Race #302 – Coon Dog Day 5k – Saluda, NC – 07/11/15

2015-coon 5k logoThis was my third year of running the Coon Dog Day 5k, but the first time I’ve been back in three years. It’s a fun but quirky 5k in the mountain town of Saluda that’s held in conjunction with Saluda’s Coon Dog Day Festival, a yearly celebration that’s been held for more than 50 years.


The logistics are all over the place (literally) for this race. You park your car in one area, then walk to the starting line that’s maybe a half mile away. The race ends in a spot about a quarter mile from that. You then walk back to the parking area where there’s some post race food, then you get on a bus and go to yet another place for the awards. This year they announced the awards from the stage and you had to go up the street to the police station to get the awards. Oh, and then you take a bus back to the parking area. Fortunately the area where the awards are given is downtown where the festival is held, so that’s kind of fun if you like mountain festivals.


I won’t dwell on how much slower I was than in the same race three years ago, but it’s a noticeable difference. David Spark, who beat me in this race three years ago, has also slowed down since then, so we were still close in the race, at least until the last big hill, which was around the beginning of the third mile. I walked part of the hill and he kept going. I assumed since he’s now 66 years old we’d be in different age groups (60-64 for me and 65-69 for him) but that wasn’t a great assumption, since this year they had 10-year age groups. Not a huge deal really, and I shouldn’t be walking in 5k races, but had I known it was a 10-year age group I might have been able to muster up just enough steam to stick with him in that last mile.


With running friends Becky and Gene Summey (and Jim Owens crouched down on the left) after the awards at the festival.


Race Number:  302

Race Name:  Coon Dog Day 5k

Location:  Saluda, North Carolina

Date:  July 11, 2015

Race Rating:  60


  • M:  Josey Weaver (25) Weaverville, NC – 17:33
  • F:  Jennifer Fisher (34) Columbus, NC – 19:34

Course:  Mostly uphill in first mile, mix of hills and flat in second mile, then mostly downhill in the third mile. Course is mostly rural but comes through the middle of town and the festival about halfway through (although it’s before most festival activities have started).

Weather at Start:  72 degrees and 78% humidity.

  • The Coon Dog Day Festival is a lot of fun for the whole family (parade, car show, bands, etc.)


  • There were 10-year age groups this year.
  • Age group awards are now medals instead of the cool “coon dog” trophies that used to be given. The medals are pretty nice though.
  • There was a great photographer that provided very reasonably priced race pics the first two times I ran this. Nothing at all regarding photos this year.
  • Screwy logistics. Too much traveling from one place to another. See more details above.


Click Here for Race Results


My Stats:

Time:  23:15
Pace:  7:32
Age Group:  2 of  12
Overall:  18 of  196
Average Heart Rate:  163
Maximum Heart Race:  171
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:30  (70.82%)


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
0 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – 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
0 – Clear link on website: (0)no (1)yes

2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
0 – 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

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

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

2 – 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: (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
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:  60


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