Hey, it’s a milestone! It seems like I’ve looked forward to this for a long time, and I sometimes wondered if I’d make it to my 300th race, but that’s that and I’m now hoping to keep going for as long as I can. You never know where it might end. Injuries, illness, or just plain old age can take their toll, and at age 63 I just feel fortunate to still be going. I’m starting to look at my slower race times more philosophically, just being thankful that I feel as well as I do. I’ve got some aches and pains, to be sure, but nothing that keeps me from running, so if my biggest problem is that I’m running slower that’s okay, as long as I can keep going.
For me, the biggest distinction that sets the King Tiger 5k apart from other races (besides it being my 300th) is that it is the race with the longest gap between times I’ve competed. I last ran it in 2009 (Race #36), which was my first full year of running. It’s a decent race but doesn’t really seem to have anything that sets it apart from other races. Back in 2009 there were about 800 finishers, and this year there were only 400 despite it being one of the races of the Run For Your Life Grand Prix.
Although there weren’t as many runners overall, the 60-64 age group was loaded and included Jerry Clark, possibly the fastest runner in North Carolina in the 60-64 age group. He won Masters with a time of 18:55 so the rest of us bumped up a spot. Bob Nelson, who I’m not sure I’ve ever beaten in a 5k, finished about 30 seconds ahead of me for 1st in the age group. I got 2nd, followed by Wayne Eckert in 3rd. Other fast guys and friends in the 60-64 age group included Steve Staley, Ralph Shore, and Robert Paratore. It was practically a Who’s Who of old guys! I ended up in a sprint to the finish with perennial fast old guy Butch Holt, who at 67 is still fast and won the 65-69 age group.
I was happy with my time despite not winning my age group. My official time of 22:03 was 1:07 faster than last week, and the course last week was probably a little easier. I believe the faster time was because I went back home and got serious about my diet and stayed with it all week, losing about 5 pounds for this week’s race! I love to eat so it’s not hard for me to fall off the wagon, but I’m determined to stick with my diet until I’ve lost a total of 10 pounds. If history is any indication, after losing the 10 pounds I’ll gradually gain it all back, but I’ve got to at least try. One of these days I might actually develop good eating habits.
There were some pretty major issues with the timing in this race. When the winners were announced, Jerry Clark was completely left out and the Masters award was given to someone else and Jerry wasn’t even in the race results. My friend Andy Inman from the Gaston County Runners and his son Andrew both won their age groups (50-54 and 14-and-under) but were also left out of the awards. Andy had registered a day or two before the race and nobody in his family of four was listed in the race results, probably because somebody forgot to enter them into the computer. That’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but since both Andy and Andrew won their age groups it affected all of the runners in those age groups. When I left the race site Andy was still trying to get things worked out and there were others there as well. Later in the afternoon it was all sorted out and Andy later told me they called him from Run For Your Life and were apologetic and helpful and were mailing them their awards and changing the results, so that’s nice but the moment in the awards spotlight at the race can’t be recovered.
Race Number: 300
Race Name: King Tiger 5k
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Date: June 20, 2015
Race Rating: 78
- M: Edwin Schlicter (Age 33 – Huntersville, NC) – 16:37
- F: Flavia Asar (Age 33 – Charlotte, NC) – 20:22
Course: Fairly flat but some small hills, especially in the last mile.
Weather at Start: Sunny and 72 degrees; 94% humidity.
- Cheap! Advance registration was just $15, which is the lowest price of any RFYL Grand Prix race.
- Parking was restricted to areas that were a pretty long walk from the race site. Maybe just 3/10 or 4/10 of a mile, but it seemed like a fairly long trip after the race.
- Timing problems, eventually fixed but well after the race and awards were over.
- No photos to speak of, either professional or amateur.
Pace: 7:06 (although my watch said 6:59)
Age Group: 3 of 9 (officially 2 of 8 since top runner bumped up to Masters)
Overall: 42 of 400
Average Heart Rate: 165
Maximum Heart Race: 178
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 17:25 (74.04%)
* RACE RATING *
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
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
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
5 – 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
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – 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
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
4 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – 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!
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: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes
0 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
0 – 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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)