Race #429 – Common Heart Firecracker Run 10k/5k – Lake Park NC – 07/04/18

I ran this race last year and liked it so I returned this year. It’s a nice flat course in a pleasant upscale neighborhood, and the race is managed nicely. With a half marathon coming up in a couple weeks I decided to run the 10k option, which is two loops of the 5k. The 10k began about 15 minutes before the 5k so there was very little interaction between the two races except for having to pass some of the slower 5k runners who were finishing the 5k as some runners were finishing the 10k.

With only around 300 finishers in the 10k and 5k combined, it’s a much smaller alternative to the big Charlotte 4-mile race downtown that has around 1,300 finishers, but I tend to prefer the smaller races over the larger ones, at least this time around.

Race Number:  429

Race Name:  Common Heart Firecracker Run 5k/10k

Location:  Lake Park, NC (Indian Trail, NC)

Date:  July 4, 2018

Race Rating:  96

Winners:

Participants:

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

Free race photos, which is always a fantastic perk!

My Stats:

Time:  49:21
Pace:  7:56
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  15 of 85
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Rate:  171
Age Grade Percentage:  71.39%

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

RACE COURSE
3 – 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
2 – 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
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)
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
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

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

TOTAL:  96

Race #428 – Cat’s Cradle 5k/10k – Morganton, NC – 06/23/18

Although it’s a little more than an hour’s drive from home, it’s one of the Gaston County Runners favorite races of the year and we typically have 20 or more runners make the drive. It’s a great race with a good cause (if you like cats). It’s an almost completely flat course along the greenway, and the pleasant venue at Catawba Meadows Park along with good food, door prizes, and 5-year age group awards always make for a fun Saturday morning.

The flat course is offset a bit by the warm temperatures because of the late race start (8:30 a.m.) and generally high humidity, so I’m never surprised that my times tend to be a little slow at this race, but I’m getting used to that no matter what the circumstances.

Race Number:  428

Race Name:  Cat’s Cradle 5k & 10k

Location:  Morganton, North Carolina

Date:  June 23, 2018

Race Rating:  90

Top 10 (10k):

Top 10 (5k):

Course (5k):

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  24:25
Pace:  7:51
Age Group:  1/5
Overall:  7/100
Average Heart Rate:  156
Maximum Heart Rate:  166
Age Grade Percentage:   69.35%

***************
* 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
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

AWARDS
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
6 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – 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)
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
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
0 – 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:  90

Race #427 – Run the South Half Marathon – Charlotte, NC – 06/16/18

Last month I announced my retirement from half marathons. I’m getting old, it hurts too much, I’m slower, yada, yada. So this month I noticed there’s a new half marathon in Charlotte and I figured it’s a sign from God that I should get back into the half marathon. I guess I just came to grips with the fact that I enjoy the extra tinge of excitement you get with running a longer race, so I’ll probably keep on running some half marathons even though I’m kinda falling apart around 6 or 7 miles into the race. My time at this one wasn’t great but was a few seconds faster than the one last month, and I’m still under 2 hours so that provides a bit of satisfaction.

I registered only a week or so before the race and when I picked up my bib at the race they told me they’ll mail me a shirt since I registered late. Okay. I won’t hold my breath, but it’s a pretty nice shirt so it’ll be a nice surprise if they do send it. Oh, they also announced they’d send the finisher medals in the mail since they were all misprinted with the wrong city (Greensboro instead of Charlotte). So that’ll be another nice surprise if I get it.

Race Number:  427

Race Name:  Run the South Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina (UNCC area)

Date:  June 16, 2018

Race Rating:  83

Winners:

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

The elevation gain and loss columns shows there weren’t a lot of flat spots on the course although the greenway was pretty flat. There were a couple miles of gravel path on the greenway which weren’t a problem since it was dry.

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  1:52:07
Pace:  8:33
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  32 of 194
Average Heart Rate:  155
Maximum Heart Rate:  162
Age Grade Percent:  69.15%

***************
* 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
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0* – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals
*(will change this if medals are actually mailed as promised)

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
1* – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
*(5 porta potties for about 500 runners — not enough!)
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
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
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:  83

 

 

Race #426 – Lake Wylie Splash Dash 5k/10k – Lake Wylie, SC – 06/09/18

My Garmin watch says there is 154 feet of elevation gain in this race, but everything else in me says there’s way more than that. I ran the 5k option in this race held in the gated community called River Hills, and the entire neighborhood reminds me of a roller coaster, with lots of steep uphills and downhills and very few flat spots.

The weather was warm and humidity was at 94%, but I have no complaints since that’s the way I like it. To offset the warm temperature and high humidity there are lots of trees to provide shade throughout most of the race as well as at the finish line.

There were 5-year age groups — YAY! — but only up to age 60 — BOO! So I was in the 60-99 age group. I’m proud to report I beat all of the 99-year-olds, but sadly I lost the age group by 3 seconds to a 60-year-old.

Race Number:  426

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

Location:  Lake Wylie, SC

Date:  June 9, 2018

Race Rating:  62

Top 10 (5k):

Top 10 (10k):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  23:49
Pace:  7:40
Age Group:  2 of 7
Overall:  11 of 82
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Rate:  172
Age Grade Percentage:  70.5%

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

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

POST RACE
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
6 – 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
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
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  62

Race #425 – Jog in the Jungle – Gastonia NC – 06/02/18

I’m no big fan of trail races, but this one was part of the local race series so I figured I’d go for it. It was held on the cross-country trail at Forestview High School and most of the participants were from the high school.

Actually I seem to be developing a little bit of appreciation for the trails lately, and despite ankle deep mud for about 100 yards (that we had to run through twice) and numerous sloppy portions throughout the race, it was kinda fun and I didn’t twist an ankle or do a face plant, so there’s that.

Race Number:  425

Race Name:  Jog in the Jungle 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina (Forestview High School)

Date:  June 2, 2018

Race Rating:  74

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos (122 Photos from Chris Eason)

My Stats:

Time:  25:24
Pace:  8:12
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  19 of 72
Average Heart Rate:  158
Maximum Heart Rate:  169
Age Graded Percentage:  66:67%

***************
* 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
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)
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
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
3 – 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
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
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

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

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
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:  74

Race #424 – Belmont Classic 5k – Belmont, NC – 05/26/18

This has been one of my favorite races for a number of years. It’s always the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend and for me that means it’ll be warm at races for the next few months. It’s no secret that I’m a warm weather runner so it suits me perfectly. In the past this race has had its share of snafus, but this year everything worked out well. The weather was a little rainy just before the race, which probably kept the crowd down a bit, but it stayed dry during the race and post-race as well.

I was actually pretty happy with my time of 23:23, which is a time that would have made me cringe not that long ago. Nowadays though, with a number of 24:00+ times anything under that is sounding better and better. I’d still like to lose a few pounds and get back under 23:00, but as time goes by that looks less likely. Happy to still be racing though!

Race Number:  424

Race Name:  Belmont Classic 5k

Location:  Belmont, North Carolina

Date:  May 26, 2018

Race Rating:  80

Winners:

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  23:23
Pace:  7:32
Age Group (65-69):  1 of 5
Overall: 21 of 134
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Rate:  169
Age Grading:  72.42%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
0 – 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!
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
7 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

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

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
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
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:  80

Race #423 – Global 6k for Water – Gastonia, NC – 05/19/18

This was a different type of race in many ways. It was a worldwide race with tens of thousands of participants running and walking for clean water, as organized by World Vision International, but on the local level it was directed by Rev. Ray Hardee of The Pointe Church in Belmont. Ray is also an avid runner and racer, and he did a great job as race director, with plenty of good food, entertainment, and door prizes as well as 5-year age groups.

I’ve never been a fan of running trails, and this race was probably around two-thirds trails — the cross-country trails of Gaston Christian School. I wouldn’t have normally even signed up a for a trail race but since this one was part of the local race series I went for it, and I’m glad I did. It was one of the few trail races I’ve ever run and for the first time I actually enjoyed the trail!

In past years I’ve always avoided trails partly because I’m not fond of tripping and falling or twisting an ankle, but also because of having to run a slower pace and messing up my 5k (or whatever distance) times. My fastest race times are now behind me, and this trail didn’t have a lot of rocks and roots to get tripped up on, so it was fun just running. There was some mud due to the recent rain and quite a few of those nagging little hills most trails have, but overall it was an enjoyable experience that I’ll do again next year if they have it.

Race Number:  423

Race Name:  World Vision Global 6k for Water

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina (Campus and trail of Gaston Christian School)

Date:  May 19, 2018

Race Rating:  88

Winners (Top 25 Overall):

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

As you can see on the chart below, I forgot to turn off my watch at the end of the race for more than an hour and a half, which kind of messes up the final stats.

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  30:43
Pace:  8:14
Age Group (60-and-Over):  1 of 6
Overall:  8 of 125

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

RACE COURSE
3 – 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!
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
0 – 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)
0 – 65+ group (1)
0 – 70+ group (1)
0 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
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
7 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
3 – 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)
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
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
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:  88

Race #422 – Goat Island 5k – Cramerton, NC – 05/12/18

The Goat Island 5k is a brand new race in nearby Cramerton, which is less than a 10-minute drive from home for me. The race runs through the small town and Goat Island Park, up around the new high school, through some neighborhoods, and back to town for the finish in the center of town.

The weather in the 70s was too hot for some runners but just right for me. The hills aren’t too bad but there seem to be very few flat areas in Cramerton — it’s either up or down all along the way.

The 5k was just one part of a whole series of events called “The Goat Island Games,” which also featured a fishing tournament, horseshoes, and other fun family stuff. It’s something I hope they’ll continue in the future.

One outstanding perk this race offered was the free professional photography! Free pics are always great and the quality of these was excellent!

As for my race performance, it wasn’t great although I did manage to win the 60-and-over division with a time of 24:30, but not without a good measure of grief as I tried to stay ahead of my competition, mostly friends who have been nearby in recent races (Dianne Allen, Walt Talley, Robert Harriss). We’re good friends but we still like to beat each other in races, and all three of those are breathing down my neck in recent races. I’d like to lose a few pounds (as always) and nudge my time back to at least under 24:00, but only time will tell.

Race Number:  422

Race Name:  Goat Island 5k

Location:  Cramerton, North Carolina

Date:  May 12, 2018

Race Rating:  90

Winners (Top 10 Overall):

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for FREE Race Photos

My Stats:

Time:  24:30
Pace:  7:53
Age Group:  1 of 5
Overall:  18 of 316
Average Heart Rate:  157
Maximum Heart Race:  168
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:56 (68.57%)

Awards for the 60+ age group with Jerry Price and Walt Talley.

***************
* 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
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

POST RACE
4 – 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
0 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
1 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
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
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:   90

Race #421 – Lake Norman Half Marathon – Mooresville, NC – 05/06/18

With a half marathon coming up at the end of May and an important 5k (for me) on the same day, I decided to run this half marathon just to see if I felt well enough to run that half in a few weeks. If not, I reasoned, I’d just go for the 5k. Turns out I was miserable, just as I have been in the two previous half  marathons I’ve run this year. Just being realistic, at 66 years old, my best half marathon days are long gone, and this might very well have been my last half marathon. I don’t actually feel bad about it; in fact, I’m kinda looking forward to running fewer miles overall and cutting back my long run each week from 10  miles to maybe 6 miles or so. That will allow me to keep running 5k and 10k races and should be a lot less stress on my right knee, which seems to be getting progressively worse as time goes by. The doctor told me a few months ago that the x-rays only showed arthritis and that I’m not doing any damage by running on it, so I should be able to keep going as long as I don’t mind the discomfort.

About the race, it’s a good one that I would have loved back when I was younger. The venue was the Trump National Golf Club on Lake Norman, and neither being a golfer nor a rich person, it was my first excursion onto the grounds. Parking was a bit of an issue since there is no huge parking lot, but there were a ton of volunteers who directed runners to park in the grass all along the area leading up to the race venue. For me it ended up being a 10-minute or so walk to the starting line, but the weather was great and it was a pleasant walk.

The race course ran past the lake houses of some of the famous Nascar drivers, but I’ve noticed that scenery of that sort kind of flies by unnoticed when I’m in a race and mostly just looking at the road ahead of me instead of sightseeing. It was pleasant though, and there were very few hills to contend with along the way. For me though, the whole race was somewhat of a struggle and when the 1:50 pace group passed me in the latter miles I knew I was finished.

After the race there was pizza and other good post-race fare as well as a good band for entertainment. The awards were nice, especially for the overall winners ($$$), but there was a nice medal for age group winners too.

Race Number:  421

Race Name:  Lake Norman Half Marathon & 5k

Location:  Mooresville, North Carolina (Trump National Golf Club)

Date:  May 6, 2018

Race Rating:  94

Winners:

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

My Stats:

Time:  1:52:27
Pace:  8:35
Age Group: 1 of 7
Overall:  90 of 464
Average Heart Rate:  153
Maximum Heart Rate:  160
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:26:47 (67.27%)

***************
* 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
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)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

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

POST RACE
7 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
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
1 – 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
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  94

 

 

Race #420 – GOTR Spring 5k – Gastonia, NC – 05/05/18

The Girls on the Run 5k is the highlight of a program designed to help elementary school girls develop self-respect and a healthy lifestyle. It’s also part of the Run Gaston race series so it’s open to all runners. It was a warm and humid morning (64 degrees and 88% humidity) which seemed to affect the times of most of the folks I talked to after the race. I was slower too, but being the warm weather lover that I am, it seemed like perfect weather to me and my lack of speed is probably more due to aging and a not-so-great diet.

Race Number:  420

Race Name:  Gaston County Girls on the Run Spring 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

Date:  May 5, 2018

Race Rating:

Winners (Top 10):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos on Facebook by Megan Hitchnins Photography (68 photos)

Click Here for Race Photos from Gaston Gazette (38 Photos)

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  24:40
Pace:  7:56
Age Group:  1 of 5
Overall:  7 of 479
Average Heart Rate:  156
Maximum Heart Rate:  167
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  19:04 (68.11%)

Photo from Gaston Gazette

***************
* 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!
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
0 – 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)
0 – 70+ group (1)
0 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

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

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
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
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
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:  73