In my quest to run eight races in the current season of the Asheville Track Club Grand Prix series, I pried Granny out of the bed at 4 o’clock this morning and off we headed for Weaverville, just North of Asheville. I told her the race began at 8:30. It actually began at 8:00 but I wanted to add a little emergency padding just in case. We made it with an hour to spare and she got all righteously indignant and promised to start checking the starting times, but she never does, and lucky for me she also doesn’t read my blog.
The natives assured us that there weren’t many hills to contend with, but as we approached the vicinity of North Buncombe High School, where the race would start and finish, we were reminded not to trust the judgment of those who travel day in and day out in an area where every paved surface reminds those of us from the Piedmont of the Thunder Road roller coaster.
It really wasn’t as bad as we thought it might be though. Every uphill had a corresponding downhill (funny how that works) and I managed to run my fastest 5k in several weeks at 20:52.
About a mile into the race I managed to hit the wrong button on my Garmin 305 and in mid-race I went into setup mode on my watch. I messed around with it long enough to realize that it was too late to use it in that state, so as I ran I turned it off, waited a few seconds, and turned it back on so I could check my heart rate over the last part of the race. It worked out fine and I thought about all of the pioneers of running — those old-timers who ran before about 2007 — who weren’t able to track every step they took or every heartbeat, and they did just fine. I bought a Garmin about two weeks after I started running and am probably way too dependent on it, but while it’s there I may as well use it.
Post race was nice. We talked to some of our Asheville running friends and also met Kelly Allen, the president of the Asheville Track Club. Just before the awards they gave out a lot of really nice door prizes that were donated from different sponsors. The age group awards were small but nice medals featuring a runner on the front — male for the men’s winners and female for the women’s age group winners — and nicely inscribed on the back. Linda and I were both 1st in our age groups, and both medals read, “2010 Firecracker 5k — 1st Place 55-59.”
6 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
7 – 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)
7 – 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)
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)
6 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
8 – 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)
7 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
5 – 0-10 Other (Extra credit for great door prizes!)
TOTAL – 95
Age Group: 1 of 7
Overall: 20 of 216