Race #37 – China Grove 5k Main Street Challenge – China Grove NC – 06/12/09
With a start time of 9:00 p.m., the biggest challenge I faced in this race was seeing where I was going. Not to worry though… it was a straight shot down Main Street in China Grove with no deviation onto side streets, then run around the cone and straight back to the finish. Once you get out of the main part of town (maybe a quarter mile or so) there are no more street lights, so the later it gets, the darker it gets, and on the way back up the course I found myself thinking that I’m glad it’s a straight shot on a good road because I literally couldn’t see where my feet were landing.
It’s an extremely fast course due to the fact that turns do slow you down, and also there are no discernible hills, although you can sense a little rise and fall in elevation along the way. The overall winner, Ryan Woods of Boone, finished in a blistering 14:58, and I think a lot of PRs were set despite temperatures that were probably 10 degrees warmer than most morning races.
I finished in 21:51, which is just 10 seconds off my PR, but still didn’t place in my age group, finishing 4th among 12 runners (67th overall out of 390 finishers). My mile splits were: 6:38, 7:16, and 7:11, so I was happy to at least run the third mile faster than the second although I actually took a 20-second walk break in both the 2nd and 3rd mile. Interestingly, the 3 top finishers in my age division all finished within 1 second of each other at 21:24.
Theoden Janes, whose excellent Charlotte Observer running blog I’ve been following lately, was out to set a new PR, according to his blog, and about a quarter mile into the race I looked up and he was right in front of me. I stayed behind him for a while and then passed him when he was slowed down a little by a couple of runners who slowed down directly in front of him. Before long he passed me again and was gone, finishing in 21:39 and getting his PR.
Overall it was a great race and a lot of fun, with lots of good food and entertainment before and after the race, and the awards (one of which I didn’t get) were really nice as well. There were also technical material T-shirts, which is a rarity for the 5k races.
I got a few photos but as it grew darker that became more of a challenge, so it’s kind of limited, but I’ve included about 15 in a slideshow at the top.
5 – 1-10 Website (Informaton, results, registration, photo links, etc.) 8 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10) 8 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10) 8 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10) 8 – 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) 0 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No) 6 – 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) 5 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 8 – 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 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided) 5 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities 0-10 Other