Race #229 – Run the Valley 10k – Badin, NC – 09/21/13

I had planned to run the half marathon at this race and I registered in advance for the half marathon, but since the 10k option was the RRCA state championship and I had a chance to win the Senior Grandmasters I decided to switch if they’d let me. I found race director (and friend) Peter Asciutto as soon as I arrived at the race and he switched me over without any problem. It turns out I didn’t win. Instead I finished in 2nd place to William Morrell, a speedy 62-year-old who after the race told me he had been a 4-minute miler in college and has at one time or another held the North Carolina state record for most race distances. He’s also the father of Mary Marcia Brown, a columnist for Running Journal who I had met last year when she asked me to write the “He” part of the “He Said, She Said” column in Running Journal. They’re good people and as much as I don’t like to lose in my age group, if I do lose, it’s best to lose to somebody nice.

I actually felt okay about my performance. I finished 11th overall in the race with a time of 45:33. That’s not a great time but it’s a very hilly course and I walked several times on the big hills. In addition to the walk breaks that I really felt were necessary, I took a couple of extra walk breaks that probably added at least minute to my time near the end of the race when it was apparent that it wouldn’t affect where I placed in the race since there was nobody visible in back of me. The 12th place finisher was about a minute and a half back so I kind of took it easy, at least until there were people watching (not a great racing strategy, but it’s true).

As with all of the Vac & Dash races, this one is well organized and a lot of fun. It’s held in conjunction with the Best of Badin Festival, with the start and finish line right in the middle of the festival, so there are a lot of fun things to do after the race. One of the best things about the Vac & Dash races is that they usually take hundreds of race photos then post them on Facebook for free. I include links below.

Here’s the video I took during the race and a few photos from along the course…

Bobby Aswell, Bill Shires, Sharon Davis, and Seth Utley at the start.

William Morrell, the eventual Senior Grandmasters winner, passed me about a mile into the race and never looked back.

Sharon Davis was 1st overall female in the race. We’ve become friends over the years since we’ve had so many
races where we’ve been close from start to finish. I stayed with her in this race for the first five miles before she
finally lost me in the last mile.

A local cross-country high school team manned the water stops through the winding and hilly country roads.

Here’s Bill Shires coming down Morrow Mountain after the turnaround on the out-and-back course.
He was the winner of the 10k state championship race.

As I was heading back down the mountain after the turnaround point I met a lot of runners from both the 10k
and the half marathon. I always like out-and-back courses because you can see where everybody is in the race.

This was the 11-mile mark for the half marathon so it was about 4 miles into the 10k. I’m still chasing Sharon
and the guy in the orange (or yellow) shirt. 

I got this picture when I turned around and looked in back of me at about 4.5 miles into the race.
The two people in the picture are walkers who are doing the 5k. Since there were no other runners anywhere
close behind I started getting lazy and walked probably a couple of times more than I should have.

The finish line… always a pleasant sight.

Click Here for Race Results

Facebook Photo Album (Start – 214 Photos)

Facebook Photo Album (Course – 319 Photos)

My Stats:

Time:  45:33
Pace:  7:20
Age Group: 2 of 3
Overall:  11 of  100
Average Heart Rate:  162
Maximum Heart Race:  173
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  36:19  (73.94%)


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

2 – 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   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals

7 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
7 – 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
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
x – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
0 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
5 – 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
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (2)yes  (V&D Trifecta Race Series)

TOTAL:  100

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