Race #250 – RaceFest Half Marathon – Charlotte, NC – 04/12/14

A milestone race for me — race number 250! When I ran my first 5k back in September of 2008 I really didn’t have any intention of making it a habit. It was just something I wanted to try to do. Clearly things have gotten out of hand, but I’m happy and in better physical shape at age 62 than at any other time in my life. This was my fifth half marathon in the past six weeks and was the fastest of those five (1:36:41). Won my age group in all five of those half marathons!

Pros:

  • One of Charlotte’s biggest racing events of the year with more than 2,000 finishers (1305 in the half marathon and 767 in the 10k).
  • SouthPark Mall setting is great, providing free nearby parking for thousands of cars.
  • Very nice course through mostly upscale South Charlotte neighborhoods.
  • One of the nicest T-shirts of any race.
  • Great age groups awards — New Balance Apparel — always something I look forward to in this race!
  • Good crowd support for a local race and one of the best finish lines, with plenty of cheering supporters.
  • This was my son Dave’s first 10k! Little by little the whole family is starting to appreciate the value of running, and that makes the old man happy and proud!

Cons:

  • Hills — I guess there’s no way around them in this area, but there are a lot of them in this race, especially the 7th mile on Sharon View Road.
  • They do have a single Masters award for both male and female categories, but it would be great to see Masters 3-deep. Of course I’d also like to see awards for Grand Masters (50-59), Senior Grand Masters (60-69), and Veterans (70+). Even 1-deep would be great. It’s done in many other places; why not Charlotte?
  • Can’t think of anything else bad to say… It’s a great race!

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from Carolina Snapshot

Aerial view just after the start of the race.


My Stats:

Time:  1:36:41 (chip time)
Pace:  7:23
Age Group: 1 of  12
Overall:  69 of  1305  (5.3%)
Average Heart Rate:  163*
Maximum Heart Race:  177
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:16:45  (77.15%)

* Over the past couple of races my average heart rate seems to have stabilized back down to the level it used to be before the prescription medication I’ve been taking (and still take) had raised it up by 5 or 10 beats per minute. I hope it stays down but I guess I’ll just have to see over time.

Plenty of supporters lined the road to the finish line.



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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – 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!
3 – 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

Beautiful custom medals for
both the 10k and half marathon!

AWARDS
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
5 – 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
1 – 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
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
0 – 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
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:  104

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