Race #195 – Pumpkin Pi 5k – Gastonia, NC – 11/03/12

This week I decided to stay close to home and run the hometown Pumpkin Pi 5k. This race is sponsored by the Cancer Services of Gaston County and it replaced the popular Labor Day 5k that’s been held for several years in the same location. The course is still the same but I’m sorry to say the race fell flat in most other ways. In the two previous years that I ran the Labor Day 5k there were more than 300 runners who participated. As near as I could tell there were 58 in this one [there were actually 84 finishers], assuming the printout I saw after the race was correct. I also have a feeling that was the last time I’ll see the results, although I did hear someone say they’d try to get them on the website. [Note: The race results actually showed up within a week on Athlinks, so they actually did a good job getting the results up!]

The awards were nice, especially the overall and Masters awards. The age group awards were clear plastic medals (Plexiglass maybe?) and they were nice enough. It was good also that they still have 5-year age groups. The post-race food was a far cry from the huge spread of biscuits and other goodies they used to have. Nothing but bananas and water this time around. Okay. I was close to home so I could go home and eat breakfast.

As for my running, it wasn’t great and my final time of 22:04 was my first 5k in more than two years where I’ve been over 22 minutes. I’ve been knocking on the door for a while with times around 21:55 so it wasn’t a big surprise and I actually felt pretty good and ran negative splits (7:10, 7:01, and 6:48 according to Garmin), thanks in part to a big uphill in the 1st mile and returning down the same hill in the last mile.

Click Here for Race Results on Athlinks

My Stats:

Time:   22:04
Age Group:  1 of  3
Overall:   8 of  84
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:46  (72.63%)


Note: I made a few adjustments to the rating system as of 10/27/12 to give races a chance to score more rating points, so it can be futile to compare an older race with a newer one. Hopefully the different items on the checklist will inform you of what you need to know about a race. I’m still trying to keep it as objective as I can. The total points points possible are more than 100 but I’m trying to fine tune it so that good races end up in the 85-100 range. It’s too much trouble to go back and make changes to the old race ratings, but one of these days after all of the fine tuning is done it may be much easier to compare races with each other.

3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
2 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
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)not bad  (5)very good  (7)spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
0 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes  (1/10 of a mile long)
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

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

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

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)
0 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no  (5)yes

5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (3)fabulous door prizes!
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals

1 – Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (3)adequate  (7)a feast!
1 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
0 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (1)yes

2 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
0 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

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

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

0 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

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

TOTAL:  64

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