Race #170 – Charlotte RaceFest Half Marathon – Charlotte, NC – 04/14/12

This was my 5th half marathon in the past 8 weeks, and while it’s probably not the best training regimen for a 60-year-old runner to be following, it’s the season when there are a lot of half marathons and since it’s my favorite distance I may as well squeeze them in while I can. In a couple months the weather’s too hot and just about the only racing distance that exists in the heat of the summer is the 5k.

Speaking of seasons, it’s also tax season, and that means that a great portion of my weekend will be devoted to doing my taxes. Yes, I always put if off until the last weekend before they are due, and yes, I always owe money. Being pinched for time, this will be short and sweet.

I knew I was in trouble when I was talking to Butch Holt just before the race started. Something was mentioned about heart rate training and he asked me what my heart rate was. I looked down at my watch and it read 92. He held his up and it read 61. “I’m real relaxed,” he said. Butch is most likely the fastest runner in the state of North Carolina in the 60-64 age group right now and has been running great lately, finishing 6th overall in an ultramarathon two weeks ago and easily running 50+ miles per week. I, on the other hand, have been struggling to run more than about 30 miles a week recently and each of the first four half marathons over the previous seven weeks leading up to this one was progressively slower than the one before it, so I was hoping to turn things around a little in this race.

Long story short, Butch passed me about 3 miles into the race and never looked back. I felt pretty good, if not blazingly fast, and still finished 2nd in the age division and 87th overall out of 1,652 runners in the race at a time of 1:36:36, which was a little over a minute faster than the Knoxville Half Marathon a couple weeks ago so I’m happy with that. I don’t have another half marathon for three weeks so that’ll give me some recovery time before the brutal New River Half Marathon up in the hills, where I ran my slowest race of the year last year.

Click Here for Race Results


My Stats:

Time:  1:36:36
Pace:  7:20
Age Group: 2 of 11
Overall:  87 of 1,652


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* RACE RATING  (100 Possible Points) *
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Note: With my new rating system (started in December 2011) there’s not a chance of any race scoring near 100. If it’s important to you, look at each individual category to see how points were earned (or not). Just trying to be more objective with the details. I generally like all of the races I run. If there’s something that really rubs me the wrong way I’ll mention it in the summary above.

RACE COURSE  (20 possible points)
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (at least 1 for 5k, 2 for 10k, 4 for half marathon) (2 points)
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
1 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (1)good
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
2 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)pretty good to excellent
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

REGISTRATION  (6 possible points)
1 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

RESULTS  (3 possible points)
2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

AGE GROUPS  (13 possible points)
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
1 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (1)top 3 or better
1 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (1)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (1)yes

AWARDS  (9 possible points)
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent (Expensive New Balance clothing!)
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (1)yes  (3)really cool medals

POST RACE  (7 possible points)
1 – Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (2)adequate  (5)a feast!
1 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
1 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (1)yes

REST ROOMS  (4 possible points)
1 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS  (8 possible points)
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice
2 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
2 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes

PARKING  (8 possible points)
2 – Close to Start:  (2)yes  (0)no
0 – Close to Finish:  (2)yes  (0)no (you can park close to the start or finish, but not both)
2 – Plenty of spaces:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Free Parking:  (2)yes  (0)no

WEBSITE  (5 possible points)
2 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
1 – No dedicated site but separate page on other site (organization, running store, etc):  (0)no  (1)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

OTHER  (5 possible points)
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (1)yes, some  (2)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (1)yes

TOTAL:  69

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2 Replies to “Race #170 – Charlotte RaceFest Half Marathon – Charlotte, NC – 04/14/12”

  1. The packet pickup was in Dick’s Sporting Goods. I thought they did an okay job with it. They had somebody up front directing you to the pickup area which was upstairs and they had a lot of running stuff there, some of which was on sale. Pretty nice stuff really… I might have bought something if I didn’t already have a lifetime supply of T-shirts. It wasn’t a big-time race expo like you’d find at a major marathon but I didn’t expect that anyway.

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