Race #304 – The Great Waldensian Footrace 5k & 10k – Valdese, NC – 08/08/15

2015-great-waldensianNow in its 40th year, the Great Waldensian Footrace is one of North Carolina’s oldest road races. It’s held every year in conjunction with the Waldensian Festival in Valdese, which is a great mountain festival that’s fun to visit after the race.


I had forgotten just how many hills there were in the 5k, but it’s pretty much rolling hills the whole way. I’ve always taken the easy way out by running the 5k option, because I’ve heard the horror stories about the monstrous hill at the 10k turn-around point, which is apparently a mile or so long. It’s a fun race — not too big and not too small — but the main draw (as I see it) is the unbelievably low registration cost. It’s only 6 bucks to register for either race on race day as long as you don’t care about the shirt. The T-shirt is nice but it adds $10 to the registration price, still the best deal I’ve ever seen for race-day registration. Due to the rock bottom registration price I’m giving it an extra 10 points on my rating system. It’s nice to be able to save 20 or 30 dollars on race day!


It had been three weeks since my last race thanks to a lack of decent races within a 50-mile radius in late July and early August, and I’m not in the greatest shape, so I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to knock a little over a minute off of my last 5k time even though I walked a couple times in the race.


In previous years this race went 5-deep in 5-year age groups, which is a bit of overkill for a race this size. This year they went to 3-deep awards, with medals instead of trophies, and while that’s a little less of a perk it’s more in line with what you get in a good small-town race with a couple hundred runners, so I think it’s a change for the better. They still have huge trophies for the top 3 overall (male and female) in both races, which are great, but have scaled back the age group awards from fairly big trophies to generic medals. I’m okay with that but I think it might disappoint some who have run in previous years. Hard to complain though with the low registration price, and the awards ceremony is a good one, this year held by the outdoor pool adjoining the recreation center.


I’d heard rumors that the race wouldn’t be held this year and was glad to see they weren’t true. I’d really like to see this one continue for many more years. Although it’s not a huge race, it does draw a lot of long-time runners who have come to appreciate it over the years, and I’m definitely one who plans on coming back next year.


Race Number:  304


Race Name:  Great Waldensian Footrace 10k/5k


Location:  Valdese, North Carolina


Date:  August 8, 2015


Race Rating:  96



  • 5k Male:  Jacob Parker (Age 17) (Elkin, NC) – 17:05
  • 10k Male:  Caleb Critcher (Age 31) (Deep Gap, NC) – 36:19
  • 5k Female:  Emily Byrd (Age 22) (Connelly Springs, NC) – 20:44
  • 10k Female:  Liz Loftis (Age 25) (Rock Hill, SC) – 45:42

Course:  Both courses are out-and-back. Plenty of rolling hills in both but there’s a major downhill (about a mile from what I’ve heard) in the 10k past the 5k turn-around that you have to climb on the way back.


Weather at Start:  68 degrees, 100% humidity, and clear.


Race Results:


My Stats:

  • Time:  22:07
  • Pace:   7:07
  • Age Group:  1 of 6
  • Overall:  22 of 175
  • Average Heart Rate:  163
  • Maximum Heart Race:  171
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:32 (74.03%)



3 – 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

5 – 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   *(Not on Waldensian site)

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
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)
7 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes  *(No entertainment at the race but plenty at the festival afterwards)
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

0 – 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
2 – 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

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
0 – 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
10 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10) *(+10 extra points for $6 race-day registration)

TOTAL:  96

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5 Replies to “Race #304 – The Great Waldensian Footrace 5k & 10k – Valdese, NC – 08/08/15”

  1. Great race we did there.
    I am now racing vicariously through you.
    Keep up the good work on our behalf.

    I enjoy the way you post as to races here. Adding an elevation profile would be a help for someone new next year who does not know the courses.

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