Race #331 – Kings Mountain Marathon and Half Marathon – Clover, SC – 04/23/16

2016-km-half-LOGOOver the past few years this has become one of my favorite races. It’s close to home so there are always plenty of friends in attendance, but it’s also well organized. It’s small, this year with less than 200 finishers combined in the half marathon (141) and full marathon (49), but it’s a great atmosphere with the course traversing along the roads of Kings Mountain State Park and into the Kings Mountain National Military Park. It’s one of the hilliest courses I’ve run, but I always come away with a sense of satisfaction after completing the tough course.


One of the highlights of this year’s race was meeting Sheri Gewelke in person. She’s a remarkable runner from Tennessee who happens to be a friend of my grandson Ryan. Last year she ran 115 miles in a 48-hour ultra. Even more notable is the fact that she has eight children and all of them are great runners as well. A couple of examples: Her 5-year-old daughter just broke the Tennessee state record for the mile with a time of 8:10, breaking the old record by 15 seconds! Also, her 9-year-old daughter was recently featured in Running Journal for being the youngest finisher of a half marathon.


This was the third time I’ve run this half marathon, and since the course has remained the same it provides a good benchmark for how my running is coming along. It’s no secret that I’m slowing down, but I wish my demise was a little more gradual. My modest goal this year was to run under 1:50:00, and as I approached the uphill finish I could see that the clock read 1:49:52. As hard as I tried to pick up the pace, I didn’t have much left, and I was just a little bummed that my official gun time was 1:50:01. I did feel a little better later when I saw that my chip time was actually 1:49:53, which landed me 2nd in the 60-64 age group by Stephen Price from Charlotte, who’s been kicking my butt on a pretty regular basis lately.


I’m hoping to be back next year and hopefully not too much slower, although I keep telling myself that the important thing is to just keep going.


Race Number: 331


Race Name:  Kings Mountain Marathon & Half Marathon


Location:  Kings Mountain State Park (Clover, South Carolina)


Date:  April 23, 2016


Race Rating:  92



Full Marathon Top 30


Half Marathon Top 30
Half Marathon Top 30

Course:  Half marathon course is out-and-back with lots of hills and several miles of gravel road (that’s not too bad to run on). Plenty of shade helps.










Weather at Start:  Sunny, 61 degrees, 82% humidity.


Click Here for Race Results


Click Here for Race Website
My Stats:




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
0 – 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
0 – 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 online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (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: (0-9)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

8 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – 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
3 – Design: (1-5)
3 – Material Quality: (1-3)
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

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

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:   92

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