Race #240 – Frosty 50k Relay – Winston-Salem, NC – 01/04/14

For some reason I thought a trail relay race would be a good idea, and I gathered together a team of four runners, all over the age of 50 so we could compete in the Grand Masters category. There are actually three races — the 50k, a 25k, and the 50k relay where each of the four team members runs 12.5k, which is about 7.5 miles. The relay is a much better option for me since I try to limit my running distances to nothing more than a half marathon (13.1 miles). I’m also not a trail runner, preferring the solid footing of paved surfaces, but as trails go this is an easy one, a solid packed surface that runs around Salem Lake. In addition to me, our team included Roberta (Bobbi) Villneff of Mooresville and two fast members of the Gaston County Runners, Joe Marlowe and Jimmy Glover.

It was one of the coldest days of the winter, with the temperature at the start of the race dipping to 17 degrees. I’m no fan of cold weather but I ran the first leg of the race, hoping to get my part over with as soon as possible. I was late getting to the starting line and was in back of several hundred runners on a fairly narrow path. I wasn’t able to find Roberta before the race but I spotted her looking kind of frantic as she searched for me running by. I yelled something to her about finding the other guys, neither of whom she knew, and I ran 30 or 40 more feet before deciding to turn around and talk to her in more detail about how she could find them. That worked out fine but by then I was practically at the very back of the pack of 700 or so runners, resulting in one of the slowest first miles I’ve ever run in a race.

By the time I was a couple miles into the race the crowd thinned out and there were no more issues with too many people running along the path. After the race Roberta said that her biggest problem was that she ran almost the whole race by herself. Everybody on our team had a good run and we did what we hoped to do, winning 1st place in the Open Grand Masters category.

With temperatures below freezing throughout the race it was hard to really do much other than trying to stay warm, but it was an enjoyable experience and we were all glad we made the trip.

In case anybody’s wondering what happened to the videos I was doing in most races, I had another video glass setback. Once again there are issues with getting my video glasses to work at all, so I’ve decided to stop using them altogether. It was a lot of work anyway just to edit the video, so I’m actually kind of relieved that I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I’ll still try to get a photo or two at each race for the blog.

There are 225 great photos of this race posted on SmugMug…

Click Here for Race Photos

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Click Here for 50k Race Results

Click Here for 25k Race Results

Click Here for 50k Relay Race Results

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* RACE RATING *
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RACE COURSE
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
5 – 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!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
0 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
0 – 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
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no  (5)yes

AWARDS
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 (50k Only)

POST RACE
7 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
3 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (2)yes

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
5 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
2 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
5 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

PARKING
0 – Close to Start:  (2)yes  (0)no
0 – Close to Finish:  (2)yes  (0)no
0 – Plenty of spaces:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Free Parking:  (2)yes  (0)no

WEBSITE
2 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

OTHER
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
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (2)yes

TOTAL:  83

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