Race #214 – Mount Holly Springfest 5k – Mount Holly, NC – 05/04/13

For the first time since last July I ran a 5k in under 21 minutes (20:58) so I was happy to know I still had a sub-21 in me at the age of 61. This race is just a few miles from my home and one of the few Gaston County races I had never run. It’s a smallish race with 156 finishers this year, but there are a lot of good things about races this size: parking nearby, not losing your friends, a more casual starting line, etc.

As I’ve been doing lately, I’ll go light on the talking and let the photos tell the story since I wore my video glasses.

Below is the video, followed by a few of the 100+ pictures I took. You can see all of the photos on my Facebook page. Click here for my Facebook gallery of this race.

It was frigid for a race in May, when we expect springtime temperature.
Bill refused to leave his car to warm up before the race.
This was the first race I’ve been in with Dianne Allen in a while. She’s coming
back strong after an injury kept her out of running for most of last year.
She was running the Boston Marathon a couple weeks ago when the bombs
exploded and was just a short distance from the finish line. She’s the most
optimistic person I’ve ever known and is the only person I know who smiles
the whole time during a race (from what I’ve seen at least).
Bill Shires and I shared notes on video glasses before the race and he wore
his for the race too. He’s the president of the Charlotte Running Club and is
known in the area as the “Godfather of Sole.” At 48, he’s still lightning fast
and was the overall winner of this race. Anytime I feel like it’s an accomplishment
that I haven’t missed a day of running in nearly two years, I think of Bill…
He hasn’t missed a day of running since 1987.
The first half mile was pretty much all downhill.
A couple minutes into the race I settled in behind a couple of GCR peeps.
I spent much of the first half of the race behind Bryan Pitts, then he spent
the second half of the race chasing me and finished a few seconds behind.
He’s getting faster and I’m not, so my days of finishing ahead of him are numbered.
Kathryn McIntosh, a 13-year-old, finished as 1st Overall Female.
They say you shouldn’t look back, but I guess he couldn’t resist, and
I caught him shortly after that. I have to admit I’m always looking back
to see who’s back there, and I’ve even been known to start walking if
I don’t see any gray hair back there. I actually took two walk breaks in this race.
This was weird. As I and another runner approached this intersection the
policeman waved the traffic through so we had to almost come to a complete
stop to wait for the car to come through. Kinda wrecks the momentum.
This is the car that we had to wait for. Usually if there’s an officer at an
intersection they’ll hold the traffic while the runners go through.
At least we didn’t get run over, so it’s all good I guess.
For the entire last mile I stayed almost this exact distance behind my friend,
Chris Baucom, who oddly enough, stayed this same distance in back of me
for the last half of the race just last week at the Kings Mountain Half Marathon.
As we approach the school at the end of the race, you can see (barely) that
Chris is still up there. I was hoping to gain on him, but no luck.
Love that payback!
I crossed the finish line at 20:58. Chris was exactly 15 seconds ahead of me at 20:43.
He said he never looked back but he knew I was back there. 
Jennifer Wheeler and Bryan Pitts congratulate each other at the finish line.
Yes, there is a Santa Claus, and he’s pretty fast! Ralph Shore finished 2nd
in the 60+ division. 
The best part of the race is when it’s over and you can concentrate on the
important stuff, like catching up with what’s new with your friends.
Results were promptly posted by Queen City Timing. This was the second
week in a row that I finished 9th overall. Love it when I can get into the Top 10!
The real highlight of this race has to be the drawing just before the awards
ceremony. Great stuff, and almost everybody got something. I won a
$20 gift certificate for Tastebuds Popcorn. Other prizes included dinner for two
at The Woodshed (one of the nicest restaurants around), weekend vacations
to places like the tourist town of Helen, Georgia, ten yoga lessons, and
a lot of other cool stuff. Somebody had told me before the race that it was
worth running the race just for the drawing afterwards, and I agree.
All smiles despite the cold weather.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  20:58
Pace:  6:52
Age Group:  1 of  9
Overall:  9 of  156 (5.8%)
Average Heart Rate:  160
Maximum Heart Race:  171
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 16:43  (77.18%)


3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
0 – 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
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
0 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)not bad  (5)very good  (7)spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
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)
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

5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent (Vacation in Savannah, GA)
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
8 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals

3 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
0 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (2)yes

2 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful (Just 2 but that was plenty)
0 – 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
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x – 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

0 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes
(Results posted on Queen City Timing site but not on Springfest site)

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:  63

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