This week we decided to go cherry picking at the Cherry Blossom 5k. It was a fun small-town race, surprisingly well organized, and we had eight members of the Gaston County Runners who decided to run it. The race is organized by the Cherryville branch of the YMCA but they didn’t really promote it outside of Cherryville so the crowd was small, with only 72 runners in the race. Still though, it was a lot of fun, especially since 4 of the 5 top finishers were from our club.
The race was started with a deafening blast from a musket, which Cherryville is famous for. I held my breath as I ran through the smoke left by the musket firing, and we were on our way. Early in the race I took the lead, a place that I’m not only unfamiliar with but uncomfortable with as well. I stayed out front for possibly a half mile, all the while listening to the pitter patter of younger footsteps than mine and knew it was only a matter of time before people began passing me. First up was Mike Wilson, a GCR member, who shouted as he passed me that he had always wanted to see what it felt like to be in first place in a race. Just a few seconds later I was overtaken by another GCR member, Josh Barron, who eventually won the race. I watched as Josh slowly overtook Mike over the course of the next half mile or so, and about that time Stephen Phillips also caught and passed me.
Stephen and I were back and forth during the second mile and during that time a runner from Cherryville, Kevin Minton, passed us both and eventually finished in second place. Mike Wilson, who later said that he had gone out too fast, drifted back and finished behind Stephen and I. During the last half mile or so Stephen lost a little momentum and I was able to gain some ground on him, and at the end I was 3rd overall, with Stephen coming in 4th and Mike coming in 5th. GCR member Michele Hoheiser was the overall female winner in the race. All eight of our Gaston County Runners club came away with a trophy or an age group medal.
4 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
6 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
6 – 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)
5 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
0 – 0-10 Age Groups (10 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups)
5 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
5 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
TOTAL – 70
1st Overall Male: Josh Barron (20:01)
1st Overall Female: Michele Hoheiser (22:40)
Age Group (50-59): 1 of 9
Overall: 3 of 72