Race #426 – Lake Wylie Splash Dash 5k/10k – Lake Wylie, SC – 06/09/18

My Garmin watch says there is 154 feet of elevation gain in this race, but everything else in me says there’s way more than that. I ran the 5k option in this race held in the gated community called River Hills, and the entire neighborhood reminds me of a roller coaster, with lots of steep uphills and downhills and very few flat spots.

The weather was warm and humidity was at 94%, but I have no complaints since that’s the way I like it. To offset the warm temperature and high humidity there are lots of trees to provide shade throughout most of the race as well as at the finish line.

There were 5-year age groups — YAY! — but only up to age 60 — BOO! So I was in the 60-99 age group. I’m proud to report I beat all of the 99-year-olds, but sadly I lost the age group by 3 seconds to a 60-year-old.

Race Number:  426

Race Name:  Lake Wylie Splash Dash 5k/10k

Location:  Lake Wylie, SC

Date:  June 9, 2018

Race Rating:  62

Top 10 (5k):

Top 10 (10k):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  23:49
Pace:  7:40
Age Group:  2 of 7
Overall:  11 of 82
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Rate:  172
Age Grade Percentage:  70.5%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – 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)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
0 – 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

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

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

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

T-SHIRTS
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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
0 – 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
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
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  62

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Race #425 – Jog in the Jungle – Gastonia NC – 06/02/18

I’m no big fan of trail races, but this one was part of the local race series so I figured I’d go for it. It was held on the cross-country trail at Forestview High School and most of the participants were from the high school.

Actually I seem to be developing a little bit of appreciation for the trails lately, and despite ankle deep mud for about 100 yards (that we had to run through twice) and numerous sloppy portions throughout the race, it was kinda fun and I didn’t twist an ankle or do a face plant, so there’s that.

Race Number:  425

Race Name:  Jog in the Jungle 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina (Forestview High School)

Date:  June 2, 2018

Race Rating:  74

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos (122 Photos from Chris Eason)

My Stats:

Time:  25:24
Pace:  8:12
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  19 of 72
Average Heart Rate:  158
Maximum Heart Rate:  169
Age Graded Percentage:  66:67%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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
5 – 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

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – 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)
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

AWARDS
5 – 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

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

REST ROOMS
0 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
2 – 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
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
5 – 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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  74

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Race #424 – Belmont Classic 5k – Belmont, NC – 05/26/18

This has been one of my favorite races for a number of years. It’s always the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend and for me that means it’ll be warm at races for the next few months. It’s no secret that I’m a warm weather runner so it suits me perfectly. In the past this race has had its share of snafus, but this year everything worked out well. The weather was a little rainy just before the race, which probably kept the crowd down a bit, but it stayed dry during the race and post-race as well.

I was actually pretty happy with my time of 23:23, which is a time that would have made me cringe not that long ago. Nowadays though, with a number of 24:00+ times anything under that is sounding better and better. I’d still like to lose a few pounds and get back under 23:00, but as time goes by that looks less likely. Happy to still be racing though!

Race Number:  424

Race Name:  Belmont Classic 5k

Location:  Belmont, North Carolina

Date:  May 26, 2018

Race Rating:  80

Winners:

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  23:23
Pace:  7:32
Age Group (65-69):  1 of 5
Overall: 21 of 134
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Rate:  169
Age Grading:  72.42%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
0 – 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
0 – 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!
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!
3 – 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
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

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
7 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
4 – 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
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
0 – 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:  80

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Race #422 – Goat Island 5k – Cramerton, NC – 05/12/18

The Goat Island 5k is a brand new race in nearby Cramerton, which is less than a 10-minute drive from home for me. The race runs through the small town and Goat Island Park, up around the new high school, through some neighborhoods, and back to town for the finish in the center of town.

The weather in the 70s was too hot for some runners but just right for me. The hills aren’t too bad but there seem to be very few flat areas in Cramerton — it’s either up or down all along the way.

The 5k was just one part of a whole series of events called “The Goat Island Games,” which also featured a fishing tournament, horseshoes, and other fun family stuff. It’s something I hope they’ll continue in the future.

One outstanding perk this race offered was the free professional photography! Free pics are always great and the quality of these was excellent!

As for my race performance, it wasn’t great although I did manage to win the 60-and-over division with a time of 24:30, but not without a good measure of grief as I tried to stay ahead of my competition, mostly friends who have been nearby in recent races (Dianne Allen, Walt Talley, Robert Harriss). We’re good friends but we still like to beat each other in races, and all three of those are breathing down my neck in recent races. I’d like to lose a few pounds (as always) and nudge my time back to at least under 24:00, but only time will tell.

Race Number:  422

Race Name:  Goat Island 5k

Location:  Cramerton, North Carolina

Date:  May 12, 2018

Race Rating:  90

Winners (Top 10 Overall):

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for FREE Race Photos

My Stats:

Time:  24:30
Pace:  7:53
Age Group:  1 of 5
Overall:  18 of 316
Average Heart Rate:  157
Maximum Heart Race:  168
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:56 (68.57%)

Awards for the 60+ age group with Jerry Price and Walt Talley.

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

RACE COURSE
0 – 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
4 – 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!
0 – 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!
3 – 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)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
0 – 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
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
5 – 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

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

REST ROOMS
0 – 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
3 – 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
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
10 – 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
0 – 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:   90

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Race #421 – Lake Norman Half Marathon – Mooresville, NC – 05/06/18

With a half marathon coming up at the end of May and an important 5k (for me) on the same day, I decided to run this half marathon just to see if I felt well enough to run that half in a few weeks. If not, I reasoned, I’d just go for the 5k. Turns out I was miserable, just as I have been in the two previous half  marathons I’ve run this year. Just being realistic, at 66 years old, my best half marathon days are long gone, and this might very well have been my last half marathon. I don’t actually feel bad about it; in fact, I’m kinda looking forward to running fewer miles overall and cutting back my long run each week from 10  miles to maybe 6 miles or so. That will allow me to keep running 5k and 10k races and should be a lot less stress on my right knee, which seems to be getting progressively worse as time goes by. The doctor told me a few months ago that the x-rays only showed arthritis and that I’m not doing any damage by running on it, so I should be able to keep going as long as I don’t mind the discomfort.

About the race, it’s a good one that I would have loved back when I was younger. The venue was the Trump National Golf Club on Lake Norman, and neither being a golfer nor a rich person, it was my first excursion onto the grounds. Parking was a bit of an issue since there is no huge parking lot, but there were a ton of volunteers who directed runners to park in the grass all along the area leading up to the race venue. For me it ended up being a 10-minute or so walk to the starting line, but the weather was great and it was a pleasant walk.

The race course ran past the lake houses of some of the famous Nascar drivers, but I’ve noticed that scenery of that sort kind of flies by unnoticed when I’m in a race and mostly just looking at the road ahead of me instead of sightseeing. It was pleasant though, and there were very few hills to contend with along the way. For me though, the whole race was somewhat of a struggle and when the 1:50 pace group passed me in the latter miles I knew I was finished.

After the race there was pizza and other good post-race fare as well as a good band for entertainment. The awards were nice, especially for the overall winners ($$$), but there was a nice medal for age group winners too.

Race Number:  421

Race Name:  Lake Norman Half Marathon & 5k

Location:  Mooresville, North Carolina (Trump National Golf Club)

Date:  May 6, 2018

Race Rating:  94

Winners:

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

My Stats:

Time:  1:52:27
Pace:  8:35
Age Group: 1 of 7
Overall:  90 of 464
Average Heart Rate:  153
Maximum Heart Rate:  160
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:26:47 (67.27%)

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

RACE COURSE
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
4 – 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
0 – 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
5 – 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
7 – 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
1 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
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

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
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  94

 

 

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Race #420 – GOTR Spring 5k – Gastonia, NC – 05/05/18

The Girls on the Run 5k is the highlight of a program designed to help elementary school girls develop self-respect and a healthy lifestyle. It’s also part of the Run Gaston race series so it’s open to all runners. It was a warm and humid morning (64 degrees and 88% humidity) which seemed to affect the times of most of the folks I talked to after the race. I was slower too, but being the warm weather lover that I am, it seemed like perfect weather to me and my lack of speed is probably more due to aging and a not-so-great diet.

Race Number:  420

Race Name:  Gaston County Girls on the Run Spring 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

Date:  May 5, 2018

Race Rating:

Winners (Top 10):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos on Facebook by Megan Hitchnins Photography (68 photos)

Click Here for Race Photos from Gaston Gazette (38 Photos)

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  24:40
Pace:  7:56
Age Group:  1 of 5
Overall:  7 of 479
Average Heart Rate:  156
Maximum Heart Rate:  167
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  19:04 (68.11%)

Photo from Gaston Gazette

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

RACE COURSE
0 – 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
6 – 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!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
0 – 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)
0 – 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

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

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

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

T-SHIRTS
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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
5 – 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
0 – 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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  73

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Race #419 – Mount Holly 10k – Mount Holly, NC – 04/28/18

Formerly called the Mount Holly Springfest 5k, a couple years ago a 10k was added and it’s now the “Run Mount Holly 5k Downtown Dash and 10k River Run.” I’m not sure why, but as the name has expanded the crowd has contracted, and this year there were only about 120 total runners in both races, which is considerably fewer than there used to be when it was just a 5k. Most likely the major factor in the smaller race size is the number of races that are now available to choose from. I’ve also heard that not as many folks are running races as a few years ago, so a smaller turnout for all races is not surprising.

With a half marathon planned for next weekend I decided my best option would be to run the 10k, especially since it allowed me to squeeze out an extra point in our local race series. This would test my increasingly bothersome arthritic right knee a bit and at least give me an idea of how I should feel halfway through the half marathon. Not great but we’ll see.

One problem came up during the race. The course wasn’t marked as well as it should have been. At one point in the industrial park we ran through, I almost ran the wrong way. There was nobody close enough to see in front of me and I wasn’t sure whether to go left or right on a wide portion of pavement (not a parking lot and not a street, but something in between). I had to stop and ask the runners in back of me. Fortunately someone saw the faint white markings on the pavement that marked the course. So it was marked, but not well. There should have been some signs with arrows, especially when there were no volunteers at intersections. I talked to a few other runners who ended up off the course at another location and ended up running an extra half mile in the 10k.

Race Number:  419

Race Name:   Run Mount Holly 5k Downtown Dash and 10k River Run

Location:  Mount Holly, North Carolina

Date:  April 28, 2018

Race Rating:  70

Winners (Top 20):

 

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  49:04
  • Pace:   7:54
  • Age Group:  1 of 1
  • Overall:  17 of 39
  • Average Heart Rate:  161
  • Maximum Heart Rate:  170
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  37:46 (70.75%)

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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.]
0 – 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
0 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – 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!
3 – 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
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

AWARDS
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

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

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
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

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

TOTAL:  70

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Race #418 – Community Foundation Run 5k – Gastonia NC – 04/14/18

Formerly called “Run for the Money,” Gastonia’s largest race of the year is the Community Foundation Run, in which runners compete to get extra money for their favorite nonprofit groups in the county. The runners don’t actually get any money themselves but direct extra money to their chosen charities. Overall winners get $1000, first place age group winners get $300, and second place age group winners get $150. I won the 65-69 age group for my chosen charity, Gaston Residential Services. My wife’s sister is a client of GRS and they provide a great service for her and for Gaston County.

This year the race course changed some previous years. There are now fewer turns along the way, which is good, but the rolling hills remain. It was the second race in the Run Gaston series, and with the first race being on the previous night there were only a handful who ran both races.

There were around 800 finishers in the 5k results, but there were several thousand untimed walkers in the 2k, so it was a huge crowd. It took a while for the results to be compiled and for the awards ceremony to start, but there was plenty to do and see while waiting.

Race Number:  418

Race Name:  Community Foundation Run 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

Date:  April 14, 2018

Race Rating:  104

Winners:

Course:

Elevation (by Mile):

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Lots of free pics available taken from the start/finish!

My Stats:

Time:  23:30
Pace:  7:35
Age Group:  1 of 3
Overall:  84 of 797
Average Heart Rate:  157
Maximum Heart Rate:  168
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:10 (71.49%)

 

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

RACE COURSE
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

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – 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)
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

AWARDS
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
5 – 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

POST RACE
4 – 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

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

T-SHIRTS
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

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
10 – 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
2 – 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:  104

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Race #417 – Cherry Blossom 5k – Cherryville NC – 04/13/18

This was my 7th time running the Cherry Blossom 5k, held in conjunction with the Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s a pleasant small-town race that I look forward to each year. It’s a Friday night race and every year that I can remember it’s been nice and warm (just like I like it) but not too hot. They always have pizza after the race, which is a plus, and there are plenty of local friends competing.

This year it was the first race of the local Run Gaston race series, which should have drawn more runners. Unfortunately with a big competing race the next morning in Gastonia kept the crowd small, and the increased registration cost of $40 leading up to the race kept even more runners away. There was quite a bit of discussion about the race and it didn’t even affect me since I registered well in advance at a lower cost, but I was assured that next year the price to run would be considerably lower.

I’ve heard runners say it’s a hilly course, but that’s something I haven’t noticed. Sure, there are several ups and downs in the race but that’s just normal for this area. Not every intersection had volunteers but all of the turns were marked well so I didn’t hear of anybody getting off track, which has happened some in the past in this race.

There was a photographer, which is a good thing, and the photos were reasonably priced at $7 for a digital download. Oddly though, the same photographer worked the Community Foundation Run the next day and all of those photos were downloadable for free. I’m not sure why there would be a charge at one race and not the other, and I’m not complaining since the $7 is quite reasonable for race photos these days,  but it does make me wonder why photos at one race are free there is a charge at another race. Maybe there was an agreement of some sort with the race directors, but I don’t know.

The photos aren’t free, but reasonably priced at $7 for a digital download.

Race Number:  417

Race Name:  Cherry Blossom 5k

Location:  Cherryville, North Carolina

Date:  April 13, 2018

Race Rating:

Winners (Top 20 Overall):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

My Stats:

Time:  23:48
Pace:  7:39
Age Group:  1 of 3
Overall:  8 of 66
Average Heart Rate:  158
Maximum Heart Rate: 167
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:24 (70.59%)

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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
5 – 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
0 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
0 – 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)
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

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

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

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

T-SHIRTS
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

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
5 – 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
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
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:

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Race #416 – Cooper River Bridge 10k – Charleston SC – 04/07/18

It’s by far the largest race in the Carolinas, and one of the largest races in the United States with around 30,000 participants each year. I’ve always had it on my radar but for one reason or another I missed it every year until now. This was its 41st year and it’s organized beautifully with every aspect from the expo to the post-race party running smoothly.

For all of its grandeur, it’s a bit much for me so I probably won’t be back anytime soon, but not due to any faults with the race. Lately I prefer being home over traveling, and I enjoy the small local races as much or more than larger destination races.

The race itself was a lot of fun. The bridge was tough and even though I tried to stay within my heart rate goal, I couldn’t do it and keep any momentum at all so I just did my best, walking for 30 seconds or so three different times while going up the bridge. Coming down was a lot easier, of course, and the crowd support in Charleston was great. The post-race party was spectacular, with plenty of free food (I had barbecue, muffins, fruit, watermelon, and donuts) and lots of entertainment.

I’ve lost enough speed over the past couple years that I knew I didn’t stand a chance of placing in the top 3 in my age group, but from past results I figured top 10 was a possibility. I finished 8th out of 386 in the 65-69 age group with a time of 47:58, so I was pretty happy with that. Fortunately I qualified to start in the 45- to 50-minute corral, just ahead of the masses in the corrals behind us so there wasn’t a problem with there being slow people to have to dodge.

My wife Linda’s first race in a while… She did great!

Next week marks the beginning of the Run Gaston series, which is 18 local races in Gaston County where I live. I’m looking forward to settling into the small-town races.

Race Number:  416

Race Name:  Cooper River Bridge 10k

Location:  Charleston, South Carolina

Date:  April 7, 2018

Race Rating:  125

Winners:

Course:

Elevation:  *Note that the elevation as measured by Garmin is not correct because it doesn’t measure the height of the bridge but rather the ground (or water) underneath the bridge.

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  27:58
Pace:  7:43
Age Group:  8 of 386
Overall:  1140 of 27,447
Average Heart Rate: 163
Maximum Heart Rate: 173
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  36:55 (72.38%)

Thanks to Tim Baucom for catching a photo of me along the course!

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

RACE COURSE
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
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
9 – 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
3 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
5 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
5 – 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
10 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
9 – 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
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
5 – 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
1 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
0 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
0 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces [remote]: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking [remote]: (2)yes (0)no

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
5 – 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:   125

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