When you think of Columbia, South Carolina, cold is not usually the first thing that comes to mind, but it was pretty chilly Down South for the Cold Winter’s Day 5k. Our last race in Columbia was the Hot Summer’s Night 5k back on August 1st, and let’s just say the 50-degree difference between the two races was definitely noticeable. It was actually a nice day for running though, and this was the final race of the season for the Palmetto Grand Prix and the final race of the year for me as well. The “off season” for me and Linda is short though — our first race of 2010 is at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.
We were happy to meet up with some of the Charlotte runners who made it down — Tom and Lana Torkildsen and Bobby Aswell — and we were kind of surprised that more Charlotte runners didn’t show up since there were no Charlotte area races this weekend. I guess it’s that time of year when a lot of people are taking a little break.
This race was touted as “flat and fast” and I always like to hear that. It was pretty flat and pretty fast but there were a few minor uphill areas — nothing to get excited about though. The scenery was great, passing around a lake and through some pleasant neighborhoods on a circular course. Best of all was the finish, a tenth of a mile (maybe two-tenths) of nothing but a fairly steep downhill that took you to the finish line.
The after-race fare was excellent and included pizza, Dunkin Donuts, and fruit that included bananas as well as strawberries and pineapple. I completely wrecked my diet but it’s been a rough week in that department anyway. I’ll be getting back to business in the diet department now that Christmas is over, or suffer the consequences, which I really don’t want to do.
The T-shirts were great — long-sleeved tech shirts with the Strictly Running logo on the front and the words “See Ya!” on the back. I think Strictly Running probably uses these in a lot of races instead of getting race specific shirts, which is fine with me. I still have the same shirt (except short-sleeve cotton) from the Hot Summer’s Night race; it was one of my favorite shirts of the year and one of the few that I actually wear.
8 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.) 4 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10) 7 – 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) 6 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No) 5 – 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) 6 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 10 – 0-10 Age Groups (10 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups) 0 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided) 6 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities 0-10 Other