Race #230 – Rocktoberfest Half Marathon – Charlotte, NC – 10/12/13

This was my first half marathon since June, and I’m pretty sure it’s the first time in the past four years I’ve had three months between half marathons. I finished 49th overall out of 491 runners with a time of 1:39:44, and while I was happy to be under 1:40, I was actually hoping to run under 1:37. I did get a little complacent after Butch Holt ran off and left me and I decided that my fate was sealed as far as where I’d end up in the age group, so I started taking walk breaks. It was hilly and I was tired but with some pressure I would have probably tried harder. I took a quick glance in back of me and didn’t see anybody who looked like they might be in my age group (it’s usually easy to spot the old guys) so I decided to go for a nice long stroll about 12 miles into the race, figuring that most likely any other 60+ runners would probably still be a good distance behind Uh… big mistake. After I walked 30 or 40 seconds here came William Morrell, who you may remember beat me in the Run the Valley 10k. I didn’t know he was at the race since I didn’t see him beforehand or during the race until that point. He waved and smiled as he passed. I could have tried to catch him, but he looked like he was still running strong and I was tired, so I resigned myself to finishing another spot back. Sorry I didn’t have my video glasses on at the time but the battery life is limited so I turn them on and off a lot. I was fortunate that I still ended up 3rd in the age group.

One other thing that possibly affected me was that my heart rate monitor malfunctioned in the race. I always monitor my heart rate during races and make small changes in my speed when my heart rate gets out of the range where I normally stay in races (165-170 beats per minute). In the first few miles of the race I noticed that my watch was telling me I had a very low heart rate, around 110, and I noticed 98 at one point, which would be impossible in the middle of a race. I changed chest straps this week so I’m hoping it’ll be back to normal for the next race.

Here’s my race video and a few pics that were taken during the race…

This is a photo taken by Alejandro Arreola shortly after the start. 
Fist bump from Butch Holt just before the start of the race. He’ll be 65 in December and ran a
phenomenal time of 1:33:54, good for 23rd overall.

I was able to hang with Butch for the first 2 miles.

… and was still with him at 3 miles. Shortly after that he was gone.

I hit the 10k split at about 44:48, which is a good 10k time for me.

By 7 miles it was just me and my shadow.

Thanks again to Alejandro Arreola, who was taking pics about 1/10 of a mile from the finish.
I’m not really happy about the way my video glasses look but they’re too expensive to replace
with some that look better so I’ll just stick with them. I think most people just think that I’m either
blind or just have bad taste when it comes to sunglasses.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  1:39:44
Pace:  7:35
Age Group:  3 of  8
Overall:  49 of  491
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:19:56 (74:09%)


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
2 – 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

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

6 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
8 – 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
1 – 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!
1 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric *[blended cotton/tech]
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

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

TOTAL:  89

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