This was the inaugural Dog Days Twilight 5k and it turned out really nice. The race starts and finishes at Patriot’s Park in Kings Mountain, which is a place I associate with the frigid Jingle Bell Run that is hosted in Kings Mountain in the middle of December. It seems to always be one of the coldest races of the year and after running it for two straight years I remember when it was the only race on that cold Saturday morning this past December I decided to just stay in bed. The Dog Days Twilight 5k was much different, of course, and the temperature seemed just about perfect to me.
This was the second week in a row that we ran a race that was organized by one of our running friends, this time Margot from Kings Mountain, and she did an outstanding job for the most part with the course being clearly marked and having volunteers at all turns, great T-shirts, a top-notch timing company, etc. There were a couple of minor snafus though — they ran out of water, and somehow they also ran out of medals halfway through the awards ceremony. I’m not sure how that happened, but she assured the age-group winners who didn’t get a medal that they’ll mail them their medals when they’re able to get some more, and she’s the type who will carry through with that.
I heard that the course for this race was just about the same as for the Jingle Bell run but in the opposite direction, which whoever’s in charge of the Jingle Bell 5k might want to consider for next year, allowing the runners to finish on a little downhill instead of the grueling uphill in the opposite direction. There were some hills — they call it Kings Mountain for a reason — but really nothing that stands out as a particularly difficult uphill. I’m one of those people who doesn’t really notice or remember hills, either uphill or downhill, unless they’re real monsters.
Most races are held in the morning and I’m not usually too thrilled with nighttime races because (a) I’m not used to running them, and (b) my diet tends to get out of hand during the day before the race, which usually results in worse race results. On this day though I not only kept my diet under control, I even ate my morning pre-race meal a couple hours before race time — a large portion of old-fashioned oatmeal with raisins.
I really felt good during the race. I was right behind Mitchell Rippy the entire race. He even looked back one time and yelled, “Don’t let me hold you back!” He wasn’t holding me back, of course, I just couldn’t catch him. Mitchell is a fast runner in the 45-49 age group and is usually farther ahead of me, but on this night he had an Ace bandage wrapped around his right ankle and was obviously not 100%. At the finish line I was a second behind him at a time of 20:20, which was my second fastest 5k this year, so I’m very pleased with that, especially since it was a night race.
After the race we waited for the awards and then tried to get home at a decent hour so we could get up for another race on Saturday morning (that’ll be a separate blog entry).
4 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
6 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
4 – 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)
6 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
3 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
7 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 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)
6 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
TOTAL – 76
1st Overall Male: Garrett Willis (18:23)
1st Overall Female: Michele Hoheiser (21:53)
Total Finishers: 118
Age Group: 1 of 8
Overall: 9 of 118