Race #399 – Run Around Downtown 5k – Bessemer City, NC – 10/07/17

This was the 6th annual year of Bessemer City’s only 5k. I ran it last year when it wasn’t part of the YMCA series, and this year it was part of the series for the first time. The weather was great (except for the 100% humidity) but the crowd was small, with only 36 runners finishing the 5k. There were also quite a few participants in the 2k noncompetitive walk and those weren’t counted in the results.

There aren’t any big hills in this race but there seem to be subtle inclines and declines throughout the entire course so nothing seems entirely flat. I felt pretty good but I have a bad habit of walking up most hills. Lately I’ve been in a close battle for 2nd place in the YMCA race series with Andy Cook, who in every series race this year has been within two finishers of me, either ahead or behind. Several times in this race he passed me going uphill only to have me pass him as we went back down another hill. He had a 2 point lead on me going into this race and I was able to squeak past him and finish ahead this time, with another runner finishing between us, which resulted in us being tied for 2nd place in the series. Next week is another series race and it’s a hybrid of trail and road. I almost never run trails and Andy does, so look for me to definitely fall out of the tie for 2nd place next week, but it was nice while it lasted.

Current YMCA series standings (top 10).

Race Number:  399

Race Name:  Run Around Downtown 5k and 2-Mile Walk

Location:  Bessemer City, North Carolina

Date:  October 7, 2017

Race Rating:  77

Winners (Top 10):

Course:  Through downtown Bessemer City and along some neighborhoods. Not terribly hilly but definitely not flat.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, 100% humidity.

Full Race Results:

 

My Stats:

Time:  22:25
Pace:  7:14
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall: 7 of 36
Average Heart Rate:  155
Maximum Heart Race:  169
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:29  (74.28%)

***************
* 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
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)
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
4 – 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
1 – 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
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:  77

Race #398 – Novant Health 15k/5k – Charlotte, NC – 10/01/17

I first ran this race back in 2009 when it was called the LungStrong 15k, and I’ve run it several times since then. It’s a popular autumn race and one of the few times most local runners get to run a 15k race (9.3 miles). There’s also a 5k option that starts just after the 15k, and this year the 5k had 367 finishers while the 15k had 471 finishers, a total of 838, which is close to the same number of runners in 2009. For many runners, the 15k distance provides a good test for their upcoming half or full marathons later in the fall.

It’s a pretty course mostly through the upscale neighborhoods on the Lake Norman peninsula just north of Charlotte. It’s one of those races that draws lots of runners from a wide radius so it’s always fun to meet up with running friends I don’t get to see at the local Gaston County races.

There’s a big after-race party with music and vendor tents providing samples of their wares, and the awards ceremony is good although the age group awards are just so-so. This year it was a water bottle and a towel of some sort — I wasn’t really sure what it was or what it could be used for but maybe that’s just because I’m an old man and out of the loop.

I did have a pretty good race though. I’m currently about 10 pounds lighter than a few months ago and seem to be holding at that point even though I’d like to nudge the scale down another 5 pounds or so, which would put me in the 140-145 range. My time this year was 1:10:23, which was enough for 1st place in the 65-69 age group, and 50 seconds faster than last year. Of course it’s much slower than I ran in the same race in 2011 at age 59 (1:04:47 – 6:57 pace), but that’s one of the fringe benefits of aging. I compared my age grade percentage from this year (74.71%) with 2011 (76.64%) and on an age-graded basis I’m a little behind now, but the fall of 2011 was when I ran my best times at several distances.

So this ends two weeks of running two different races each weekend, which included a 5k, a 10k, a 15k, and a half marathon. I didn’t plan it that way and didn’t even notice it until after I had completed all of the races, but I thought it was interesting. I’m now ready to go back to one race per week, which is what I prefer.

Race Number:  398

Race Name:  Novant Health 15k/5k

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina (Cornelius/Lake Norman)

Date:  October 1, 2017

Race Rating:  101

Winners:

 

Course:  Not too hilly but definitely not flat with 334 feet of elevation climb over the course of the race. You can see the elevation data in my splits below. Notice also in the split data that the race measured about 0.15 of a mile too long, at least according to my Garmin.

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 50 degrees (felt like 48), 6 mph NNE wind, 76% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Official Race Photos

 

My Stats:

Time:  1:10:23
Pace:  7:34 (7:27 on my Garmin… Course was 0.15 miles long)
Age Group:  1 of 7
Overall:  43 of 471
Average Heart Rate:  157
Maximum Heart Race:  166
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  54:46 (74.71%)

 

Thanks to my friend Kaye Sostak for catching this pic of me near the finish line!

***************
* 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
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
0 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes (0.15/mile long)
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
5 – 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)
2 – 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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  101

Race #397 – Run for Hope 5k – Shelby NC – 09/30/17

This was the second year of this small 5k about 20 miles up the road in Shelby at Hope Community Church, which is just on the outskirts of town. I ran it last year and enjoyed it so I decided to go back this year too. Several friends ran it, which always adds to the appeal, and it’s an almost completely flat course with very few turns.

Post race food was great and the awards were held in the church’s activity center. The weather was fine outside but you never know when it might be cold or rainy so having an inside spot for post-race activities is a good thing.

The one drawback for the race was traffic control. There were times during the race that runners had to cross fairly busy intersections where, as far as I could tell, there was no indication to drivers that a race was going on and there were no volunteers or officers to direct traffic. At one intersection I had to go around the back of a car because I could tell the driver didn’t see me. I don’t think there were any major problems but the race started fairly late (9:00 a.m.) and by then there was quite a bit of traffic on the streets.

There were no major speedsters there and I was lucky to finish 4th overall, finishing just a few seconds after the 2nd and 3rd place runners. There were especially nice awards for the top 3 runners (both male and female) but I missed out on that. The medal for the normal age group awards was pretty nice too though.

Race Number:  397

Race Name:  Run for Hope 5k

Location:  Shelby, North Carolina (Hope Community Church)

Date:  September 30, 2017

Race Rating:  78

Winners (Top 10):

 

Course:  Almost pancake flat, through the outskirts of downtown Shelby. Nice streets but there needed to be more traffic control.

 

Elevation:

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

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  22:33
Pace:  7:17
Age Group:  1 of 4
Overall:  4 of 85
Average Heart Rate:  158
Maximum Heart Race:  167
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:35 (73.84%)

***************
* 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
0 – 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
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
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
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
7 – 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
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
x – 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:  78

 

Race #396 – Race 13.1 Charlotte Half Marathon – 09/24/17

This was the inaugural race in Charlotte for the Race 13.1 series and about 1,500 runners showed up for the half marathon and 8k combined. This was my second Race 13.1 series race in the past month (I ran the one in Greenville last month) so I collected an extra medal for running both races. If there is one thing this racing series excels in it’s the great medals, so it’s a great draw for the bling fans.

Post-race food included pizza and chocolate milk, which pretty much says it all for me. I’ve been in weight-loss mode for the last couple months so I’m trying to stay away from pizza, but a couple slices after a half marathon hit the spot. I can worry about eating healthy tomorrow.

The race course was predominantly along the McMullen Creek Greenway, which is a popular running area that I’ve been on quite a few times in other races (Charlotte 10-Miler in particular) and the unsanctioned half marathons that are held by some of the Charlotte runners.

I’m hoping to run at least one more Race 13.1 event this year since they have a series that requires three races in order to make your score official, but I’m not sure there’s one I can fit in. As always, so many races, so little time.

Race Number: 396

Race Name: Race 13.1 Charlotte

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Date: September 24, 2017

Race Rating:  106

Winners (Top 20 – Half Marathon):

Winners (Top 20 – 8k):

Course:  Mostly along the McMullen Creek Greenway in South Charlotte. Mostly paved but dirt sections can be a mess when it’s rainy. Nice weather today so no slop. Not too many hills but about 400 feet of total elevation gain in the half marathon.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

Time:  1:44:06
Pace:  7:56
Age Group:  1 of 5
Overall: 93 of 837
Average Heart Rate:  154
Maximum Heart Race: 170
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:09 (71.95%)

Great medals for this race! Today I picked up a finishers medal, a special medal for completing the two races of the Interstate 85 Challenge, and a medal for winning my age group!

***************
* 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
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
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)
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)
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
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
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  106

Race #395 – Stop Soldier Suicide 10k/5k – Belmont NC – 09/23/17

After the big trip to Texas it was good to get back home to the local races. This one’s fun and well organized, and it’s one of the few 10k opportunities in Gaston County. It’s also the third race of eight in the Gaston County YMCA fall racing series, and since I’m trying to run all of the series races this fall I definitely didn’t want to miss it, even though I’m already registered for a half marathon the next day.

I felt good and ran my fastest 10k in two years (46:48), which surprised me and probably a couple people I passed in the race, and I bumped up to 3rd overall in the YMCA race series, only 2 points behind 2nd place.

Last year there was a little bit of a snafu with the 5k race, with some runners missing the turnaround, but this year everything seemed to go smoothly.

There were a total of 286 runners in the two races (115 in the 10k and 171 in the 5k). Even though the 5k has more runners, the 10k tends to draw some fast runners who are trying to collect some of the cash prizes offered for the top three male and female runners. There’s no cash for the 5k race, and I didn’t have a chance to win any in the 10k, but for the YMCA race series, the 10k runners receive 15 bonus points for running the longer distance.

Race Number:  395

Race Name:  Stop Soldier Suicide 10k/5k

Location: Belmont, North Carolina

Date: September 23, 2017

Race Rating:  92

Winners (10k Top 20):

Winners (5k Top 20):

Course: Mostly through neighborhoods around Belmont. Not very hilly. The 5k course was out-and-back.

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start: Sunny, 68 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Race Results:

 

My Stats:

Time:  46:48
Pace:  7:31
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  16 of 115
Average Heart Rate:  156
Maximum Heart Race:  165
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  36:22 (73.47%)

***************
* 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)
2 – 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
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
6 – 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
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
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
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
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:   92

Race #394 – Toughest 10k Kemah – Houston, Texas – 09/17/17

It’s not often that I visit Texas, so this was a special trip and a special race for me. My wife’s brother has lived here for many years and since time seems to be going more quickly as we all age, we decided to pay him and his family a visit. Of course, I planned the trip around a race, and I found the Toughest 10k, which looked to be a fun race and quite a challenge. It’s also a fairly large race, with 1,882 finishers this year, and it’s been chosen as next year’s RRCA National Championship 10k.

We paid in advance for our flight on Southwest Airlines, our hotel, and the race, and for all of them I chose the cheapest price, which meant they were all non-refundable. That seemed reasonable at the time I made the reservations a few months earlier, but I didn’t take into account that it’s hurricane season, and on August 25th (three weeks before the race) Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area with record flooding. From North Carolina it looked like if we made the trip we’d be standing in line to get bottled water, but it turned out that just three weeks after the disastrous flooding things looked pretty good in Houston, and although there were people and businesses who lost everything in the flooding, the nation’s fourth largest city was somewhat back to business as usual.

As I hoped it would be, the race was fun but it was definitely a challenge. I couldn’t wait to check my Garmin stats and see the elevation stats. I was just a little freaked out when I read the stats: 14 feet of elevation gain and 10 feet of elevation loss. After I regained my composure I did some research online to see what happened. Turns out there’s a logical explanation for the lack of elevation data. My Garmin watch only takes into account the topographic data available and does not measure the bridge or its elevation, so even though I’m climbing up the bridge my Garmin thinks I’m on the ground below the bridge.

I read elsewhere that the Kemah bridge is actually 83 feet high, with a 4.3% grade going in one direction and a 5.0% grade in the opposite direction. We made four complete trips over the bridge, and in addition to that we ran under the bridge and back up, which must have been another 20-30 feet of uphill on each trip. Whatever the actual elevation, I had to stop and take one or two walk breaks on each uphill section, which didn’t help my time a lot but I was pretty happy with my time of 50:45, which was 1st in my age group and 87th overall out of 1,882 finishers.

Race Number:  394

Race Name:  Toughest 10k Kemah

Location:  Kemah, Texas (Just outside Houston)

Date: September 17, 2017

Race Rating:  121  (That could be a record!)

Winners:

My Age Group (65-69):

Course:  Flat and fast except for the four passes over the Kemah Bridge.

 

To give you a better idea of the race location, here’s a map of the area. The Kemah Boardwalk is on the Galveston Bay. At the top of the bridge there is a view of Galveston Bay on one side and Clear Lake on the other side. Unfortunately I was so concerned with getting over the bridge I didn’t bother to look.

Elevation:

I was kind of mortified when I saw this elevation chart, but as I explained above there was more to the elevation story.

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 75 degrees, 89% humidity.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Professional Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

Time:  50:45 (chip time)
Pace:  8:10
Age Group:  1 of 19
Overall: 87 of 1,882
Average Heart Rate:  166
Maximum Heart Race: 178
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  39:26 (67.75%)

***************
* 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
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!
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
3 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
5 – 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
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
1 – 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
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  121

I had the pleasure of meeting and starting the race with Ben Harvie (#1787), a Houston running legend and elite marathoner and triathlete who has been a member of Team USA at the ITU (International Triathlon Union) World Championships for many years. He’s also a well known Houston lawyer and all-around nice guy (as great runners tend to be). He won the 70-74 age group and beat me by 2 minutes.

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