Race #43 – Firecracker 5k – Huntersville NC – 07/04/09

Finishing at a time of 21:39, I set a new personal record for the 5k. Celebrations ensued all around the country with fireworks displays, parties, and God knows what else. I was a little embarrassed by the outpouring of support since it was only 2 seconds off my old PR, but hey. When I mentioned it to Linda, she shot down the notion that any of the hoopla was over my new PR. Instead she said it had something to do with somebody named Joey Chestnut eating 68 hot dogs at Coney Island. Yeah right.
Either way, it was a fun race. It was the second race we’ve run at the Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatic Center (the first one was the Fall Harvest Run back on 11/08/08), and on the way home Linda mentioned that both of those races have been two of her favorites. It’s really a nice facility and they do a great job with the races out there. Once again the T-shirts were high quality technical material shirts just like in the Fall Harvest Run and are among the best you’ll get at any race.
The race course is a good one: quite a bit of downhill over the first mile, and a gentle upward slope over the next mile and a half or so, finishing on a gentle slope downward. I took off pretty fast at the outset and passed several people that I knew would be nipping at my heels, so for the remainder of the race I was too scared to walk (probably a good thing) because I could just imagine them thinking, “I’ll catch that guy as soon as he runs out of gas and starts walking.” So I managed to keep going and didn’t get passed by too many people (or maybe I’ve blocked it out of my memory). One of my heel-nippers, Brenneman Thompson, did catch me about 200 yards from the finish and left me in the dust. Lucky for me he’s in the 50-54 age group.
Post-race food was good — sub sandwiches, bagels, and coffee — no fruit but I’m tired of bananas and oranges anyway. The awards ceremony was great and in addition to nice medals the age group winners also received gift certificates to Dick’s Sporting Goods. I came in 2nd and got a $10 certificate, I saw a 1st place winner had a $20 certificate, and I’m not sure about 3rd place. There was a really entertaining DJ on hand who did a nice job of encouraging the runners during the race, then getting some dancing going while we were waiting for the race results, and then did a good job with the awards as well.
I took a lot of photos after the race and have included 266 of them in the slideshow including some of the dancing, the kids race, and runners as they were finishing. The original size large photos (3000 x 4000 pixels) can be downloaded for free by clicking on the slideshow then downloading whatever you want from Picasa.
7 – 1-10 Website (Informaton, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
8 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
9 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
9 – 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)
8 – 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)
4 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0-10 Other
TOTAL – 96
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