Race #224 – Soldiers Reunion 5k – Newton, NC – 08/17/13

I’m not gonna lie — I’m a fair weather runner. I like it warm and I like it dry. Most runners seem to prefer running in colder weather, maybe 30-50 degrees; for me, a perfect race temperature is closer to 70-75 degrees. And if it’s raining on race day, that’s my cue to just roll over and go back to sleep.

By Friday night, the 50% chance of rain forecast for Saturday morning had me about 50% on the side of not racing on Saturday. The distance from Gastonia (30+ miles) and the fact that there would be very few people I knew there made it even less likely I would go.

I was just about ready to skip it altogether when Bill Weimer posted this on my Facebook page…

When I got to my profile page on Facebook I was reminded of the new cover photo that I had posted earlier in the day… Oops…

Ouch! I figured that come Saturday morning I would either be lazy or obsessed, and since I had insinuated less than 24 hours earlier I was obsessed I figured I’d better run the race.

I got up early and headed for Newton. About 12 miles out of Gastonia I realized that I had forgotten to bring the trophy that my friend Holly had won in Valdese the week before and I told her I’d give it to her in Newton. I mentally kicked myself and decided it was too late to turn around and go back. Then I looked down at the display on my dashboard and it showed that the hybrid battery on my 2001 Honda Insight was dead. Uh-oh. At that point there was no doubt about it. I’d turn around at the next exit and hope I could make it home without the battery. The car seemed to drive fine and has done fine since then (I’m writing this a week later), and since a replacement battery will cost me 5,000 bucks I think I’ll just drive it as is for as long as I can. Anyhoo, when I got home the GPS said that I still had time to get to Newton before the race, so I hopped in Linda’s car and took off, making it to the race with a few minutes to spare.

To save myself some time I decided not to wear my video glasses during the race, eliminating the need to do all of that video editing (it was a busy week). And to save myself even more time (and because I’ve already run another race since then, I’ll spare you the details of the race. It’s a good race but I was a little disappointed that more of my running friends didn’t show up for it this year. The awards are always nice but they kind of skimped on the food after the race this year. Oh, and I was freezing waiting for the awards with temperatures after the race still in the mid-60s.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  21:43
Pace:  7:00
Age Group:  1 of  6
Overall:  35 of  362
Average Heart Rate:  169
Maximum Heart Race:  178
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:19  (74.51%)


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
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

2 – 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

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)
2 – 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
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
0 – 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)
0 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (2)yes

0 – 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!
0 – 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

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:  71

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