Race #439 – Run Around Downtown 5k – Bessemer City NC – 10/06/18

Thanks to being 8 or 10 pounds lighter after dieting for a month, I managed to run my fastest 5k of 2018 with a time of 22:56. It’s my fastest time at age 66 and it would be great if I could knock off about 10 more pounds and maybe get under 22:00, but I’m not sure I can stick with the diet for that long. I sure am hungry.

The weather was warm and muggy (72 degrees and 100% humidity) but I like it that way, and I think this was the first race I’ve run this year without taking any walk breaks.

Race Number:  439

Race Name:  Run Around Downtown 5k

Location:  Bessemer City, North Carolina

Date:  October 6, 2018

Race Rating:  75

Winners (Top 25):

Course:

So this is what happens when you forget to reset your watch until the next day when you’re out for another run in a different location.

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  22:56
Pace:  7:32
Age Group:  1 of 3
Overall:  12 of 47
Average Heart Rate: 157
Maximum Heart Rate:  170
Age Grade Percentage:  73.84%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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
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
0 – 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
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  75

Race #438 – Food & Friends 5k – Gastonia NC – 09/29/18

This race replaced the Run for Honduras 5k that has been held for the past several years as a fundraiser for the programs at Chapel Grove Baptist Church, which is near Crowders Mountain just west of Gastonia. It’s part of our local race series for the first time this year, but because of some weather cancellations it ended up on the same day as another series race, which affected the number of runners for both races.

They always have great food, especially donuts, but I’m once again trying to lose weight so I managed to be somewhat happy just eating a banana after the race. I did lose around 5-7 pounds leading up to this race, and after some recent 25+ minute 5k’s I was happy to squeak in at just under 24 minutes with a time of 23:51.

Race Number:  438

Race Name:  Food & Friends 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina (Chapel Grove Baptist Church)

Date:  September 29, 2018

Race Rating:

Winners (Top 25):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  23:51
Pace:  7:40
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  10 of 50
Average Heart Rate:  157
Maximum Heart Rate:  171
Age Grade Percentage:  71%

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

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

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

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

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

REST ROOMS
0 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
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
0 – 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
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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  82

Race #437 – Stop Soldier Suicide 10k/5k – Belmont NC – 09/22/18

This race is quickly becoming one of Gaston County’s best races. I think this was the fourth year of the race and each year it has gotten better. There’s money for the top 3 overall male and female runners, more than a thousand free photos provided by two professional photographers, cold wet towels at about 5 miles into the 10k that were appreciated on this hot and muggy day, and of course it’s a good cause. There were 163 finishers in the 5k and another 109 in the 10k for a total count of 272 finishers for both races.

I had lost a few pounds on WeightWatchers (again) so I hoped to break 50 minutes. Although I missed it by a few seconds (50:03) and I was about 4 minutes slower than last year (ouch), I felt okay about it since I’ve been running some 5k’s over 25 minutes lately.

Race Number:  437

Race Name:  Stop Soldier Suicide 10k/5k

Location:  Belmont, North Carolina

Date:  September 22, 2018

Race Rating:  109

Top Ten Finishers (5k):

Top Ten Finishers (10k):

Course:

Elevation by Miles (10k):

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos by Stephanie Lane on Facebook

Click Here for Race Photos by Sandy Lawrence on SmugMug

My Stats:

Time:  50:03
Pace:  8:05
Age Group (65-69):  1 of 2
Overall:  20 of 109
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Rate:  170
Age Grade Percentage:  70.4%

 

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – 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
0 – 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
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:  109

Race #436 – Run for One 5k – Cramerton, NC – 09/08/18

When I first ran this race last year it was partly trail and partly on the streets of Cramerton. This year the entire race was on the streets, which was definitely an improvement as far as I was concerned. The race is put on by Lifeline Children’s Services of North Carolina, an organization provides domestic and international adoptions, birth mother counseling and care to orphans around the world. It’s a worthy cause, and several adoptive mothers spoke just before the awards ceremony.

Things went pretty smoothly although there were a couple of hiccups. Quite a few runners missed a detour off the road that added a tenth of a mile or so to the distance. I didn’t miss it but I was still short by about a tenth of a mile, and a few of us surmised that it would have been right if we would have run around the parking lot towards the end.

The biggest snafu, almost an unpardonable sin, was that there were no separate awards for overall male and female. The age group awards were male and female but for some reason the Top 3 Overall was combined, which resulted in three men getting the top 3 spots and and top 3 women only winning their respective age groups. Ouch. It didn’t affect me but it couldn’t have made the top 3 women too happy. It would have been much better to just recognize the top male and top female overall (not the top 3).

Race Number:  436

Race Name:  Run for One 5k

Location:  Cramerton, North Carolina

Date:  09/08/18

Race Rating:  64

Winners (Top 25 Overall):

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  23:25
Pace:  7:32
Age Group:  2 of 4
Overall:  18 of 102
Average Heart Rate:  157
Maximum Heart Rate:  170
Age Grade Percentage:  72.31%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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
5 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
0 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes  *(about 1/10 mile short)
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
3 – 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
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
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:  64

Race #435 – Jaycees Labor Day 5k – Belmont, NC – 09/03/18

In its inaugural year, this new Labor Day race begins and ends at Rivermen Brewery in Belmont. It’s a straight shot on the out-and-back course down to the river and back. It’s a long gradual downhill run for more than a half mile going down to the water, but climbing back up the same hill got old quickly, especially with the heat index being a blazing 85 degrees at the start of this 9 a.m. race. The effect of the heat was compounded by the lack of shade along the course, but I actually liked the out-and-back straight course.

Once again my time was slow, reaching the finish line at 25:23. I’d really like to get back to the 23-minute range for the 5k, but I guess I need to concentrate on getting back under 25 minutes. I didn’t count the times, but I walked a lot, and much of the last mile consisted of me getting passed by my friend Chris Eason as I walked, then passing him up as I started running again. We probably did that five or six times.

There wasn’t a lot of free food after the race but the brewery was serving brunch, and a lot of the runners took advantage of that.

There were 112 finishers in the race and that’s not bad for a first year race. It’s the only local Labor Day race that’s left and it’s a good one, so I hope it’ll become an annual event.

Race Number:  435

Race Name:  Jaycees Labor Day 5k

Location:  Belmont, North Carolina

Date:  September 3, 2018

Race Rating:

Winners:

Course:

Elevation and My Mile Splits:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  25:23
Pace:  8:10
Age Group:  1 of 3
Overall:  21 of 112
Average Heart Rate:  158
Maximum Heart Rate:  172
Age Grade Percentage:  66.71%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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!
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
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)
3 – 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)
6 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
0 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

TOTAL:  83

Race #434 – Pardee Apple Festival 8k – Hendersonville NC – 09/01/18

This was my third year in a row to run this great 8k race that is held on the same weekend as the huge Apple Festival in Hendersonville. By the time the race is over the festival is getting going, and it’s one of biggest fall festivals in Western North Carolina.

This is not a big race but it’s not small either, with 240 finishers in the 8k and another 100 or so in the 5k. I’m a fan of medium-sized races like this one. It’s big enough to feel substantial but small enough that I can find folks I know and not get completely lost in the crowd, and it’s great to park near the start and finish line.

The 8k course isn’t flat but not nearly as hilly as you might suspect since it’s in the mountains. Elevation gain was measured by my Garmin as 269 feet in the approximately 5 miles.

As for me, I won my age group but was more than 4 minutes slower than last year. In sixteen 8k races I’ve run over the years it was only the second time I’ve finished in over 40 minutes, and the other time was a race where I got lost and ran more than a mile off course. At that race I was only 3 seconds slower than this one.

Instead of a regular T-shirt, the shirt this year was a really nice dark blue Brooks singlet (tech material)… Something I’ll actually wear!

One of the great perks in this race is that members of the Camera Club of Hendersonville take race photos and they’re posted on the festival Facebook page and can be downloaded for free. If you’ve ever purchased race photos, you probably know that the cost of one or two pics can easily be more   expensive than the entry fee to the race. I met one of the photographers (Bob Coffey) at the race and he was kind enough to give me his card and told me to send him a note and he’d send me the pics he took of me. As I write this on Wednesday morning following the race I still haven’t seen the photos posted online, but once they’re up I’ll provide a link below.

Race Number:  434

Race Name:  Pardee Apple Festival 8k & 5k

Location:  Hendersonville, North Carolina

Date:  September 1, 2018

Race Rating:  102

Winners (Top 25 Overall):

Course:

Elevation and My Mile Splits:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos on Facebook (Pending)

My Stats:

Time:   40:48
Pace:  8:13
Age Group:  1 of 5
Overall:  61 of 240
Average Heart Rate:  160
Maximum Heart Rate:  168
Age Grade Percentage:  68.18%

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

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

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
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) *Nice Brooks Singlet!
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – 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
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:  102

Race #433 – Yaisou Greek Festival 5k – Charlotte NC – 08/25/18

With my last three 5k races being over 24 minutes and having walked twelve times in last week’s race, I did a little soul-searching on how I might possibly turn the tide. Last week I had completely forgotten to check my heart rate as I ran the race, which I was pretty sure the reason I walked so much (guess I should have figured that out earlier). Anyway, I decided to be sure to monitor my heart rate throughout the race this time and keep it at a manageable pace, which should result in less walking although possibly slower running. That worked out fine and I did manage to finish slightly under 24 minutes with a finishing time of 23:57. Better yet, I didn’t walk at all during the race so even though I finished 4th in the 65-69 age group I was actually pretty pleased with the result. Last year in the same race I finished 2nd with a time of 21:58, and ordinarily a 2-minute slowdown over a year’s time in a 5k would be depressing, but I felt pretty good seeing that I turned my recently dismal race time around a little bit.

This is one of Charlotte’s fastest races, with all of the fast folks showing up. The top 15 runners were all under 17 minutes, and the first 59 out of the 1,102 finishers were under 20 minutes.

I’m hoping over the next few weeks to drop a few pounds (what else is new?) and do better during the fall racing season.

Race Number:  433

Race Name:  Yaisou Greek Festival 5k

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina

Date:  August 25, 2018

Race Rating:  98

Winners (Top 8 Overall):

Course:

Elevation and Mile Splits:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from Marathon-Photos

My Stats:

Time:  23:57
Pace:  7:43
Age Group:  4 of 22
Overall:  190 of 1,102
Average Heart Rate:  162
Maximum Heart Rate:  174
Age Grade Percentage:  70.7%

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip & Gun 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
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
6 – 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)
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
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:  98

Race #432 – Bluefish 5k – Clinton, CT – 08/18/18

I achieved somewhat of a Personal Record in this race by walking 12 times. If you don’t want to do the math, that’s four walk breaks every mile in a three-mile race. It was warm and humid (75 degrees and 94% humidity) but the course was pretty flat and I was even flatter. My time of 25:38 was my slowest time for a normal 5k in about 9 years, which was disappointing, but I need to keep reminding myself that I’m getting older (now 66) but in a few years 25:38 will surely seem a lot faster than it does now.

This was my annual race in Connecticut, where I visit my daughter about this time each year, and she ran the race with me. You may remember that she was my original inspiration for starting to run back in 2008 when she encouraged me to lose some weight and run a 5k with her. She’s not really a runner but is always in shape and does well, and this was our fourth race together.

The 5k course was actually pretty flat despite and second mile being mostly on a street called Long Hill Road. To me at the time, it did seem like a long (but not steep) hill, but looking at the elevation measured by my Garmin it really wasn’t that bad. Throughout the race as I walked I was passed by numerous older guys who I thought might be in my age group and I was right about that, finishing 6th in the 60-69 division. It was a little bit of consolation to see in the results that all of the runners ahead of me were under 65, so if there had been 5-year age groups I would have actually come in 1st in the 65-69 division.

During the last quarter mile of the race it occurred to me that I had not paid any attention to my heart rate during the race. If you’ve followed any of my races in the past, since my second year of running I’ve gone according to my heart rate and it’s always worked fairly well for me. Sometimes I have other things on my mind and just start running without thinking about it, and once I thought about it I realized it was most likely why I walked so much during the race. I decided to be much more aware of it for my next race to see if it makes a difference.

Race Number:  432

Race Name:  Steward’s Ace Hardware Bluefish 5k

Location:  Clinton, Connecticut

Date:  August 18, 2018

Race Rating:  67

Winners:

Course:

Elevation and Mile Splits:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  25:38
Pace:   8:15
Age Group (60-69):  6 of 22
Overall:  61 of 270
Average Heart Rate:  162
Maximum Heart Rate: 174
Age Graded Percentage:  66.06%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
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
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

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

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
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 (*Remote Location)
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:  67

Race #431 – 7th Inning Stretch 5k – Shelby, NC – 08/11/18

This 5k is held in conjunction with the 7th Inning Stretch Festival, which is held to celebrate the American Legion World Series held in Shelby each year. This was the sixth year of the race and I ran it two years ago and enjoyed it. I missed it last year because we were out of town but was glad to be here for it this year.

For the second year in a row, 50% of the registration proceeds from the race went to the family of fallen Shelby police officer Tim Brackeen, who was killed in the line of duty.

There were quite a few fast runners in the field, most notably Tom McCormack, who’ll be 65 next month. On this muggy day (100% humidity) his time was 17:43, only 12 seconds over the American 5k record for a 65-year-old. He told me he’ll be running a flatter 5k this fall where he’s trying to break the American record. At 60 he broke the American 5k record with a 16:58 time in the 5k, becoming the first runner over 60 to run under 17:00.

As for the mere mortals like myself, I had done pretty well sticking to my diet the previous week so I hoped I would run better, but nope, I finished at a disappointing 24:25. I suppose in a couple years I’ll look back and wish for a time in the 24’s. I’m still hoping to get back under 24:00 as the cooler autumn temperatures arrive.

One odd thing happened along the race course. At a major intersection there was a policeman directing traffic, and at least part of the time he was stopping runners and letting the traffic go by. That’s weird, and something I’ve never seen happen in a race. Uh, it’s a race. The cars are supposed to stop for the runners.

Race Number:  431

Race Name:  7th Inning Stretch 5k

Location:  Shelby, North Carolina

Date:  August 11, 2018

Race Rating:  81

Winners (Top 25 Overall):

Great… They misspelled my name.

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for  FREE Race Photos from The Victorian Rose Studio

 

My Stats:

Time:  24:25
Pace:  7:51
Age Group (65-69):  1 of 6
Overall:  19 of 168
Average Heart Rate:  161
Maximum Heart Rate:  176
Age Graded Equivalent Time:

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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.]
0 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good  (*A couple people took wrong turns!)
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!
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)
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
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)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
0 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
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
7 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

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

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

TOTAL:  81

 

Race #430 – The Scream! Half Marathon – Jonas Ridge NC – 07/21/18

When I decided to retire from running half marathons a couple months ago, the one thing that made me rethink my retirement was this race. I’ve registered for it every year since it began although I missed a couple times — once for an injury and another time because of the weather. I had registered for it several months ago and really didn’t want to miss it again because it’s one of my favorite races.

As much as I love it, it’s not without its drawbacks. For one, it’s one of the hardest races to get to, but in an odd way getting there is half the fun. You park at Brown Mountain Beach, which is in the middle of nowhere, then take a bus to the starting line in Jonas Ridge which is about a 30-minute bus ride. Then after you run the race you take another bus from the finish line back to Brown Mountain Beach. That may sound complicated, and it is, but it seems like every year there are new people to meet on the bus or old friends to catch up with who also run the race every year.

Of course, the big draw of the race is that you run from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the mountain. It’s not all downhill though. The first 3 miles or so are rolling hills on a paved mountain road, followed by 8 miles of mostly downhill running on a gravel service road, followed by 2 miles that are mostly flat to the finish.

It’s usually a fast race for most runners, and the first time I ran it I had a Personal Record, finishing at 1:32:11, and it remained my PR for quite a while. This year I ran into a problem quickly: I broke one of the basic rules of racing and wore a pair of new trail shoes that I purchased earlier in the week. Ouch… About halfway through the race my left foot felt like there was a rock in my shoe. I stopped three times over the final 6 or 7 miles of the race to remove my shoe and get rid of the rock. Each time I didn’t find a rock and as soon as I started running again not only did it feel like the rock was still there, but the pain increased with every additional step. Considering that an average person takes more than 1,000 steps while running a mile, it made for a rather unpleasant journey through the last half of the race.

As I ran the race I didn’t know what my foot looked like. All I knew was that it hurt and felt like there was a rock or something at the bottom of my foot that I couldn’t get rid of. I managed to keep going and finished in 1:48:24, which was good enough for 2nd place in my age group and only about a minute from 1st place, so I felt pretty good about that.

When I got on the bus to go back to Brown Mountain Beach, I got a chance to speak with Bill Johncock, who in addition to being a great runner is also a podiatrist. I told him what it felt like and told him I’d heard from other runners that when they first developed plantar fasciitis it felt like there was a rock in their shoe. I asked Bill if I could develop PF right in the middle of a race and he said it’s possible. That’s kind of a scary diagnosis since I’ve never had it in the past and I’ve known other runners who have been sidelined by PF in the past and some were never able to recover from it.

Once back at Brown Mountain Beach I ate with some friends (great catered food!) and afterwards we waited for the awards ceremony. While we waited I decided to remove my left shoe and sock to see what my foot looked like. Ouch. Turns out it wasn’t a rock at all, but a huge blister had developed on the bottom of my foot, and with all of the downhill running the top layer of skin peeled back towards my heel. I was actually relieved to find out that is what was causing the pain instead of plantar fasciitis. I should be back to normal in a week or two.

Race Number:  430

Race Name:  The Scream! Half Marathon

Location:  Jonas Ridge to Mortimer, North Carolina

Date:  July 21, 2018

Race Rating:  81

Winners (Top 20 Overall):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time: 1:48:24
Pace:  8:16
Age Group:  2 of 7
Overall:  92 of 286
Average Heart Rate: 158
Maximum Heart Rate: 169
Age Graded Percentage:  71.53%

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OTHER
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:   81