Race #359 – ChristmasTown 5k – McAdenville, NC – 11/26/16

000-christmastown5kNow in its fourth year, the ChristmasTown 5k in McAdenville has become one of the region’s top wintertime destination 5k races. The famous Christmas lights of McAdenville don’t officially come on until December 1st, but for this evening race runners and spectators are given a sneak peak as the streets are closed down and the millions of lights are turned on just for this event.


As you would expect, the Christmas lights provide plenty of illumination, but there are some areas where it’s hard to see the street so I carried a small flashlight that I used a few times along the way. To offset the beauty of the lights is the agony of the hills, and there are plenty of them. Except for crossing the bridge there doesn’t seem to be a flat spot in the whole town, so you’re either going up or down the entire way, or so it seemed to me.


I struggled to get up the hills, which is nothing new, but I partly made up for it by being a little faster on the downhills. As always, the best part of the race is when it’s over, and most of the runners gathered in the YMCA gymnasium for the awards and costume contest.


There was very little in the way of free post-race food (I was told bananas and water but I didn’t go looking for it). There were some people selling food so that helped a little, but it’s disappointing for a race (especially one of this magnitude) to not supply something decent. Hot chocolate and some decent free post-race treats would be nice.


Race Number:  359

Race Name:  ChristmasTown 5k

Location: McAdenville, North Carolina

Date: November 26, 2016

Race Rating:  79


Course:  Beautiful lights and lots of volunteers along the way, but at least 4 big hills as you wind along the streets of McAdenville. The uphill finish is torture.


  • Gain:  243 feet (seemed like a lot more!)
  • Loss:  234 feet

Weather at Start:  Clear, 54 degrees, 26% humidity, 3 mph N wind.


Race Results:

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:36
  • Pace:  7:37
  • Age Group:  2 of 20
  • Overall:  49 of 1013
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:33 (69.99%)





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
5 – 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
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)
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: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

3 – 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
1 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
4 – Design: (1-5)
4 – 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

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

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
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)

TOTAL:   79

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