Today was a big running day for the Hefner family. Not only did Linda run her first race after a layoff of a couple months due to knee pain, but our 30-year-old son Dave ran his first 5k race ever. It was the first time Dave had even been to one of our races. Yep, it took 117 races before he managed to make it out to see his parents’ weekly near-death experience. One of my main reasons for becoming a runner was to inspire our kids and grandkids to become more health-conscious, and Linda and I are both elated that Dave’s getting an idea of why we’ve become so enamored with running and racing… it’s fun!
This was only the 2nd year of the Get Your Rear in Gear 5k in Charlotte, and with 1,400 finishers in the race this year it looks like it’s one of the fastest growing races in town. The hills weren’t terrible but there were quite a few ups and downs throughout the race. I lined up near the front and talked with Steve Staley, who always gives me a hard time whether we’re racing or just talking. I spotted Theoden Janes about 10 feet away and he gave me a here-we-go-again smile. In our past four races together we’ve finished within 10 seconds of each other, and today was no exception.
There were just a couple of small problems with the race. First, there was no starting mat, so if you were one of the last thousand or so runners to cross the starting line you were already probably a minute or two behind and there’s no way to get a chip time if there’s not a starting mat. That’s no big deal for some people, but I talked to a few who were a little bummed that they started so far back. The other problem was that there were no mile markers in the race. Linda wasn’t wearing a watch and didn’t know where she was in the race, and I’m sure she wasn’t alone, so the mile markers are appreciated by many people.
After I finished I ran back to meet Dave, who just recently began running and was doing a 2 minute run and 1 minute walk throughout the race. It worked well for him and he finished with a smile on his face, which is what really counts.
I finished 24th overall and managed to win my age group thanks to Louis Anderson, who’s also in my age group, winning 2nd Masters and bumping me up to 1st. Steve Staley finished 2nd in our age group despite stopping to tie his son’s shoe (10-year-old Drew) during the race. That might have been a break for me since he only finished about a minute behind me. The Lord of the Shoestrings was with me today!
I didn’t see the overall awards but the age group awards were great. Each of the age group winners received a nice medal as well as a gift card to Omega Sports ($30 for 1st place, $20 for 2nd place, and $10 for 3rd place).
8 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
9 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
8 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
8 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average) >> Nice tech shirts!
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) (I might be wrong)
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)
7 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average) FREE parking at hospital
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)
4 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities (Long porta-potty lines before race)
TOTAL – 92
1st Overall Male: Paul Mainwaring (16:16)
1st Overall Female: Leslie Dutton (20:51)
Age Group: 1 of 28
Overall: 24 of 1400 (1.7%)
|Richard, Dave, and Linda|
|Dave’s kids Jonas and Marley — it was Marley’s first race, but she’s only six weeks old.|
|Dave and the folks he works with at The Rehab Center in Charlotte.|