Linda’s best friend from college has been going to White Lake her whole life, and in fact, now owns a cottage there, and when they recently got back in touch for the first time in many years we looked for a race in the area so we could do a little multitasking by visiting and running a race on the same weekend. It worked out nicely this weekend, so off we headed the approximately 180 miles to White Lake, North Carolina, which is about 30 miles east of Lumberton near Elizabethtown. We didn’t really know what to expect in the area but were pleasantly surprised that the area is a beautiful and laid back summer hideaway that time seems to have forgotten. There are no big hotel chains but quite a few mom and pop motels and cottages that line the shore, many with a private beach of their own. We rented a really nice cottage for the night at Carolyn’s Cottages, much more than we needed as far as space (it slept 10 but there were only two of us) but the price and location were perfect.
We had a nice visit on Saturday evening with Linda’s friend Jean and her husband Jimmy, then went back to the cottage and watched TV on the screened in porch then got a good night’s sleep. In the morning we were able to walk just up the street to the starting line.
This was a tiny race, possibly the smallest we’ve ever been a part of. During the previous two weeks there had been a half ironman and a sprint triathlon on the lake, both with several hundred competitors. This race, associated with the upcoming water festival was a much smaller affair. As we left the starting line I found myself near the front of the pack and soon there were only two runners in front of me. I stayed in back of them until about the 0.75 mile point of the race and then I decided they were probably running defensively instead of offensively, saving their energy and going slowly as long as they could, which might have been smart since the temperature was already close to 80 degrees. I decided to step it up though and passed them both, and for the first time ever I was the overall leader of the race! I didn’t get overly excited though, because I knew it wouldn’t last, but it was pretty sweet having the police escort for about a half mile until I was overtaken, finally finishing in fifth place overall with a time of 43:39.
I’ll save us all some time by cutting it short. I’ve got work to catch up on, and even more importantly, t’s Survivor finale night and I’m hoping to see Russell finally get what he deserves, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
By the way, the trophies for this race were spectacular — some of the nicest we’ve ever won.
3 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
9 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
7 – 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)
4 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
7 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 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)
5 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
TOTAL – 79