):

 

 

Course:  Pretty flat through town and surrounding neighborhoods.

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 75 degrees, 74% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Click Here for Race Photos on Flickr

 

Thanks to William Lowe Jr. for 200+ high quality photos posted on Flickr (link above).

 

My Stats:

 

  • Time:  22:33
  • Pace:  7:16
  • Age Group:  1 of 6
  • Overall:  13 of 144
  • Average Heart Rate: 159
  • Maximum Heart Race:  169
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:35  (73.84%)

 

 

 

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
6 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
6 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
0 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
0 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
1 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
8 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  91

 

Race #384 – The Scream! Half Marathon – Jonas Ridge, NC – 07/15/17

Since its inception in 2011, The Scream! has been one of the races I look forward to every year. I’ve had to miss it twice — once because of injury and another time because of the weather — but I’m always eager to do it again.

 

It’s an odd race in some ways. Runners park at the Brown Mountain Beach Resort along Wilson Creek somewhere between Morganton and Lenoir North Carolina. It’s in the middle of nowhere at the foot of the mountain and just getting there on the winding road is half the fun. Once you’re parked, it’s time to get on a bus and travel about 20 miles to the starting line at the top of the mountain in the town of Jonas Ridge. After exiting the bus and getting your bib and maybe something from the convenience store, it’s another half mile jog to the starting line. After you run the 13.1 miles to the finish line you end up in the tiny ghost town of Mortimer, where there’s a little convenience store in an old house and not much else that I could see. You then hop on the bus again to return to Brown Mountain Beach Resort which is about another 7 or 8 miles away. There’s plenty of food when you get back (catered barbecue this year — some years it’s been different). Some runners cool off in Wilson Creek and others just hang around for the awards, but it’s a pleasant place and a good chance to meet up with runners you haven’t seen in a while.

 

As advertised, the half marathon course is mostly downhill, with a net elevation drop of a little over 2,000 feet. That makes it faster than most but it can be a little deceptive too. There’s also more than 500 feet of elevation gain along the way.

 

This year I was about 10 minutes slower than the first time I ran this race in 2011 (1:42:01 this year as opposed to 1:32:11 in 2011) but that’s no big surprise since I’m now 65 years old and definitely slowing down. Whatever the time, I’ll be looking forward to running this race again next year.

 

Race Number:  384

 

Race Name:  The Scream! Half Marathon

 

Location:  Jonas Ridge, North Carolina

 

Date:  July 15, 2017

 

Race Rating:  98

 

Winners (Top 25):

 

Course:  First 2 miles are rolling hills at the top of the mountain, followed by about 9 miles down a dirt road to the bottom of the mountain, with the last couple miles fairly flat to the finish.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 70 degrees, 100% humidity, calm winds

 

Race Results:

 

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  1:42:01
  • Pace:  7:47
  • Age Group:  1 of 5
  • Overall: 42 of 255
  • Average Heart Rate:  155
  • Maximum Heart Race:  167
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:19:31 (73.42%)
I was taking one of my many walk breaks about 12 miles into the race when I heard my name and looked around. It was my friend Marcy, who ran with me the last mile as we provided each other some encouragement to the finish line.

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
9 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
7 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
4 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
0 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
0 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
+10* – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

  • I added 10 points to the total just for the race experience. There are a few things that result in a lower point score such as parking and no professional photography, but overall this is a unique and enjoyable race that every half marathon runner should experience if you’re able to. 

TOTAL: 98