Race #355 – Rocktoberfest Half Marathon & 5-Miler – Charlotte, NC – 10/15/16

2016-rocktoberfest-logoGiven the choice between the half marathon and any other distance, I have always chosen the half marathon. That changed today as I ran the 5-miler instead. I’m getting to the point that running back-to-back half marathons in successive weeks is a bit much, and next week is the half marathon in Myrtle Beach. I’ve run the Rocktoberfest Half Marathon a few times in the past and I gotta say it made the 5-miler a lot easier in my head. I remember thinking at about the 3-mile mark that it was a good feeling to be more than halfway through.


As part of the Run for Your Life series, this is a pretty big racing event in Charlotte, with 757 finishers in the half marathon and another 348 in the 5-miler. The half marathon began 20 minutes before the 5-mile option, and when it was over the 5-mile awards were held before most of the half marathon runners crossed the finish line. I didn’t hang around too long afterwards but seeing pictures of a lot of friends who had run the half marathon made me wish I would have stayed for a while.


With race buddy Aaron Chan.

I was pretty happy with my time. The 5-mile distance is rare in races and I had only run one previously — the Ortega River Run in Florida back in 2009 on my 57th birthday. That day I ran 39:11, but even though I was much younger I was just getting my feet wet as a racer and I felt I could still do better than that now. An 8k (4.97 miles) race is fairly common and I’ve run quite a few of those so I compared some of those times. My best 8k time was back in 2011 where I ran 33:13 (6:40 pace) at the Southpark Turkey Trot. No way I’ll be doing do that again, so I was just hoping to be under 38:00 for this race. I finished this one in 36:22 (7:17 pace) so it wasn’t bad for where I am now.


There was a fantastic finishers medal even for the 5-miler. The shirts are great too and it’s one I’ll actually wear. Food was so-so, but there was a great band that provided entertainment at the post-race party. Nearby parking was available in the CPCC parking garage for 5 bucks, but it’s probably worth the extra $5 to park close to the race instead of scrounging around for a free parking spot several blocks away.


Race Number:  355


Race Name:  Rocktoberfest Half Marathon & 5-Miler


Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina


Date:  October 15, 2016


Race Rating:  99




5 Mile Course:



Half Marathon Course:


Elevation (5 Miler):

  • Gain: 257 feet
  • Loss: 246 feet


Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 55 degrees, 88% humidity.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from Marathon Photos

My Stats:

  • Time:  36:22
  • Pace: 7:17
  • Age Group:  2 of 7
  • Overall:  17 of 348
  • Average Heart Rate:  161
  • Maximum Heart Race: 170
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time: 28:32 (74.7%)



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
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

2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – 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

5 – 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

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
5 – Design: (1-5)
3 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
1 – 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
0 – 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
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  99



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