Race #185 – Run/Walk the Greenway 5k – Salisbury, NC – 07/21/12

After the surprisingly tough time I had with last week’s downhill half marathon I decided to take it easy all week, skip speed work altogether, and just run easy right up until today’s 5k, the Run/Walk the Greenway 5k in Salisbury. This is a well-established (15 years) and well-managed race and the course, the post race food, and awards are among the best you’ll find at any 5k.

I woke up at 4 a.m. as usual and tried to shame Linda out of bed at 5 a.m., but she wouldn’t budge. She later attributed her slothfulness to the fact that I tossed and turned about half the night secondary to the piriformis syndrome that’s been trying to remind me of my mortality. That and the fact that I ate a bunch of watermelon right before bedtime and went to the bathroom about a half dozen times. Whatever the reason, I headed up the road to Salisbury by myself, armed only with a thumb drive full of John Prine songs to keep me company.
I was fairly late getting to the race site and jogged up to the registration table to get in before the deadline, happy to see some friends along the way. I just had time to register and take my shirt back to the car and get to the starting line. My Salisbury running partner Sonny Ali started right along with me as he’s done in several past races and we had a good start, trailing the fast high school cross country runners who frequent this race every year and a few other fast runners who were older, but I didn’t see anybody up ahead who I thought might be in my age group. We hit the first mile split at about 6:25, which is a good first mile for me, and I could feel the difference with having lost 8 pounds over the past two weeks on Weight Watchers. It’s the most weight loss progress I’ve made since I put on some extra weight over the holidays last year and I’m hoping to drop another 8 or so pounds to get back down to what was my best running weight ever — 138 pounds.
Sonny and I both got 1st place
in our age groups.
Sonny stuck with me for about the first half of the race then drifted back a little. He had told me before the race he was undergoing some treatment for allergies and wasn’t running quite as well as he had been. I’ve run this same course several times now and it’s one of the few that I can almost remember, kind of a modified out-and-back. There’s one little loop around the block that you take both on the way out and on the way back just to make the mileage correct. It’s hardly noticeable on the way out but I hate having to do it on the way back since you’re so close to the finish line. It worked out fine though and this year, no doubt partly the result of the 8-pound weight loss and partly because of the cloudy skies keeping the temperature down (although it was really humid), I felt surprisingly good throughout the race, finishing 12 seconds faster than last year at 20:55, which was 20th overall and a PR for me in 60-64 age group.
The post-race goodies are great here — Krispy Kreme donuts, Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets, cookies, pastries, plenty of fruit, bagels, water of course in addition to sports drink and Cheerwine (both diet and regular). I tried to control myself, and I definitely used more self-control than I would have before I got back on Weight Watchers, but I used up all of my WW bonus points pretty quickly. Tomorrow it’s back to business on losing the other 8 pounds.

My Stats:
Time:  20:55
Pace:  6:40
Age Group:  1 of  3
Overall:  20 of  162
Average Heart Rate:  168
Maximum Heart Race:  181
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  16:49  (76.68%)
Me heading to the finish line at the track.
(Thanks to Phillip Straight for photos.)
* 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)
0 – 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
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!
3 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes
RESULTS  (3 possible points)
0 – 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
0 – 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  (Good stuff!)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (1)yes  (3)really cool medals
POST RACE  (7 possible points)
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (2)adequate  (5)a feast!
0 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
0 – 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
1 – 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)
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)
0 – 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
1 – 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:  63
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