To be honest, what drew me to this race was the cool website, but I really couldn’t decide whether to run this one or the Great Waldensian Footrace in Valdese, and since the day-of-race registration was $35 for the Rock ‘N Run 5k but only $15 for the Waldensian race, I almost headed out to Valdese. When I woke Linda up she said she wanted to just stay home, and rather than drive the 65 miles or so to Valdese I just headed to Charlotte instead.
The race was held at the NC Music Factory, which was in a completely different area than I thought, but luckily the GPS took me straight to the race site. There were a lot of people there but after I had registered and had been there for 10 or 15 minutes I still didn’t see anyone I knew. Finally I spotted Steve Austin, then Ken Simpson, then Jerry Sofley, and Herb Berman. A few other familiar faces showed up but I was surprised how few of the regular Charlotte runners that I know were there.
This race is kind of a modified out-and-back course: you run almost halfway then go a couple blocks around a big neighborhood (maybe a half mile) then get back on the course where you’re meeting all of the slower runners heading in the other direction. There are some gentle slopes, I think, but no big hills at all that I remember. Unlike the previous night’s race where I stayed close behind Mitchell Rippy the whole time, much of the time I was by myself in this one with the runner ahead being far enough ahead that I couldn’t catch him and the runners behind being so far away that I didn’t feel like they could catch me. To me that’s one of the times I have to dig in a little and remind myself to keep running hard. It’s easy to just get complacent and go into mosey mode.
I expected to be a little sore from running a 5k less than 12 hours earlier on Friday night, but I felt surprisingly good with no aches or pains at all. I was hoping to run in under 21 minutes, and as I approached the finish line I could see on the finish line clock that I would reach my goal. I was more than satisfied with my time of 20:29.
The emcee of the awards ceremony was John Ahrens, the meterologist on WSOC-TV, and he really did an outstanding job of bringing some excitement to the awards. In addition, they had some unbelievable door prizes for the runners including a big flat-screen TV and quite a few other high-end items.
I registered on race day and they were out of T-shirts except for XL. They told me they would knock 5 bucks of the registration fee (from $35 to $30) if I didn’t want a shirt. Some races don’t offer a discount but they should, so I do appreciate it.
I should probably mention that I had returned to the Weight Watchers diet program about two months ago after having slowly gained about 10 pounds over the previous two years. I actually lost the 10 pounds in about 4 or 5 weeks and my weight seemed to stabilize there at about 140 pounds. That’s a BMI between 20 and 21 and should be good for me. Since my body seems to be telling me to stop trying to lose weight I decided to go on the Weight Watcher maintenance plan, which allows me to eat more food than diet mode but not to gain weight, so that’s what I’m trying to do now.
I had always heard that for every pound you lose (within reason) you should gain about 2 seconds per mile in speed. Since I lost 10 pounds, that means if the formula is correct I should gain about a minute in speed for a 5k race (10 pounds x 2 seconds = 20 seconds per mile; 3 miles x 20 seconds = 1 minute). These recent race times of 20:20 and 20:29 are about a minute faster than I had been running, so it looks like the formula is working for me so far. There are always other factors involved with training, diet, health, etc., but it’s nice to see that this worked. Now if I can just figure out a way to drop just 1 more minute off my 5k time!
9 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
7 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
10 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 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)
5 – 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)
6 – 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)
5 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
4 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities (no porta-potties)
0 – 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 100
1st Overall Male: Paul Mainwaring (16:14)
1st Overall Female: Michelle Hazelton (18:32)
Total Finishers: 478
Age Group: 3 of 12
Overall: 29 of 478