Race #276 – Spooky Sprint 5k – Salisbury, NC – 10/26/14

In the second of two races on the weekend just before Halloween, I revisited the Spooky Sprint 5k, a fun 5k that starts at Catawba College in Salisbury and finishes on the school track. It’s Rowan Rotary’s big fundraising event of the year and they do an outstanding job with it. A lot of runners come out all dressed up for Halloween and there’s a great kids fun run that’s part of the festivities. It’s one of the few races I know of in North Carolina that actually has Senior Grand Masters (ages 60+) awards in addition to Grand Masters (ages 50+) and Masters (40+) and most likely because of that there are a lot of older runners who participate. Last year and again this year I was fortunate to win Masters, so I’m sending out a big thank you to all the 40+ runners faster than me who didn’t show up!

The temperatures in late October at 2:30 in the afternoon (race time) would normally be in the mid-60s, but this was a near-record-breaking day with the thermometer hitting 83 degrees. I love warm temperatures and would prefer 83 over 38 anytime, but I’m like anybody else in being slowed down some by the heat. I walked a short distance three or four times during the race, but I’m no stranger to walking in a race, and I was still satisfied with my final time.

As much as I enjoyed this race, there were a couple of things that were done better the previous year. First, the awards ceremony was a bit of a disaster. The PA system wasn’t working so you couldn’t hear what was being said. Things improved when the announcer just put down the microphone and used his outside voice, but by then it was too late. The second issue that was much better the previous year was that they had a photographer (or maybe more than one) who took photos last year and posted them for free on Facebook. For me and probably most other runners having free race photos is huge. Unfortunately they didn’t do it this year so that was disappointing. Hopefully next year they’ll get the awards ceremony straightened out and will consider having the free photos again.

Click Here for Race Results

Some great running friends at the race. Everybody in this photo ran at least two races during this weekend and several
of them ran three races… and they all placed in their respective age groups!

My Stats:

Time:  21:46
Pace:  7:00
Age Group: 1 of  4
Overall:  15 of  178 (8.4%)
Average Heart Rate:  167
Maximum Heart Race:  178
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:12 (75%)


0 – 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
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
6 – 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

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)
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
5 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no  (5)yes

2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
2 – 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

6 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
4 – 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
1 – 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

2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
2 – 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
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no   (2)yes
* – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)
2* Special awards for Halloween costumes

TOTAL:  91

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