Race #173 – Bulldog 5k – Charlotte, NC – 04/28/12

After having run a 5k only about 12 hours before this one I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to submit myself to that first mile torture again or not, but I figured what the heck… the weather’s nice so I may as well take advantage of it. Like many springtime Saturday mornings, there were races all over the place. I’d heard about the Bulldog 5k and it looked like a good race so that’s where I landed. Linda decided to sleep in and let me fly solo since she ran the Friday night 5k.

As soon as I arrived and hopped out of the car I saw Aaron Linz, the president of the Charlotte Running Club. We talked a minute or two. I had seen on Facebook that he was the overall winner of the Waxhaw Town & Country race on Friday night and he was coming over to see if he could string together two wins in a row. A few minutes later I saw Alejandro Arreola, one of my favorite fast guys and last year’s Running Journal Grand Prix Open Champion. He introduced me to Megan Lordi, a fast chick but who was at the race only to take a few pics and puppysit while Alejandro ran the race. Other than that I didn’t know anybody at all at the race although I did meet a couple of nice people, which is one of the reasons that races are so much fun.

This is a fairly large 5k — 455 finishers this year — with many more kids than grown-ups. The race is held at St. Matthew Catholic School and I’m sure it’s a big school event so there are kids everywhere. As usually happens in a race full of kids, as soon as it starts there are legs and arms flying all over the place with kids zigzagging in and out. I love to see kids running so I don’t mind, but I do try to take some extra caution so that I don’t get tangled up in the free-for-all for the first quarter mile or so. After that things tend to calm down as most of the sweaty, red-faced young’uns run out of gas and realize they’ve started out just a little too fast.

Thanks to Megan for the photo!

In the end, the only two people I knew at the race — Aaron and Alejandro — finished 1st and 2nd respectively in the race. I was 24th overall, but more importantly, 37 seconds faster than the previous night so I felt pretty good about that. The 1st place age group award included a $20 gift certificate at Omega Sports, one of the race sponsors. As more and more trophies and other awards end up in boxes in the garage I’ve come to appreciate winnings such as money and gift certificates much more in races.

Click Here for Race Results

Click here for Official Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  21:20
Pace:  6:52
Age Group:  1 of  3
Overall:  24 of  455

* RACE RATING  (100 Possible Points) *

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)
0 – 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
1 – 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!
3 – 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
2 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (1)yes  (3)really cool medals

POST RACE  (7 possible points)
2 – 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)
0 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
2 – 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
0 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x – 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
2 – Close to Finish:  (2)yes  (0)no
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)
2 – 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:  67

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