Race #223 – Great Waldensian Footrace – Valdese, NC – 08/10/13

At least partially because it’s cheapest race you’ll find anywhere ($6 registration fee if you don’t want a shirt), the Great Waldensian Footrace has been held continuously in Valdese in conjunction with the Waldensian Festival for the past 38 years. This is a race that I’ve known about forever — even in the days before I moved from Hickory to Gastonia 34 years ago — but this was the first time I’ve run it.

You can run either the 5k or the 10k — they both start at the same time — and both races have that same cheap registration fee. If you want a shirt (and I don’t since I already have a lifetime supply) it’s an extra 10 bucks ($16) to register on race day, but even that’s a bargain. I’m not sure why the fee is so low. Maybe it’s the same as when the race began 38 years ago and they just decided to keep it that way. Whatever the reason, it was a fun race and I’m on board now and hope to do this race every year from now on.

I considered running the 10k but instead decided on the 5k since I’m only about a month out from the hamstring injury that caused me to drop out of the 10k in Gaffney last month. I thought it might be best not to overdo it right away with two more 10k’s scheduled before my next half marathon on September 21st. The hamstring actually feels fine now, but I’m having some issues with an inguinal hernia that the doctor said I’d need to have surgery on this fall (lovely thought I know).

Something else that’s unique about this race is that the awards go 5-deep in 5-year age groups. It’s the only 5k race I’ve seen to have awards for the top five finishers in each age groups, and they don’t skimp on the awards either. The trophies are among the best I’ve seen for any race. It’s not a huge race so there are some age groups that don’t even have five competitors (especially the older age groups), but my guess is that they use the same trophies every year and just hold on to the trophies that weren’t used until the next year and reuse them.

Both the 5k and 10k courses are out-and-back, which I like. It allows you to see how many people are in front of you and also who’s behind you. Since I’m wearing my video glasses it also allows me to get a photo of a lot of people as I meet them coming in the opposite direction.

Here’s my video…

Lots of rolling hills on the curvy country roads. That’s my friend Michele Hoheiser coming in the opposite direction.
The 5k was hilly but I heard that the 10k was even worse, with a huge hill to climb. Of course, since it was out and back
things kind of averaged out in the end.

Here comes Linda (blue shirt). She was preoccupied with her watch and didn’t see me,
and for some reason I didn’t see her either until I checked the video afterwards.

Holly Boone is the daughter of some of my best life-long friends who live in Hickory.
Holly had a Personal Best in this tough 5k — her first time under 30 minutes!

The race wasn’t chip-timed this year. I heard a couple of complaints but I thought they did a good job.

As he customarily does, Josh Baker finished first in the grueling 10k with a blazing time of 34:49.

Good guy (and fast guy) Dwight Winters (Brooks shirt) stands with one of his five kids while waiting for the kids run
to start. Although he looks too young to have any children at all, his kids range in age from 1 to 17. He told me his
goal in this race was to beat his 17-year-old son, which he did, but just barely. They finished 5th and 8th respectively
in the 5k.

Runners congregated in the swimming pool area of the community center waiting for the awards after the race.

World War II vet Byron Logan (left), now 87, is still running strong.
Kathy Smith (right) is a great runner who finished 1st in the 55-59 age group.

Linda and I both finished in 1st place in the 60-64 age group of the 5k.

My Stats:
Time:  21:47
Pace:  7:02
Age Group:  1 of  5
Overall:  17 of  175
Average Heart Rate: 167 
Maximum Heart Race:  178
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:22  (74.28%)
0 – 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
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)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
5 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes
2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes
5 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less) 5 deep!= 5 points! 
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)
2 – 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
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
2 – 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
4 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
4 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
0 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
1 – 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
2 – 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
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:  73

Please like & share:

Leave a Reply