Race #392 – The Burn 5k – Gastonia NC – 09/04/17

Now in its fourth year, The Burn 5k has become my race of choice on Labor Day. It’s not that I’m in love with the course, but it’s my running club’s group run every Thursday so I’m familiar with every steep hill and winding turn along the way.

The race is 1.55 miles up the Tower Trail, which my Garmin says is a 536-foot climb, then thankfully it turns around and descends back to the finish. It’s so steep in several places that you have to hold yourself back to keep from losing control, but the downhill does help make up for a little lost time.

It’s no PR course for sure, and my goal this year was just to be a second or so faster than last year. That didn’t happen but I was just 1 second slower this year (26:32 vs 26:31 last year) so maybe not so bad for being a year older, although since I’ve recently lost 10+ pounds I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t do better.

This was the second race of the fall season of the YMCA race series so there were plenty of friends to make it more fun, and although I’ve complained about running up this mountain forever I’m kind of hoping the race will continue as long as I’m able to run it.

Race Number:  392

Race Name: The Burn 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina (Crowders Mountain)

Date: September 4, 2017 (Labor Day)

Race Rating:  64

Winners (Top 25):


Course:  Unpaved gravel service road to the top of Crowders Mountain. Mostly steep climb going up (especially after 1-mile mark) and steep descent going down.



Weather at Start:  Sunny, 63 degrees, 94% humidity.

Race Results:


My Stats:

Time:  26:32
Pace:  8:34
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall: 13 of 70


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!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – 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
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
3 – 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)
0 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

  • *Parking is 0.7 miles up the road at a remote location and a bus takes runners to the start, then back to their cars after the race.

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
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  64

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