Race #345 – OrthoCarolina Classic 10k – Charlotte, NC – 08/20/16

2016-orthocarolina-logoYou’d think that after 344 races I’d be familiar with the basic rules of eating before a race, but for some reason I managed to forget those basics this past Saturday at the OrthoCarolina Classic. I have a tendency to have hypoglycemic episodes if I don’t eat before running, and my normal routine involves me scarfing down a candy bar or some other high carb snack just before I head to the starting line, a routine that has been scoffed at by plenty of my running friends over the years but it works for me I continue to do it. At least that’s been the routine until this week, when without giving it much of a thought I decided that instead of an unhealthy candy bar I’d have a 100-calorie protein shake instead, thereby providing myself with some nutrients and protein along with fewer calories. For some reason I didn’t even think about the fact that the drink only had 5 grams of carbs.

 

The end result was that I bonked. As soon as the race started I could feel that there was no energy in my legs, but by then it was too late. I started taking walk breaks before we hit the 1-mile mark, and by 2 miles I actually considered just dropping out of the race altogether, but I wasn’t sure I could find my way back to the finish line so I just kept going.  There were some hills, and the humidity was 94%, but none of that really mattered to me. The entire race felt to me like the last 6 miles of a marathon, but I was out of gas without having to run those first 20 miles.

 

As racing experiences go, it was the worst, but I did learn a lesson or two along the way so I’ll be back again next week to try to redeem myself. Gonna be a long week.

 

The race itself was fine as far as organization goes. It’s a big one for what I’m used to lately, with around 1,000 in the 10k and another 500 in the 5k. Free food was skimpy (bananas and bagels) but there were food trucks and plenty of free beer from a variety of local breweries. I don’t drink at all so the significance of that is lost on me.

 

There was no race-day registration so I had to make a special trip to Charlotte day before the race to sign up, which was annoying. If you registered late, as I did, there was no T-shirt, but they said I could get one after the race if there were any left. I didn’t really need another T-shirt but wanted to see if I could get one so I checked after the race, and there were plenty. They also gave me a nice drinking glass along with the shirt.

 

One other perk is that all finishers of the 10k and 5k received a nice custom finishers medal after the race.

 

Race Number:  345
Race Name:  OrthoCarolina Classic 10k/5k
Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina
Date:  August 20, 2016
Race Rating:  89
Winners (Top 15 in the 10k):

2016-orthocarolina-top15-10k

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 73 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Click Here for Official Race Photos

 

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  51:37
  • Pace:  8:19
  • Age Group:  3 of 12
  • Overall:  165 of 976
  • Average Heart Rate:  161
  • Maximum Heart Race: 171
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  40:30  (65.97%)
2016-orthocarolina-me-running-stu-stepp-cropped

Here I am trudging towards the finish line. Thanks to Stu Stepp for the photo!

***************
* 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
1 – 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
0 – 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
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
2 – FREE 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
3 – 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
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
2 – 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:   89

Race #344 – 7th Inning Stretch 5k – Shelby, NC – 07/30/16

7th_Inning_Stretch_logo_CS4-5k-2016-outlines-300x300This 5k is part of the 7th Inning Stretch Festival in Shelby, which is a celebration of the American Legion World Series that is held in Shelby each year. This was the 4th year of the race but the first time I’ve run it. It was fun but a little disappointing that more regular racers from Shelby and Gastonia didn’t show up, although a few of the faithful were present.

 

The race was fairly well organized with the exception of the course being marked well. The overall winner didn’t have any problems but several runners after him went the wrong way, resulting in running out of the way for about a half mile. That’s no big deal if you’re one of the runners who didn’t get lost, but it’s huge if you did.

 

I didn’t get lost but I also didn’t run particularly well either. Nothing in particular is hurting, so that’s good, but I really like to eat. Right now I’m about one stomach flu, two food poisonings, and three bad breakups away from my goal weight.

 

Race Number: 344

 

Race Name: 7th Inning Stretch 5k

 

Location:  Shelby, North Carolina

 

Date:  July 30, 2016

 

Race Rating:  71

 

Top 25 Finishers:

2016-7th-inning-stretch-top-25

 

Course: Mostly flat with just a couple little hills. There weren’t many turns but also not enough volunteers to guide the way at intersections and there were no markings so several runners got off track. Fortunately for most of us (including me) we were able to follow people who were going in the right direction.
Weather at Start:  Sunny, 72 degrees, 100% humidity, no wind.

 

Click Here for Race Results
My Stats:

  • Time:  22:58
  • Pace:  7:23
  • Age Group:  1 of  4
  • Overall:  11 of  107
  • Average Heart Rate:  161
  • Maximum Heart Race: 179
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:03 (71.92%)

 

***************
* 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.]
0 – 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
0 – 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)
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
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
4 – 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
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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  71

Race #343 – Grizzlies 5k – Gastonia, NC – 07/22/16

gastonia-grizzlies-logoAs usual for this race, I was able to skip the earmuffs and tights. In its short 4-year history the Grizzlies 5k has proven to be one of the hottest races of the year and the race this year was no exception. The sun did manage to hide behind a big cloud for most of the race, but even with that my Garmin showed a temperature of 91 degrees and a scorching heat index of 99 degrees.

 

With a starting time of 6 p.m., the race precedes the Gastonia Grizzlies baseball game which follows at 8 p.m. Registration for the race provides you with a free ticket for the ball game, which is followed by a fireworks show. This year I didn’t hang around after the awards because I had some other things to do, but it’s a great evening of entertainment and most of the runners remain after the game.

 

When I ran here a couple years ago the awards were held between innings (I think the 2nd or 3rd) so if you won an award and wanted to get it you had to stay for a while. This year the awards were held right after the race and before the game, which was a big improvement.

 

 

Last year I had a half marathon scheduled for the following day so instead of running I took pictures. I posted a couple hundred photos of runners along the course. I considered doing the same this year since it was so hot but I’m glad I decided to run instead. I did see a couple of what appeared to be actual photographers at the awards who were taking pictures of the award winners, but as is often the case, there’s a good chance that those photos will never be found so I’ll just assume there are no photos and hope I have to go back later if I find out I’m wrong.

 

I did like the T-shirt this year and I believe it’s one of the rare race shirts I’ll actually wear, so there’s that.

 

Race Number:  343

 

Race Name:  Gastonia Grizzlies 5k

 

Location:  Gastonia, NC (Sims Park)

 

Date:  July 22, 2016

 

Race Rating:  83

 

Winners (Top 25):

2016-grizzlies-top-25

 

Course: Starts inside the ball park then goes downhill a block to the greenway. Out-and-back and mostly flat along the greenway until returning back up the hill and finishing inside the ball park after a trip around the outfield.

 

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 91 degrees (heat index 99 degrees), 53% humidity.

2016-grizzlies-temperature

 

 

 

Race Results:

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:46
  • Pace:  7:40
  • Age Group:  1 of  5
  • Overall:  17 of  140
  • Average Heart Rate:  165
  • Maximum Heart Race: 176
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:41 (69.5%)

2016-grizzlies-post-race

***************

* 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
2 – 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
8 – 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)
0 – 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
2 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
9 – 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
4 – Design: (1-5)
3 – 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
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
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:  83

2016-grizzlies-post-race-GCR-group

Race #342 – The Scream! Half Marathon – Jonas Ridge, NC – 07/16/16

2016-the-scream-medalOne of the few half marathons you’ll find in the month of July, The Scream is a race I look forward to every year. I’ve missed it a couple times — once because of an injury and once because of the weather — but I’ve been registered for it every time it’s been run. This time around the weather was better than in any of the previous years. It was near 100% humidity but the temperature was fine although maybe just a little warm for some folks.

 

This year was my slowest time ever for The Scream, which I expected, but I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t finish in under 1:40:00, instead finishing in 1:40:55, not terrible but a couple minutes slower than on what I would think is a harder course at Downhill at Dawn last month.

 

One of my favorite things about this race other than the 9 miles or so of downhill running is that it draws people from all over, especially the Western part of North Carolina, so there are a lot of friends I only see occasionally and some that I just see at this particular race. Speaking of friends, one of the finest people I know, Matt Longworth, set a course record this year with a blistering time of 1:11:41, and his girlfriend Carolyn Yang, who is also a speedster, finished 2nd overall and 1st female with a time of 1:21:19.

 

As always, the logistics for this race could be considered a nightmare. You park at Brown Mountain Beach then ride a bus to the starting line in Jonas Ridge maybe 15 or 20 miles away, then after finishing the race in the middle of nowhere you catch the bus again to ride 5 miles or so back to where the cars are parked. Oddly, to me this has become a part of the race that I like. It’s a nice bus ride both ways that gives you time to relax and enjoy the scenery and visit with some friends who are also on the bus.

 

On arrival back to Brown Mountain Beach, there’s plenty of food and the awards are held after food is served. The food has varied from year to year. This year it was barbecue and it was delicious and plentiful.

2016-the-scream-richard-from-bobby-aswell

Race Number:  342
Race Name:  The Scream! Half Marathon
Location:  Jonas Ridge, North Carolina
Date:  July 16, 2016
Race Rating:  86
Winners:

2016-the-scream-winners

My Age Group (60-64):

2016-the-scream-60-64-agegroup
Course: Rolling hills on paved mountain roads for the first 2 miles, followed by about 9 miles of mostly downhill (with a couple of uphills) on a gravel service road with the remainder on a mostly flat dirt road to the finish line.
Race Results:

 

Click Here for Race Website
My Stats:

  • Time:  1:40:55
  • Pace:  7:42
  • Age Group:  1 of  7
  • Overall:  47  of 263
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race: 173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:19:26  (73.49%)

 

***************
* 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
6 – 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
5 – 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
8 – 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)
1 – 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 (at Brown Mountain Beach): (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:  86

Race #341 – Peach Festival 10k – Gaffney, SC – 07/09/16

2016-peach-festival-LOGOThis was only my second trip to the Peach Festival race in Gaffney. It’s a well organized and popular race but just happens to land on the same day as other races so I usually have a conflict. When I ran it three years ago I popped a hamstring about halfway through the race and ended up dropping out and limping back to the finish line. It now has the distinction of being the only race I’ve ever dropped out of because of an injury. I was running the 10k that year so I wanted to run the 10k this year also just to try and redeem myself.

 

The 10k and 5k start together then branch off in different directions, but then meet up again several times during the race so you keep meeting up with different groups of runners along the way, which I don’t mind because it provides a little variety not to mention it makes me feel a little faster since I always end up with a slower group of 5k runners.

 

It was hot, humid, and hilly but I don’t really mind. I always just remind myself of how much I dislike cold weather and how fortunate I am to just be able to keep running. I’ve come to grips with being slower, and my time of 48:17 was my slowest 10k time since my first three 10k races back when I began running. I find myself actually being more comfortable with slower times these days and I’ll be lucky if I slow down a little bit at a time as opposed to being stopped in my tracks by an injury.

 

Next week is The Scream! Half Marathon, which is a logistical nightmare but one of my favorite races of the year. I’m looking forward to lots of downhill running and sore quads for several days afterwards.

 

Race Number:  341

 

Race Name:  South Carolina Peach Festival 5k & 10k

 

Location:  Gaffney, South Carolina

 

Date:  July 9, 2016

 

Race Rating:  82

 

Winners:

10k Top 25:

2016-peach-festival-top25-10k

 

5k Top 25:

2016-peach-festival-top25-5k

Course: More hills than I expected — nothing major but lots of fairly long medium hills to climb, but of course you get to go down on the other side. Quite a bit of meeting up with runners in the other race so you have to be careful not to miss a turn.

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 70 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Click Here for Full Race Results

 

 

After the race I was showing off my new truck to some of my GCR friends. It replaces my beloved red Honda Insight that I've driven for the past 8 years. Gonna miss that car. I was able to keep my "RUNNER" license plate though.

After the race I was showing off my new truck to some of my GCR friends. It replaces my beloved red Honda Insight that I’ve driven for the past 8 years. Gonna miss that car. I was able to keep my “RUNNER” license plate though.

My Stats:

 

  • Time:  48:17
  • Pace:  7:47
  • Age Group:  1 of  1
  • Overall:   24 of  107
  • Average Heart Rate:  166
  • Maximum Heart Race: 175
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  37:53  (70.52%)

 

***************
* 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
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
5 – 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)
2 – 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
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
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
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:   82

Race #340 – Cat’s Cradle 5k/10k – Morganton, NC – 06/18/16

2016-cats-cradle-LOGOThe Cat’s Cradle 5k and 10k have become one of the favorite races of the year for my running club, the Gaston County Runners. It’s a fairly long drive from Gastonia — 70 miles or so — but it’s always a lot of fun. The course is flat and fast and most of the GCR folks choose the 10k option. I prefer the 5k, maybe because I’m getting a little lazy, but mostly so I can finish the race then take pictures of the people who still haven’t finished yet, thus providing some free photos for most of the runners in the race. This year I took a bunch of pics, got home and deleted the bad ones, and posted more than 1200 photos in two albums on Facebook that runners can download.

 

The race benefits the nonprofit Cat’s Cradle organization, whose mission is “To help bring about a time when no more abused or abandoned cats will be destroyed.” As a cat lover myself I’m always happy to be able to support this cause.

 

For me, the highlight of this year’s race was the appearance of Tom McCormack. Tom is a 62-year-old legend in the making who has the distinction of being the only person in the United States to ever run a sub 17-minute 5k at the age of 60, which he did two years ago in the national championship in Syracuse, New York, with a time of 16:58. He told me before the race that he’s been dealing with an injury and has only run three races this year, but he still managed to beat several fast high school runners in the 5k and get the overall win with a time of 17:42.

2016-cats-cradle-5k-me-mccormack-peay

Me, Tom McCormack, and Bill Peay.

Speaking of fast old guys, I met Bill Peay for the first time at this race. I’ve known him for a while on Facebook and have heard about his running history from some of the old-time runners in the Charlotte area. After a long layoff of many years he’s on the comeback trail at age 70 and ran strong in this race and actually edged me by two-tenths of a percentage point on an age-graded basis. He’s now living in South Carolina and has his eye on some of the 70-74 state age group records.

 

After the race about 20 folks from the GCR had breakfast at Granny’s Country Kitchen in Icard just off Interstate 40 on the way home. I’m pretty sure that’s a contributing factor to what makes this such a fun racing experience for our group. It’s also a contributing factor to what keeps those of us without any willpower about 10 pounds overweight.

 

Race Number:  340

 

Race Name:  Cat’s Cradle 5k & 10k

 

Location:  Morganton, North Carolina

 

Date:  June 18, 2016

 

Race Rating:  96

 

Winners:

5k Top 15:

2016-cats-cradle-5k-top15

 

10k Top 15:

2016-cats-cradle-10k-top15
Course: Out-and-back course entirely on the Catawba River Greenway. It’s a beautiful course along the river and is mostly flat with just a few slight inclines along the way.
Weather at Start:  Sunny, 70 degrees, 60% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Race Photos:

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  22:38
  • Pace:  7:17
  • Age Group:  1 of  5
  • Overall:  13 of  130
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race: 174
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:06  (71.72%)
2016-cats-cradle-GCR-group-CROPPED

Gaston County Runners

***************
* 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
6 – 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
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)
4 – 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
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
10 – 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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  94

Race #339 – Lake Wylie Splash Dash 5k – 06/11/16

2016-LW-splash-dash-raceThis longstanding race (20+ years) is held in the appropriately named River Hills community along Lake Wylie on the border of North and South Carolina. The hills are plentiful so I ran the 5k option instead of the 10k option just to take it easy on myself (that’s the way I am). The race is organized well and the start and finish is at the Thunderbird Camp of the Boy Scouts, which provides plenty of shade after the race. Despite the “Splash Dash” name there’s no water involved other than being close to the lake. It’s just a standard but pleasant road race along the hilly neighborhood roads of River Hills.

Race Number: 339

 

Race Name: Lake Wylie Splash Dash 5k and 10k

 

Location:  Lake Wylie, South Carolina

 

Date:  June 11, 2016

 

Race Rating:  77

 

Winners:

5k Top 20:

2016-LW-splash-dash-top20-5k

10k Top 20:

2016-LW-splash-dash-top20-10k
Course: Beautiful neighborhood with lots of hills.

2016-LW-splash-dash-map

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 73 degrees, 89% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:16
  • Pace:  7:29
  • Age Group:  1 of  7  (60 and over)
  • Overall: 12 of  116
  • Average Heart Rate: 161
  • Maximum Heart Race: 174
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:17 (70.99%)

 

***************

* 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)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
0 – 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
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
4 – 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
2 – 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
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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  77

Race #338 – Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon – Black Mountain, NC – 06/04/16

2016-DAD-course1When I ran this race two years ago I considered it my best race ever — a 1:29:25 half marathon at age 62. It’s a feat that I knew I’d never duplicate and looking back at it now I’m still surprised that I was able to somehow crack 1 hour and 30 minutes in a half marathon, especially at that age. That was a 6:49 pace for 13.1 miles, and sadly over the ensuing two years I’m now having a problem running even 1 mile at a sub 7-minute pace.

 

Knowing there was no way to get close to the performance of two years ago, I went into the race this time with a goal of running under 1:40. Just a couple years ago I was averaging under 1:40, but last year (2015) in 16 half marathons I only managed to go under 1:40 on four occasions, with the best being 1:37:49 at The Scream! Half Marathon in July. Fortunately I didn’t have any major aches or pains and felt pretty good going into the race, 100% humidity I managed to come away with my best time of the year at 1:38:49.

 

The race begins at the Ridgecrest Conference Center, which is a Christian retreat just outside of Asheville. It’s a beautiful setting and most of the runners who are staying overnight stay in the accommodations offered by Ridgecrest. Hard to beat a quiet venue tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains where you just have to wake up on race morning and walk right out the door to the starting line.

 

With the mostly downhill course, pleasant setting, and time to visit with running friends, this has become one of my favorite racing events of the year.

Chillin' with friends at Ridgecrest on the night before the race.

Chillin’ with friends at Ridgecrest on the night before the race.

 

Race Number:  338

 

Race Name:  Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon

 

Location:  Black Mountain NC to Old Fort NC

 

Date:  June 4, 2016

 

Race Rating:  103

 

Winners:

2016-DAD-winners

 

Course: First 3.5 miles is out-and-back, mostly down going out and up coming back, all on paved roads in Black Mountain. Next 4 miles or so is downhill on a dirt road leading paved road at the bottom of the mountain. Remainder of the race (5-6 miles) is paved and fairly flat with some additional downhills leading into Old Fort. Definitely a fast course with much more downhill than uphill.

2016-DAD-map

 

Elevation:

2016-DAD-elevation

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

 

Race Results:

 

 

Click Here for 1100+ FREE Race Photos on Flickr

Lots of great free photos on Flickr!

Lots of great free photos on Flickr!

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  1:38:49
  • Pace:  7:32
  • Age Group:  1 of  6
  • Overall:  32 of  462
  • Average Heart Rate:  164
  • Maximum Heart Race: 179
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:17:09 (75.68%)

 

***************
* 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
5 – 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)
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)
3 – 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
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)
3 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

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

PARKING
2 – 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
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:  103

Race #337 – Belmont Classic 5k – Belmont, NC – 05/28/16

2016-belmont-classic-LOGO“The bigger the screw-up, the better the story!” At least that’s what I like to tell myself. I love this race and look forward to it every year, partly because it’s always on Memorial Day weekend and unofficially marks the beginning of the summer races, and that’s my favorite time of the year to run.

I know this course well, and when the police officer pointed us to the right instead of the left at a key intersection, I said to Teresa Harrill, who was running next to me at the time, “Wow, they must have changed the course this year.” I hadn’t heard about a change and it’s been an almost perfect 3.1 mile loop that we’ve run for years, but I figured there must be some reason we were diverted, maybe construction or something.

 

So all of us — yep, everybody in the race including those of us who had run it many times before — headed off in the wrong direction. I thought we’d turn to the left fairly quickly but all of the runners kept going in the same direction, straight ahead. After a half mile or so I started thinking we couldn’t possibly be going the right way since I knew we were getting farther and farther away from the finish line.

 

There were three or four other runners around me and I yelled something along the lines of “We’ve got to turn around… There’s no way this is right!” I stopped dead in my tracks and looked around. Nobody paid any attention to what I said and I thought about the situation. There were more than a hundred people behind me and I couldn’t get up the nerve to run right back through that crowd, so I turned and caught up with the group I had been running with, figuring that the race was pretty much over since we were completely off track but I might as well stay with everybody else.

 

Finally I could see Mitchell Rippy stopped up ahead. He’s easy to spot since he’s about 6’5″ tall and was wearing a bright yellow shirt. That was the point where reality set in for everybody, and we all turned around. There were several runners ahead of Mitchell at that point and none of those knew the course well enough to realize they were headed in the opposite direction. From what I was told, they all ran until they hit 3.1 miles and then knew it was a hopeless cause and they mostly did an easy jog back to the race site.

 

I had a snafu at the starting line and my watch started updating instead of timing me at the beginning so I didn’t have the correct distance, but I ran somewhere between 4.5 and 5 miles before getting back to the finish line. I ended up jogging back with Dianne Allen and we caught up with Katie Freid and all stayed together until the finish. All hope was lost as far as a decent time so we just enjoyed what turned out to be a training run.

 

When we made it back to the venue around 39 minutes later, everybody in attendance knew the race was a mess. The “winning” time was over 30 minutes and all of the fastest runners were farther away from the finish line when they turned around. With everybody turning around in different spots as they were alerted by the oncoming runners who were coming in the opposite direction, pretty much everybody ran a different distance.

 

Just a few seconds after I crossed the finish line I saw Steve D’Avria, who was not the race director but was in charge of the timing. I made the suggestion that we should line up and run it again. He said he wasn’t in any hurry and after checking with a couple of folks in charge Steve said the race would restart at 9:00 for anybody who wasn’t happy with their time and wanted to run it again.

 

I tried to spread the word around folks I knew that we’d line up and run it again but most of them thought I was nuts. It’s one thing to run a 10k, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing to run a 5k, then a couple minutes after you finish line up and run the race again. You run a 5k at 5k pace and you’re pretty much whupped after you finish it. There seemed to be very little interest is re-running the race but there were a few of us who were itching to go again.

 

I saw Steve again and he told me the race was going to start again at 9 o’clock sharp for everybody who wanted to run it. It was about 8:58 and I headed to the starting line while most people didn’t budge. My friend Bernhard was as eager as me to make things right. A few others were straggling to the starting line as Steve counted down out loud so they’d know he meant business.

 

“15, 14, 13, 12, 11,…” Steve yelled as I frantically waved and motioned for people to join us. Bernhard and I took off when the count reached zero. We thought we were alone but Rob McBee and Derek Hyatt took off just after we left. So that was it. Four runners plowing through the 5k again in order to get a legitimate time. Having just finished the other race we were all tired but gave it all we had left. The volunteers had been tipped off that the race was starting again and it was a pleasant surprise to see them all there and the roads still closed to traffic despite only four runners coming through. I ended up third of the four runners at 22:44, and was actually happy to finish at a time close to what I’ve been running despite a hard run just a few minutes earlier.

 

It wouldn’t hold up in court and I’m not going to lose a lot of sleep over it, but my understanding was that if we ran the race again the official race results would be changed to the time of the race where we actually ran 3.1 miles. Instead, we were informed after finishing the race that it would be treated as a separate race and all of the results from the first race would stand.

 

Folks, here’s the deal: The four of us who ran the second time didn’t do it because we wanted to run more; we did it to rectify a screw-up on the part of the race organizers. The way I looked at it was that if you were satisfied with your time the first time around you could keep it, but if you wanted to make things right you went back to the starting line and ran the correct distance no matter how tired you were after having run a race just a few minutes earlier.

 

In summary, since all 160 runners in the first race ran different distances and different speeds once they found out the race was a train wreck, all of the results from the first race are meaningless. The only actual results that are correct were those of the four runners who ran the correct distance afterwards. Everybody could have run the race again but only four runners chose to do it, and for that we received no benefit at all. In the grand scheme of things none of the numbers matter, but just for this one small moment in time, I worked hard to change 39 minutes to 22:44, and I’m just a little bummed that I didn’t get credit for that. Because of that I’m deducting 10 points from the race score and, again, it’s all just numbers that don’t mean a lot for posterity, but it’s all I’ve got for now. Of course, if they change the official results to reflect to times of the four of us who ran the correct distance, then I’d remove the 10-point deduction. All of the number changing is easy, at least on paper.

 

Despite all of the complaining I’m still a fan of the Belmont Classic and I’ll be back next year, but you better believe I’ll make the correct turn at that intersection.

 

Race Number:  337

 

Race Name:  Belmont Classic 5k

 

Location:  Belmont, North Carolina

 

Date:  May 28, 2016

 

Race Rating:  65

 

Winners:

2016-belmont-classic-results

Since everybody in the race ran a different distance (due to turning around at different times), the “official” results are useless and show the winning time at around 31 minutes. All runners could have lined up again at 9 a.m. and ran the course again (correctly) but only these four runners took that challenge.

 

Course: What can I say? It’s a good course when you run it correctly.

 

Weather at Start:  Clear, 68 degrees, 68% humidity

 

 

* 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.]
0 – 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
0 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
0 – 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! ($20 on race day)
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
1 – 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)
7 – 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
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
x – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes (* I saw cameras but no pics yet… hopefully some free photos and I will change score and add link if I find them)

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
2 – 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
-10 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10) (*Wrong turn disaster)

TOTAL:  65

Race #336 – Jimmie Johnson 5k – Huntersville, NC – 05/22/16

jjf_avatar_wht_400x400It’s one of my favorite 5k races of the year! Since running this last year I’ve touted it as one of the best, and along with some other friends from the Gaston County Runners who ran last year we brought along a pretty big crowd from the GCR this year, making it one of our “must do” races of the summer.

 

Highlights:

  • Course that loops through Birkdale Village a couple times, allowing spectators to cheer on their family and friends numerous times before the end.
  • Some of the best post-race food you’ll find at any race! This year there were delicious crepes (I had strawberry and Nutella), fantastic barbecue with homemade mac & cheese, Blue Bunny ice cream, and more!
  • Nice swag for all runners including a great shoulder sling bag and high quality water bottle.
  • Great photos: Download free photos for Facebook or buy prints for as low as 19 cents (4×6). A printed 8×10 is just $1.99.
  • Excellent awards for overall and age group winners.

2016-JJ5K-start

 

Race Number:  336

 

Race Name:  Jimmie Johnson Foundation 5k

 

Location:  Huntersville, North Carolina

 

Date:  May 22, 2016

 

Race Rating: 115

 

Top 25 Overall:

2016-JJ5K-top-25

My Age Group (60-64):

2016-JJ5K-age-group-60-64

 

Jimmie Johnson handed out the awards and posed for a photo with all the winner!

Jimmie Johnson handed out the awards and posed for a photo with all the winner!

 

Weather at Start:  Cloudy 63 degrees, 77% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Click Here for Race Photos

 

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  22:10
  • Pace:  7:08
  • Age Group:  1 of  11
  • Overall:  62 of  421
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race: 174
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:25  (74.51%)

 

2016-JJ5K-richard-finish

You can download an internet size photo from this race for free, or buy an 8×10 for only $1.99.

 

***************
* 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
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
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)
0 – 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
3 – 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
5 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
5 – 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
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:  115

2016-JJ5K-GCR-group

Jimmie Johnson joined us for a group shot after the race!

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