Race #264 – Beat the Heat 5k – Winston-Salem, NC – 07/26/14

I wouldn’t normally drive 100 miles to run a race on a hot Saturday evening in July, but this is a special race, being the USA Track and Field North Carolina State Championship 5k. There weren’t any good races in the Charlotte area this weekend so we decided to head over to Winston-Salem and check out the Beat the Heat 5k for the first time. The temperature was somewhere around the mid-80’s for the 7 p.m. start, which is pretty hot but it could have been worse, and there was no threat of thunderstorms so that’s good. I’m not a current member of the USATF so I wasn’t eligible to win one of those awards, but of course I wanted to be competitive. I did manage to win the 60-64 age group but was beaten by two particularly fast runners in the 65-69 age group. I also managed to aggravate a minor hamstring issue I’ve had for the past week, so it wasn’t my finest moment.

There was $7,000 in prize money up for grabs to the top overall runners and most of the top runners in the state were present. The top three finished within 3 seconds of each other with times ranging from 14:34 to 14:37. There were 22 runners under 17 minutes and 68 runners under 20 minutes, so it was a super fast field of runners.

After winning this race for the past five years, Bobby Mack (#1) was edged out
at the finish line by Duriel Hardy (#21), a 26-year-old medical student at Duke. 

Some races ration the amount of food you can take. No rationing here and tons of great food was available (pizza, subs, watermelon, and much more). It was kind of appalling to see the number of people walking off with multiple boxes of pizza before many people had even finished the race.


  • USATF State Championship 5k.
  • Big bucks for overall winners ($7,000 in prize money).
  • Great post-race food.
  • Nice course and plenty of free parking in the stadium parking lot.


  • No race photography.
  • No porta-potties and limited indoor restrooms. Kind of odd for a race with over 600 runners.

Click Here for Overall Race Results

Click Here for Age Group Results

My Stats:

Time:  21:52
Pace:  7:03
Age Group: 1 of  15
Overall:  104 of  630 (16.5%)
Average Heart Rate: 166
Maximum Heart Race:  177
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 17:17 (74.66%)


3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – 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
3 – Course Scenery:  (0-5) 1=bad  and 5=fantastic
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
8 – Finish line: (0-9)   0=bad  and 9=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! (Race day=$40)
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
3 – 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

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

0 – 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!
2 – 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 – 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 (USATF)

TOTAL:  90

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