Race #298 – Charity Chase Half Marathon – Hickory, NC – 06/07/15

2015-charity-chase-LOGOThis was my sixth straight year of running the Charity Chase Half Marathon and, not surprisingly, my slowest. It’s a race I have loved running and looked forward to every year, but at this point I’m thinking it might be at least the end of the 6-year streak. With never-ending hills from start to finish, it’s one of the toughest half marathons I’ve ever run, and basically every year it falls on the same weekend as the Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon, which is by all accounts a much easier and faster race. Last year the races were a weekend apart because of some sort of calendar abnormality and I was able to run both. I not only enjoyed Downhill at Dawn but also ran it for a Personal Record of 1:29:25, which will probably be the only sub 1:30 half marathon I’ll ever run. While a few of my friends were willing to brave the hills of the Charity Chase this year, most of my running buddies opted for the breezy 8 or 9 miles of running down Black Mountain in the Downhill at Dawn race, and I gotta admit I was wishing I was there with them. At the age of 63 I’m starting to feel like I need to take it a little easier on my body so I might not make it back to the Charity Chase, but I still recommend it as one of my favorite races of all time. There are so many good things about the race (see the rating below) that every serious runner should give it a try.

Race Number:  298

Race Name:  Charity Chase Half Marathon

Location:  Hickory, North Carolina  (Downtown)

Date:  June 7, 2015

Race Rating:  111

Winners:

  • M:  Yates Goodson (Maiden, NC) — 1:25:19
  • F:  Alicia Rider (Kernersville, NC) — 1:31:50

Course:  Lots of hills from start to finish although there are a few stretches along the way that are flat. The uphills are offset by the downhills, but at least a couple of the downhills are so steep that you have to hold yourself back, which can be rough on the quads and toes!

Weather at Start:  70 degrees and overcast.

Highlights:

  • Best water stops of any race (charities compete for the best as voted by runners)
  • Great post-race food (pizza, pastries, fruit, etc.)
  • Nice age group awards (bobblehead dolls)
  • Lots of professional photos (reasonably priced) as well as hundreds of free pics

Lowlights:

  • None really, other than the hills, but I knew that in advance.

 

Results:

 

Photos:

 

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

Time:  1:44:00 (chip time)
Pace:  7:56
Age Group:  1 of  3
Overall:  36 of  317  (11.4%)
Average Heart Rate:  165
Maximum Heart Race:  175
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:47  (72.41%)

 

2015-charity-chase-richard-finish

 

2015-charity-chase-richard-award-from-jean-judge

***************
* RACE RATING *
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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
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
7 – 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

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
8 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
8 – 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
1 – 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
5 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
8 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

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

OTHER
0 – 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
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  111

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