Race #234 – Rhythm and Roots 10k – Shelby, NC – 11/02/13

This was the 4th annual Earl Scruggs Center Rhythm and Roots 10k and 5k. Having spent countless hours playing the banjo for the past 40 years and trying to emulate the sounds of Earl Scruggs, I have a deep appreciation for his music. Earl set the standard for banjo playing back in the 1940s and undoubtedly has been the most influential banjo player who ever lived. But I digress.

I arrived at the race site early and parked right across the street from the Don Gibson Theater and the finish line (Don was another music legend from Shelby). Both the pre- and post-race activities where held in the lobby of the theater, which was great, but to register on race morning the registration was set up about a block and a half away in a little building (I think they called it the Well House) up by the courthouse. Registration went smoothly and I loved the race T-shirt. With the combination of two of my passions (running and banjos) on the shirt, it’s one that I’ll actually wear.

As usual, the video and pics from my video glasses can tell the story better than me, so here ya go…

In the distance, in front of the three runners in blue shirts, you can barely see Allen Alfaro (red shirt),
who flew out of the starting gate.

Just a block or two into the race, the turn wasn’t marked and the volunteer pointing to the turn
was caught off guard and Allen missed the turn. The course actually went around the courthouse then
back to this same street so for the time being he was still on the course.

Despite Allen Alfaro being misdirected numerous times, the course was well marked and
there was a volunteer clearly pointing the way to go at almost every turn. Of course,
it only takes one wrong turn to land you in the middle of nowhere.

The race route went by the grave of country music legend Don Gibson, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. He wrote classics such as “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Oh, Lonesome Me,” and “Sweet Dreams.”
Thanks to Noel Manning for getting this photo of me coming through the graveyard.
I’m not sure who took the picture since Noel was running the 10k at the time.
It was around this time that Noel’s son Thomas (T-Cube) passed me up, along with
another runner, as I was walking up the steep hill in the graveyard. I didn’t have my
glasses on at the time so I didn’t get it on camera.

This is the last time I saw Allen Alfaro in the race (far left side of the photo).
At this point he had a huge lead over the 2nd place runner. and I was in 4th.
We ran through this festival of some sort but I never did figure out exactly what it was.
Maybe somebody will clue me in.

After Allen became hopelessly lost, Garrett Hastings became the overall winner of the race with a time of 42:07.

Thomas Manning (T-Cube) finished 2nd overall, 30 seconds behind the leader, at 42:37.
I loved the race but there were a few times that dodging cars on the course was a nightmare.
If you watch my video you’ll see that right here I was barely able to squeeze past this car on the right side,
while also avoiding the oblivious girl on the phone and trying to make sure I wouldn’t get killed by
an oncoming car from the left as I ran into the road heading to the right.

My official time of 44:16 was about 3 seconds faster than the clock read at the finish,
possibly because we started back a short way from the starting mat.

Allen Alfaro was surprisingly good-natured about his misfortune after the race. He showed me his watch
and he had run 7.67 miles in about 51 minutes, which is about a mile and a half farther than he should have run.
I didn’t find his name in the final results so I guess he officially dropped out. It’s too bad because he should
have been the overall winner. I guess he was just having one of those days.
Thomas Manning and me after the race. We’ve gotten to know each other the past couple years at races.
He’s just 14 years old and keeps on getting faster and faster!

This is the race shirt and my loot for finishing 3rd overall — a banjo-shaped medal and the coolest tie-dyed shirt ever!

Click Here for 10k Race Results

Click Here for 5k Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  44:16
Pace:  7:08
Age Group: 1st
Overall:  3rd of  53 (5.7%)
Average Heart Rate:  169
Maximum Heart Race:  176
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  35:17  (76.09%)


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
0 – 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)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less) *** 10 Years ***
1 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 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

5 – 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

8 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
9 – 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
5 – 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:  81

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