Race #405 – ChristmasTown 5k – McAdenville, NC – 11/25/17

It’s Gaston County’s most popular race, limited to 1200 runners, and if you want to run it you need to register well in advance since it fills up quickly. The Town of McAdenville is known as ChristmasTown USA, and each December the tiny town with less than 700 permanent residents lights up the night with more than a half million lights to celebrate the season. The lights don’t officially start until December 1st but for the past four years this race has given a sneak preview for runners, being held the last Saturday night in November.

The streets start closing at 4:30 p.m., so if you want to park close to the race venue you need to get there early. Linda and I got there about 4:20 so we were able to park just down the steps from the YMCA, where the after-party is held. Arriving early is actually half the fun as you get to check out what runners are wearing, and with awards for costumes as well as the race it gets pretty interesting.

The race starts downhill right through the middle of town, then it’s flat across the bridge and back. After that it’s nothing but hills — some up, and some down — until the final climb back up to where the race started. The whole race only has about 230 feet of elevation gain but that’s quite a bit in a 5k, and for some reason it seems to be even more, maybe because the uphill is concentrated in the final two miles.

I surprised myself by running better than I did at the Turkey Trot two days earlier, and I was over a minute faster than in this same race last year. I even managed to squeak out a little bit of breathing room for 2nd place in the Gaston County YMCA series. With next week’s race being the final race of the series I’ve got a great chance of finishing 2nd overall unless I break something before then or implode during the race, which is always possible. There’s no way I can overtake Jimmy Glover for 1st place. Jimmy is a phenomenal 61-year-old runner who might be the fastest runner over 60 years old in the state.

Another surprise regarding this race was when I received an email from the President of the McAdenville Women’s Club, the co-sponsors of the race. She said they appreciated my continued support of the race and my honest reviews, and as a small token of their appreciation they were giving me bib #1. I really do appreciate it, and YES, I can be bought! For that they receive 10 extra points in my completely objective and non-biased ratings system! Those 10 extra points plus $1 and tax will get you any size soft drink at any participating McDonald’s. And to keep it fair, if you’ve read this far you’ll know that you can just subtract the 10 points from the total for a more objective rating.

Thanks to Steve Rankin, who did a great job with race photography! Photos can be found on the McAdenville Women’s Club webpage (link below).


Race Number:  405

Race Name:  ChristmasTown 5k

Location:  McAdenville, North Carolina

Date:  November 25, 2017

Race Rating:  106

Winners (Top 30):

Course:  Main and side streets in the Town of McAdenville. Lots of hills, both up and down.


Weather at Start:  Clear, 52 degrees, 76% humidity.

Click Here for Photos on McAdenville Women’s Club Website

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  22:31
Pace:  7:16
Age Group:  1 of 12
Overall:  26 of 1,012
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Race:  171
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:33 (73.95%)


3 – Chip & Gun 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
5 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
0 – 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

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
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

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

5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
0 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
7 – 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
0 – 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
10 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  106

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