Race #244 – Corporate Cup Half Marathon – Charlotte, NC – 03/08/14

It was nice to get back to my favorite racing distance after not having run a half marathon since the one in Hawaii back on November 17th. I had run the Corporate Cup half five years ago, back in 2009, when I had been running less than a year and it was only my second half marathon. I don’t remember exactly why, but it seems like every year since then I’ve had my focus on a different race and just haven’t been back.

Like the Belk Bowl 5k back in December, the staging area for both the pre- and post-race activities was the Wells Fargo Atrium, which is hard to beat on a cold winter day. There’s also free parking in the two Wells Fargo parking decks if you show your race bib as you leave, and since the parking decks are connected to the atrium it’s not necessary to be outside at all except for the race itself. I’m sure a lot of runners prefer the great outdoors, but as an unabashed cold-weather hater I prefer the toasty confines of a heated area.
I’ve run a lot of races in Charlotte but I generally don’t remember the routes especially well since I’m not very familiar with the Charlotte streets. One thing I hear a lot when people talk about some of the Charlotte races is the uphill run on East Morehead.Street. Although I’m sure I had run it previously, I really couldn’t remember what it was like. I was about to find out because in this race it’s a part of the last couple miles of the course. During the race I heard it mentioned a few times by other runners, one telling a friend he was running with that they would be climbing “Mount Morehead” near the finish. 
I found myself looking at street signs more than usual until I finally spotted it. At first it didn’t look too difficult — just a little hill — but the farther I went the more apparent it was that it was a never-ending uphilll. I would prefer not to walk in a race, but when my heart rate gets to 180 I start walking whether I feel a great need to or not. So I walked on Morehead, not once but three times in an effort to bring my heart rate down to a sustainable level in the 170s.

With Aaron Chan after the race.

As always, it was good to see the finish line, and I crossed it with a chip time of 1:39:27, which turned out to be 1st place in the 60-64 age group. I’d really like to be running half marathons at around 1:35, but just finishing under 1:40 these days is probably a more realistic goal at my age.

Right now I’m registered for seven more half marathons over the next few months, so if I stay healthy it should be a fun spring and summer.

Click Here for Race Results for Half Marathon and 5k
Click Here for Official Race Photos

Official Race Photo

My Stats:

Time:  1:39:27 (chip)
Pace:  7:36
Age Group:   1 of  8
Overall:  109 of  1053
Average Heart Rate:  173
Maximum Heart Race:  184
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 1:18:57 (75.0%)

After the race with Bill Weimer, Cindy Cooley, Dianne Allen, and Katie Freid.

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

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
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

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
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

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

POST RACE
5 – 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

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

T-SHIRTS
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
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

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

PARKING
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

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

OTHER
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:  95

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