Race #59 – CaroMont Candlelight 8k – Gastonia, NC – 10/24/09

It was one of the few nighttime races we’ve run, and now I remember why — you can’t see anything in the dark. There were supposed to be luminaires lighting the way, and there actually were some, but it looked as though they might have either run out of luminaires or volunteers who were willing to put them out, so the course lighting left a little to be desires. It actually wasn’t much of a problem. There were streetlights illuminating the way throughout most of the course and the weather was perfect.
The course itself was one of the worst. After leaving the hospital drive we took a left turn up a fairly steep and long hill. That wasn’t too bad in itself but the 8k course took us for three loops around the same circle, so we ended up having to climb that same hill three times. Not that anybody would cheat, but anyone could have easily just done two loops around the circle and went straight to the finish and I’d be surprised if some people didn’t do that. Linda said they tried to direct her to the finish at the end of her second loop and she had to go out of her way to tell them she needed to do another lap.
Overall, though, we had a lot of fun and it was a pretty good race. It was only our third race in our home town of Gastonia, and that’s always special, and I actually indirectly work for CaroMont. I work as an independent medical transcriptionist and all of the doctors I transcribe for are CaroMont doctors, so it was nice to be in a race sponsored by CaroMont Health.
There were actually three races, with the largest being a Fun Run for approximately 500 participants in the Girls on the Run program along with anybody else who wanted to run with them. The Fun Run was followed by a 4k race at 8:00 p.m., which was followed by the 8k race at about 8:15. Just as you’d expect, there was a huge crowd for the Girls on the Run, which always brings in a lot of family and friends for support, and by the end of the 8k the crowd had thinned out to only the 8k participants.
There was a cash prize of $500 for the 1st place overall finisher, and 1st place went to Julian Kogo, originally from Kenya but now living in Chapel Hill, who was going so fast when he lapped me (near the end of my 2nd lap) that I had to check to make sure I wasn’t backing up. His time of 23:21 (4:42 pace) beat 2nd place speedster Ryan Woods of Boone by over 2 minutes.
It was my first 8k race and I finished first in my age group with a time of 35:57 (about a 7:15 pace). Linda was also first in her age group, and the age group awards were gift certificates to TrySports (1st place $15; 2nd and 3rd place $10). It’s kind of a long haul from Gastonia to TrySports but we’re over that way pretty often so we’ll be using ours.
Instead of T-shirts they gave out hospital scrubs with the race logo. Kind of a nice change although I’m not sure I’ll ever wear it.

Click Here for Race Results

Race Rating:
8 – 1-10  Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
5 – 1-10  Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10  Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
4 – 1-10  Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
6 – 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)
3 – 3/7   Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
3 – 1-10  Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 1-10  Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
9 – 1-10  Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
9 – 0-10  Age Groups (9 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups)
0 – 0/5   Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
3 – 1-10  Bathroom Facilities
0 – 0-10  Other
TOTAL – 71
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