Race #201 – Freedom Park Ultra Run Half Marathon – Morganton, NC – 12/31/12

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to stop wasting so much time writing my blog, so don’t be surprised if I keep it short. I do want to keep documenting my races and anybody interested is welcome to see how I did, but even I don’t want to read (or think) about all of the minor details.

This race and the full marathon were added on to the Freedom Park Ultra 24-hour race, which is the main attraction. After finishing the Huntersville Half Marathon in December in 1:42:00 I wanted to fit another half marathon in and see if I could get back under 1:40, which I managed to do — barely — with a time of 1:38:58. It was just 3 seconds slower than in this same race last year though so I’m happy with my time. I’m hoping I can stay under 1:40 for a while longer. I was also glad to see that my splits were much more even than I usually run, with my fastest mile (#3) being 7:11 and my slowest mile (#11) being 7:55.

The race is on the 1-mile walking track next to Freedom High School, very similar to Martha Rivers Park in Gastonia, where I usually run in nice weather. Of course the half marathon is 13 laps, which can get a little boring, but I kind of like being near the finish at all times. There are a couple of small hills which aren’t bad, but since you’re doing 13 laps those two small hills become 26 small hills during the race. The food was great, even for a vegan. They had something for everybody and I had a veggie burger, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and some potato chips.

This was my last race of 2012. For the year I ran 42 races including 16 half marathons, one 10-miler, three 10k’s, two 8k’s, and twenty 5k’s. In those 42 races I placed in the top 3 in my age group in all but two of them: the Brooklyn Half Marathon and the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon. I was 6th in both of those. I was also the Grand Masters Champion in the Running Journal Grand Prix, which I’d say was my biggest accomplishment of the year. Oh, and I also ran 366 days in 2012… yay for leap year! It was the first year in which I ran every day. My running streak (at least 1 mile a day) is now a little over 1 year and 6 months and I’m hoping to keep that up for as long as I can.

Click Here for Half Marathon Race Results
Click Here for Full Marathon Race Results
Click Here for 24-Hour Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  1:38:58
Pace:  7:32
Age Group:  1 of  1
Overall:  6 of  24
Average Heart Rate:  161
Maximum Heart Race:  172
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:20:04  (73:96%)


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)
5 – 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
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

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

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

AGE GROUPS (* — No awards of any kind for the half marathon)
0 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
0 – 70+ group (1)
0 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (2)top 3 or better
0 – 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

0 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
0 – 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

7 – Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (3)adequate  (7)a feast!
0 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
1 – 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
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
2 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
2 – 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  (5)lots of free pics!

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

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

0 – 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:  61

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One Reply to “Race #201 – Freedom Park Ultra Run Half Marathon – Morganton, NC – 12/31/12”

  1. Keep those blog post coming! I for one enjoy reading them. Your story and competitive spirit have helped me refocus my training efforts.

    By the way, I finally took your advice and started following Parker’s HRM training plan. You were right, a very practical easy to follow approach.

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