Race #154 – Elf Stampede 5k – Spindale, NC – 11/26/11

It’s a rare occasion lately when we’ve been able to run more than one race in a week, but running the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day left Saturday wide open for another race if we could find one. As you can imagine, the options are limited on Thanksgiving weekend, but we were pleased to find this race, now in its second year, in Spindale, North Carolina. It’s about a 50-mile drive for us, but I don’t really mind a little drive on Saturday morning. The website said registration ended at 8 a.m. and the fun run for kids started then, followed by the 5k at 9 a.m. That’s a long wait in the freezing weather and we spent most of the time until about 20 minutes before the race staying warm in the car. One of the nice things about small races is that most of the time you can park up close and see what’s going on. We watched the kids fun run — at least the start and finish — as people began warming up for the main event. There were a handful of people we knew there — several from Shelby and Bobby Aswell from Cornelius, who never misses a race if there’s one to be had.

I was glad that my Garmin came back to life after about 24 hours of window shopping for a new one. Apparently my Garmin Forerunner 110, a watch I love to hate, will live to see another day. If it ever dies, and surely it will, I hope to replace it with another Garmin Forerunner 305, a much better watch in my opinion although apparently the red-headed stepchild of the Garmin Forerunner line.

As the race started I was glad I didn’t have to guess at things like I did in the last race without my watch. After all of the Thanksgiving eating I’ve done over the past week I’m a little on the sluggish side although I was happy with finishing in under 21 minutes, at a time of 20:50. There was one pretty big hill about halfway through then a few ups and downs in the last mile, but not bad. I was behind Bobby Aswell pushing his daughter in a stroller for almost the entire race (he’s fast and without the stroller he’s so far ahead of me I can’t see him). About a tenth of a mile from the finish the first overall female, Mandy Huffman, zoomed past me and beat me by a couple seconds, but gentleman that I am, I hardly ever try to bust a gut to beat a girl… not that I could have caught her anyway.

Linda and I both won our respective age groups, and the age group awards, while nothing fancy, were at least different: Christmas ornaments with the race details (gold for 1st place, white for 2nd place, and red for 3rd place). The post race food wasn’t bad, especially the tons of homemade brownies. People kept grabbing them and they kept bringing out huge trays of them. I ate 3 or 4 myself, which didn’t help my diet a lot, but it’s the season to indulge.

Click Here for Race Results

Race Rating:

7 – 1-10  Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
5 – 1-10  Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 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)
0 – 0/5   Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
4 – 4/6   Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
3 – 3/7   Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
6 – 1-10  Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 1-10  Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 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
0 – 0-10  Other

TOTAL – 78

Race Stats:

1st Overall Male:  Jonathan Thacker (17:04)
1st Overall Female: Mandy Huffman (20:47)
Total Finishers:  150

My Stats:

Time:  20:49
Pace:  6:43
Age Group:  1 of  7
Overall:  15 of 150

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