It was a battle of monumental proportions; at least that’s how it seemed as I tried to pry Linda out of bed at 5 o’clock in the morning in the frigid 22-degree weather. My apologies to the Northerners who are laughing at us for thinking that’s cold, but in the Carolinas it’s pretty chilly. I’m a life-long cold weather hater but after missing a couple of races this winter because of it being too cold I decided that’s not happening again if I can help it.
The 29th annual Alyce T. Guettler Hunger Run started at the Dinkins Student Center on the campus of Winthrop University and the student center provided a nice warm place for everybody to gather and meet with other runners as we waited. The awards ceremony afterwards was inside the student center as well, and it turns out the weather was really a non-issue. The sun was shining when the race started and the temperatures seemed to warm up nicely, although I was wearing so many clothes I wasn’t sure whether it was cold or hot.
The course was really nice — just a few rolling hills, nice neighborhoods, and much of the race on the picturesque university campus. I came in 2nd in my age group (55-59), less than 2 seconds after the 1st place finisher. One more biscuit for breakfast and I would have had it! I was relieved that I wasn’t part of the 60-and-older age group, where every older-than-thou silver streaker in the Carolinas showed up to show us young’uns how it’s done.
After the race, the food was simple but tasty (cookies, brownies, chips, pretzels) and there was plenty of it, although adding some fruit to the mix would have been nice.
The awards for the age group winners weren’t great: a mug (or coffee cup or whatever) that said “29th Annual 5k Hunger Run 2009 Award Winner.” I never quite know what to do with an award like that. Should I drink out of it, or put it on a trophy shelf (where it looks like somebody left a discarded cup of coffee), or what? I’ll take a cheap trophy or medal or even a simple ribbon anytime over that, but I guess it’s something and I was happy that I placed.
6 – 4/6 Number of Participants (4 for less than 100; 6 for 100 or more)
2 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, stating winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No)
4 – 4/6 Online Registration (6=Yes and 4=No)
4 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
8 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
8 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
3 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups)
5 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
5 – 1-10 Other (5 extra points for use of the student center on a frigid day!)
TOTAL – 79