Race #282 – Belk Bowl 5k – Charlotte, NC – 12/28/14

Last year I pushed two grandkids in a stroller in this race and really enjoyed it, but I was looking forward to just running it all by myself this time around to see how I’m doing physically. My past few races have been slower and my 5k times have gradually climbed up over 22 minutes. I’m not really surprised since I’ll be 63 in February, but I’d still like to hold off the inevitable for as long as possible. It turned out fine and I was able to sneak back under 22 minutes with a chip time of 21:42, winning first place in the 60-64 age group.

This is a race I really like. The food is great, the course is pretty flat, the awards are fantastic (I won not only a nice medal but also a $50 Belk gift card), and both the pre- and post-race activities are held in the Wells Fargo Atrium in uptown Charlotte, which is one of the best wintertime race venues a runner could hope for. Linda and I parked in the adjoining parking deck and since she’s still recovering from her recent broken hand she didn’t run. We entered the atrium without having to go outside at all and she was able to stay inside the entire time. She would have been okay outside on this particular day since it was around 50 degrees with overcast skies (but no rain), although there are a lot of times in late December when that’s not the case.

Speaking of parking, as we drove into the deck the sign said weekend parking was $5 a day, but as we left the gate was wide open and there was no one in the booth to collect any money, so we parked for free. There was plenty of parking in that deck but I’m sure a lot of people ended up in parking lots where they did have to pay. If I remember correctly, last year we also parked in the same place for free, so in my rating I’m counting it as free parking.

Two-time Olympian Anthony Famiglietti was the overall winner with a time of 14:47. Of course that blew everybody else away but it wasn’t his fastest time this year. He’s been under 14:00 at least three times in 2014. Natalie Anthony was the first female winner with a fast time of 17:34.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  21:42 (chip time)
Pace:  7:00 (Garmin recorded pace as 6:55 and distance as 3.14)
Age Group: 1 of  9
Overall:  51 of 507
Average Heart Rate:  164
Maximum Heart Race:  176
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:09 (75.23%)

Thanks to Stan Austin for this photo as I approached the finish line in this year’s race.
I was a little slower last year although I still managed to place in my age group with a
chip time of 25:03 pushing two of my grandkids in a stroller. As you can see, they
were underwhelmed (and probably freezing).

Nice shirt, great medals for age group winners, and a
$50 gift card from Belk for 1st place.


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
4 – 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
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

5 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap! (Race day $25)
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
0 – 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

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

7 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
6 – 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
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
0 – 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 (Hilton/Wells Fargo lot was free)

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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no   (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  96

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