This was our second trip to the Komen Foothills Race for the Cure in Hickory. It was Race #6 for me two years ago and a hundred races later it was nice to revisit, but especially nice to reflect on the fact that I’ve been able to keep running over that two-year period of time with no major setbacks. Linda and I both feel better than we’ve ever felt and both of us ran considerably faster in this race than we did when we were two years younger. My time today was 21:29, which was almost 5 minutes faster than my 26:24 time two years ago.
One of the nice things about this race is that it begins and ends in the street right in front of the Lutherhaus Apartments, where my 84-year-old stepmother lives, so we were able to walk over and visit after the race. We also spent some time at the race with some of my very best friends from the hippie era, Ken and Lila, whose 35-year-old daughter was running her third 5k. Oddly enough, Ken and Lila are no longer hippies, and stranger still, I had to look up the spelling of “hippie” on dictionary.com — hippy or hippie? On a related note, the race route took us right past the old Hickory High School, which always gives me a boost of adrenalin since it’s the school I like to claim as my alma mater despite my less-than-stellar performance while I was there.
As with all of the Komen races, there were a lot of teams and runners supporting the fight against breast cancer and this was the focus of most of the race activities. There were 482 runners in the timed race, who were followed several minutes later by probably a thousand or more in a non-timed walk along the course. The race course itself was great and kind of flat by Hickory standards, with most of the route staying close to the Lenoir Rhyne University campus, and there were plenty of volunteers to keep you on course. However, there was a huge problem in the registration process, with long lines in both the pre-registered runners line and the table that was distributing timing chips to the runners. It was a strange sight to see what looked like at least a hundred people in a huge line waiting to get their timing chips. When we got to the front of the line all of the chips were just scattered all over the table in no discernible order so as people walked up the volunteers at the table would search through the mess and eventually find the number. No big deal for us since we were there early and had plenty of time but less than 10 minutes before the race was supposed to begin the line was still long. The race was delayed by about 10 minutes and I figured it was most likely because of the timing chip confusion.
5 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
7 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
3 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
5 – 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)
7 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
8 – 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)
8 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
TOTAL – 82
My Stats: (pending official results)
Age Group: 1 of 5
Overall: 20 of 482