Race #414 – Elizabeth 8k Road Race – Charlotte NC – 03/24/18

Now in its 32nd year, the Elizabeth 8k Road Race is Charlotte’s oldest race although this was my first year to run it. I was pleasantly surprised that the pre-race activities were held inside the Hawthorne Recreation Center so there was some protection from bad weather, although it wasn’t needed this year since the weather was dry and temperatures not terribly cold.

I rode to the race with my friend Ron and we arrived early because of the warnings about limited parking. It turns out there was plenty of parking right by the starting line. The finish line was on the other side of the park but not more than a quarter of a mile or so.

Once again I walked quite a bit during the race, which is no surprise anymore. A few days after the race somebody mentioned the heart rate training that I’ve done ever since my second year of running. As I thought about it, I realized that I’ve put that method on the back burner and have rarely used it in races lately. I have a theory that each year my maximum heart rate probably goes down about 1 beat per minute. When I began the heart rate method that I use around 9 years ago my goal in races was to hit a heart rate of 165 and hold that throughout the race. It worked great and I had quite a bit of success with it, but over time it’s become less effective and harder for me to do. If what I suspect is correct, over time that insignificant 1 beat per minute per year has probably increased to about 10 beats from what I started out at, so instead of targeting a 165 heart rate I should probably be targeting a 155 heart rate! So if I’m correct, I’ll be much more comfortable and be at what should be my normal speed if I lower my target rate to the more realistic goal of 155. I might push it to 157 but then I should probably back off a little. Sadly, in doing that I know my speed will be slower, but it’s slower anyway and that’s probably why I’m feeling the need to walk multiple times in every race. Very possibly I can do better overall by lowering my target heart rate, so that will be my goal in my next race to see if it works.

I’m only two weeks away from an important race for me — the Cooper River Bridge 10k — so even though I was going to take next week off from racing I think I’ll search for a 5k to run and test out my heart rate theory.

Race Number:  414

Race Name:  Elizabeth 8k Road Race

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina

Date:  March 24, 2018

Race Rating:  96




Weather at Start:

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My Stats:

  • Time:  38:26
  • Pace:  7:45
  • Age Group:  1 of 5
  • Overall:  102 of 636
  • Average Heart Rate:  158
  • Maximum Heart Rate:  166
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  29:36 (71.64%)


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
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
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!
3 – 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
5 – 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)
7 – 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
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

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

2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
2 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – 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:  96

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