Race #390 – Yiasou Greek Festival 5k – Charlotte NC – 08/26/17

It seems I always have a conflicting race on this date that I choose, and I almost went in a different direction on this day until a friend reminded me that I was already registered. Several months earlier I had taken advantage of a cheap price and I had forgotten all about it. So for the first time in seven years I ran the Greek Festival 5k.

I didn’t remember a lot about the race except it’s always listed as one of the flattest and fastest 5k races in the Charlotte area. According to my Garmin it turned out to be 83 feet of elevation gain and 90 feet of elevation loss, so there were no hills to speak of but there were some areas of slight inclines and declines.

All of the pics of me in this blog post are from the pro photographers along the course (Marathon Photos). I’ve seldom bought an entire package of race photos but I thought these were exceptional and a good deal. The package was $49.95, which isn’t cheap, but there were 20 different pics in 5 formats (this one’s called the “Race Time” format, so for a total of 100 pics they’re just 50 cents each. I won’t use them all but it’s a much better deal than it used to be. Of course everybody’s pics will be different — some better and some worse — but I was happy with these.

My main concern going to the race was parking. The race website said there wasn’t much local parking in the area and recommended parking at some other locations outside the area and even taking the light rail to the race site, so I left early enough to arrive about an hour and a half before the race just to make sure I found parking. It turns out there was plenty of parking within just a couple blocks of the race venue, or it seemed that way to me, and none of my friends had any problem parking nearby as well.

I guess one reason I’ve bypassed this race for so many years is because of the size. It’s just a personal preference but I’m more comfortable finishing 10th in a race with 100 people than I am finishing 100th in a race with 1000 people. Both are okay and I’ll do either one, but I tend to enjoy the smaller races more. It’s usually easier to park, easier to find your friends, not as crowded at the start and along the course, and that kind of thing.

There were some perks in this race that you wouldn’t normally find in a smaller race such as a great finishers medal (rare in a 5k) and professional photography.

The race turned out well for me. People don’t usually ask me what time I’m shooting for but a few did ask about this one. I’ve lost a little over 10 pounds lately and have been running pretty well for a 65-year-old and better than I have in a year or two, so I reluctantly said I’d like to run under 22 minutes. The last time I was under 22:00 was about a year and a half ago so it wouldn’t be easy, but with race being flat it’s possibly one of my few chances to do it. It’s not life and death, of course, but it’s nice to have a goal to try to accomplish.

As I crossed the finish line and hit my watch it stopped on exactly 22:00, but since it had taken me a couple seconds to get to the starting line after the gun sounded my official chip time was 21:58, so I was happy with that.

I did enjoy the race and maybe I’ll try to do this one every year that I can in the future just to get a benchmark of how I’m doing. I’m past the point of getting faster each year but it would be nice not to slow down too much every year.

Race Number:  390

Race Name: Yiasou Greek Festival 5k

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina

Date: August 26, 2017

Race Rating:  100

Winners (Top 15 Overall):

 

My Age Group (65-69):

Course: Around Charlotte streets in the Dilworth neighborhood, it’s about the flattest 5k that could be run in Charlotte with less than 100 feet of elevation gain and loss.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 70 degrees, 88% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from Marathon Photos

 

My Stats:

Time:  21:58
Pace:  7:05
Age Group: 2 of 20
Overall:  91 of 1146
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:08 (75.8%)

As happy as I was with my time of 21:58, my hat’s off to Paul Myers, who ran even faster (21:07) and won the age group.

***************
* RACE RATING *
***************

RACE COURSE
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
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
8 – 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

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
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

AWARDS
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

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

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
1 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
3 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
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

OTHER
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
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  100

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