Race #388 – Great Waldensian Foot Race 5k/10k – Valdese, NC – 08/12/17

For the past 42 years this race has been held in conjunction with the Waldensian Festival, a celebration of the history of Valdese. After the race it’s fun to stroll through the downtown festival just a couple blocks away from the race venue (the local community center) and check out the craft tents, entertainment, and food, all of which are hopping by the time the race ends.

The $10 race day entry fee (without a shirt) makes this the cheapest local race I know of, and every year the race draws lots of old school runners from surrounding communities but also quite a few high schoolers as well. I’ve run the race multiple times and have always chosen the 5k option. The rumors run rampant about the big hill on the way back if you choose to run the 10k, and I’ve never been in the mood to tackle an extra big hill. This week though, I missed a day of running as I was traveling and I needed a few extra miles so I figured I might as well see what all the fuss was about the famous hill and I opted to run the 10k for the first time.

It turns out that the big hill was tough, but I’d heard so many horror stories I thought it would be even worse, so it was a relief to find out it wasn’t that big of a deal. My Garmin measured the elevation gain of the entire race at a little less than 300 feet. That’s a speed bump compared to the Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon that I ran earlier this year, which had an elevation gain of 1,668 feet. I believe the hill might be more of a psychological roadblock in this race because it’s predominantly downhill going 3 miles out (maybe 75%) then it’s 75% uphill on the way back, making for an uncomfortable final 3 miles. It wasn’t easy but I enjoyed it (by the time it was over) and if I’m feeling good I’ll probably do the 10k in the future. The 5k always has many more runners than the 10k. This year there were 135 finishers in the 5k but only 39 in the 10k.

Race Number:  388

Race Name:  Great Waldensian Road Race 5k & 10k

Location: Valdese, North Carolina

Date:  August 12, 2017

Race Rating:  81

Winners – 10k (Top 25):

Winners – 5k (Top 25):

Course:  Out-and-back on country roads with rolling hills. Both courses go along the same route but the 5k turnaround is much less hilly since it turns around before the big hill.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 70 degrees, calm winds, 100% humidity

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  48:50
  • Pace: 7:52
  • Age Group:  1 of 3
  • Overall: 12 of 39
  • Average Heart Rate: 159
  • Maximum Heart Race: 169
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time: 37:57 (70.41%)
After the race with running friends Mike Albright and Dean Simon.

 

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

RACE COURSE
1 – 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
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
5 – 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
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)
5 – 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)
2 – 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
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
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  81

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Race #383 – SC Peach Festival 10k & 5k – Gaffney, SC – 07/08/17

Needing some extra race mileage, I once again chose to run the 10k option instead of the 5k, hoping to improve a little on this past Tuesday’s 4th of July 10k. I managed to shave 6 seconds off Tuesday’s time so I guess that’s better than being slower. This one also had more hills and the humidity was 100%, so all in all I felt okay about my run.

 

This race itself is somewhat of a disaster and if I’m still running next year and haven’t completely lost my memory, I’ll instead run the Coon Dog Day 5k in Saluda which is generally held on the same day.

 

The only water stop in the 10k was 4 miles into the race. I didn’t pay attention since I usually carry my own water, but one runner up front said there was nobody at the water stop when they went by and you had to pull a water bottle out of the plastic packaging if you wanted it. Another runner near the back said they were offered water by a person, but it was a closed bottle. Uh, no thanks. This is supposed to be a race. There was water and Gatorade at the finish but it was all hot so it wasn’t that appealing with the soaring temperatures and 100% humidity.

 

The one bright spot was that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall winners as well as Masters (40-and-over) in both races received money (1st=$100; 2nd=$50; and 3rd=$25). If you were one of those top runners that was a plus, but most of us weren’t in that category, although I was 4th among those 40-and-over, so I felt okay about that.

 

To say that the age group awards were an afterthought is an understatement. After giving the overall awards they gave out some hats and T-shirts as door prizes. Then they presented awards to the 15 little kids who ran in the 1k kids race. Their overall awards (1st male and female) were really nice plaques, and the other kids received pretty nice trophies as well. After handing out the kids awards, the lady in charge said, “That’s it. Thanks for coming to the race.” A lot of people started leaving but of course some of the people who were waiting for the age group awards got a little miffed and went up to the table asking about the age group awards. She said “Oh yeah” or something to that effect, and then finally announced the age group winners for both races. I guess it’s kind of odd how we age-groupers will wait for the awards even when we know they’re crappy, and these are about as bad as they come — a ribbon. They did have the name of the race at least, so they weren’t quite generic ribbons.

 

I looked back to 2010 and saw that there were a total of 363 runners that year in the 5k and 10k combined, compared to 165 this year. My guess is that this race, which has been held since 1977, is on its last leg unless somebody takes over who has an interest in seeing it become a popular road race again. If you’re looking for me next year I’ll at the Coon Dog Day 5k.

Race Number:  383

 

Race Name:  SC Peach Festival 5k & 10k

 

Location:  Gaffney, South Carolina (Limestone College)

 

Date:  July 8, 2017

 

Race Rating:  84

 

Winners (10k):

 

Winners (5k):

 

Course:  Through neighborhoods in Gaffney. Some rolling hills. The 5k and 10k courses overlap at different points in the race and I passed some of the slower 5k runners three times during the race.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 72 degrees, 100% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  49:06
  • Pace:  7:55
  • Age Group:  1 of 2
  • Overall:  11 of 50
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race: 173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time: 38:09 (70.03%)

 

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
1 – 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
0 – 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
5 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap! ($20 race day for either race)
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)
0 – 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
3 – 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)
0 – 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
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
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
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:  84

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Race # 382 – Common Heart Firecracker Run 5k & 10k – Indian Trail, NC – 07/04/17

This 4th of July I decided to run the 10k option at the Common Heart Firecracker Run, which is held at the “Village of Lake Park” just outside Indian Trail. I’d heard it was a good race and pretty flat. Since my 100th half marathon in April the longest distance I’ve raced has been a 5k, but with another half marathon coming up in just two weeks I decided it’s time to get back in shape for some longer distances.

 

The Village at Lake Park provides a great venue for a race and the 10k course is actually two loops of the 5k. That suited me fine since on the second loop I had a much better idea of what was coming up along the course.

 

My only goal for the race was to finish in less than 50 minutes, which I managed to barely do with a time of 49:13. It was my second slowest 10k in eight years but I was actually pretty pleased since I seldom run 10k races these days and my 24:00+ 5k’s lately made me wonder if I could still run a 10k in under 50:00. This 4th of July race was on Tuesday and my next race (4 days later) is another 10k, followed by The Scream Half Marathon a week later.

 

Race Number:  382

Race Name:  Common Heart Firecracker Run 5k & 10k

Location:  Village of Lake Park (just outside Indian Trail, North Carolina)

Date:  July 4, 2017

Race Rating:  87

Winners:

 

Course:  Nearly flat loop through neighborhood. The 10k does the 5k loop twice.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 73 degrees, calm winds, 89% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from Christy Miller Photography

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

  • Time:   49:13
  • Pace:  7:55
  • Age Group:  1 of 3
  • Overall:  12 of 78
  • Average Heart Rate: 162
  • Maximum Heart Race: 173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  38:15  (69.86%)

 

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

RACE COURSE
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
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!
1 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes (5k certified but 10k not certified)
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
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
3 – 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
1 – 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
9 – 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
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  87

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Race #363 – Hot Chocolate 10k – Asheville, NC – 01/21/17

I last ran this race seven years ago (Race #71), all the way back in 2010, only my second full year of running. A year earlier in 2009 (Race #16) it was the first 10k I had ever run. It was a great race back then, and still is, but over the years I’ve become much less willing to drive 100 miles to run a race, especially in the winter.

 

I was glad I finally went back this year. It’s still probably the flattest 10k in Asheville, beginning and ending at the Isaac Dickson Elementary School. The 10k is a pretty big race with more than 500 finishers, and in addition to that, hundreds of kids also take part in the Marshmallow Dash (ages 8 and under) and the 1k Kids Hill Climb (ages 12 and under). The races are followed by entertainment and awards as well as plenty of hot chocolate in the school cafeteria and gymnasium.

 

This year I was about 5 minutes slower than when I ran the race in 2010, but that’s about par for the course these days. I don’t really like getting slower as I get older but that’s the way it works, so I’m glad I’m at least still running when a lot of other folks my age have been knocked out of the racing loop for one reason or another. On the bright side, I was about a minute faster than when I ran it as my first 10k in 2009. There’s something to be said for experience I suppose.

 

Race Number:  363

Race Name:  Asheville Hot Chocolate 10k

Location: Isaac Dickson Elementary School, Asheville, North Carolina

Date:  January 21, 2017

Race Rating: 88

Winners:

My Age Group (60-64):


Course: Out-and-back course with about a half mile down hill at the start, traveling along the French Broad River for several miles for a loop around French Broad River Park before traveling back to the school. Nearly flat except for the huge hill (maybe 1/2 mile) coming back up the hill at the end. Almost all of the elevation gain is in the last mile of the race.

Elevation:

Almost completely flat except for the start and finish.

Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 46 degrees, 93% humidity, calm winds.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from “The 828” (55 pics)

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  48:23
Pace: 7:48
Age Group:  1 of 13
Overall:  75 of 531
Average Heart Rate: 163
Maximum Heart Race: 171
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 37:58 (70.38%)

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

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

POST RACE
6 – 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
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)
2 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes (*Saved $5 by not getting a shirt!)

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
3 – 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
0 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

(*Parking is kind of a mess… We parked about a half mile away)

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 (*Asheville Track Club Grand Prix)
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  88

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Race #362 – Joe Davis Run for Recovery 10k – Fort Mill, SC – 01/14/17

Held each January in memory of Joe Davis, a 28-year-old who lost his battle with addiction in 2009, this race has become one of the more popular winter races in the Charlotte area with more than 800 runners participating in the 5k, 10k, and fun run.

 

This year I ran the 10k, which is pretty much two loops of the 5k course. Given the option between 5k and 10k I usually choose the 5k, but I haven’t raced much since cold weather arrived and figured I could use the extra racing miles. I knew ahead of time that the fastest guys in the 60-64 age group would also be in the 10k so I wasn’t surprised to finish 3rd in the age group. My time was 47:45, and I was actually pretty happy to just run the race in under 50 minutes.

 

The family of Joe Davis (brother, mother, sister) always take an active part in this race.

 

Race Number:  362

Race Name:  Joe Davis Run for Recovery 5k and 10k

Location:  Fort Mill, South Carolina

Date:  January 14, 2017

Race Rating:  104

Winners:

 

Participants:

Course: Mixture of greenway and some neighborhoods. A few long but not so steep hills. The 10k is 2 loops of the 5k.

Elevation:


Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 54 degrees, 67% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Click Here for FREE Race Photos from Genie Bunton Photography

 

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

Time:  47:45
Pace: 7:41
Age Group:  3 of 8
Overall:  57 of 278 (10k race)
Average Heart Rate: 162
Maximum Heart Race: 168
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  37:28 (71.31%)

Free photos from a great photographer… Always appreciated at a race!

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

RACE COURSE
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
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 (*Just a short finish in the grass)

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)
0 – 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

Really nice medal for all finishers of the 10k race!

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

REST ROOMS
1 – 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
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
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
10 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes (*FREE professional photos!)

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

Note about parking: It was close enough to walk to but a bit of a walk… maybe 1/4 to 1/2 mile.

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

TOTAL:  104

 

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Race #351 – Stop Soldier Suicide 10k/5k – Belmont, NC – 09/24/16

2016-stop-soldier-suicide-startIt was the second year of this Belmont race held to benefit the Stop Soldier Suicide organization. I missed the race last year but was honored to be a part of it this year. Race director Ronald Rhodes has been touched personally by a soldier suicide and he works tirelessly throughout the year organizing this race and working for the cause.

 

This year the race is part of the Gaston County YMCA series so plenty of my local running friends were there, which is always nice. The weather was great, and there were some nice touches such as a drawing for free meals at several local restaurants. Awards were handed out by local TV personality Ken Lemon of WSOC-TV.  All of the finishers of the 10k received a nice medal. There were also Visa gift cards for the 10k ($125, $75, and $50 for male and female overall Top 3 runners).

 

There were no issues along the 10k course, but a snafu occurred in the 5k resulting in quite a few of the top runners to run off course for as much as a mile before getting straightened out. I was running the 10k so none of that affected me.

 

I’m far from being in great shape but this was my fastest 10k of 2016 so I was happy about that. On August 20th I had run my slowest 10k ever (51:37 at OrthoCarolina) and my goal for this race was to at least get back down under 50:00.

2016-stop-soldier-suicide-01

 

Race Number:  351

Race Name:  Stop Soldier Suicide 10k and 5k

Location:  Belmont, North Carolina

Date:  September 24, 2016

Race Rating:  108

Winners:

2016-stop-soldier-suicide-top-20-10k

 

2016-stop-soldier-suicide-top-20-5k
Course: Pleasant course through neighborhoods and side streets of Belmont. Not too hilly. Streets were closed to traffic. Plenty of volunteers at turns but a mixup in the 5k resulting in extra mileage and slower times for 5k finishers, as seen in the 5k results.

2016-stop-soldier-suicide-map

Elevation:

  • Gain:  212 feet
  • Loss:  214 feet

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 66 degrees, 88% humidity.

 

Race Results:

 

Click Here for FREE Race Photos on SmugMug
My Stats:

  • Time:  47:14
  • Pace:  7:37
  • Age Group:  1 of 3
  • Overall: 9 of 95
  • Average Heart Rate:  162
  • Maximum Heart Race: 169
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  37:04 (72.09%)
2016-stop-soldier-suicide-awards-with-ken-lemon
Awards were handed out by Ken Lemon of WSOC-TV.

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

RACE COURSE
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
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)
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
8 – 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)
6 – 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)
3 – 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
8 – 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
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
-5 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10) (5 points deducted for 5k course mixup)

TOTAL:  108

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Race #345 – OrthoCarolina Classic 10k – Charlotte, NC – 08/20/16

2016-orthocarolina-logoYou’d think that after 344 races I’d be familiar with the basic rules of eating before a race, but for some reason I managed to forget those basics this past Saturday at the OrthoCarolina Classic. I have a tendency to have hypoglycemic episodes if I don’t eat before running, and my normal routine involves me scarfing down a candy bar or some other high carb snack just before I head to the starting line, a routine that has been scoffed at by plenty of my running friends over the years but it works for me I continue to do it. At least that’s been the routine until this week, when without giving it much of a thought I decided that instead of an unhealthy candy bar I’d have a 100-calorie protein shake instead, thereby providing myself with some nutrients and protein along with fewer calories. For some reason I didn’t even think about the fact that the drink only had 5 grams of carbs.

 

The end result was that I bonked. As soon as the race started I could feel that there was no energy in my legs, but by then it was too late. I started taking walk breaks before we hit the 1-mile mark, and by 2 miles I actually considered just dropping out of the race altogether, but I wasn’t sure I could find my way back to the finish line so I just kept going.  There were some hills, and the humidity was 94%, but none of that really mattered to me. The entire race felt to me like the last 6 miles of a marathon, but I was out of gas without having to run those first 20 miles.

 

As racing experiences go, it was the worst, but I did learn a lesson or two along the way so I’ll be back again next week to try to redeem myself. Gonna be a long week.

 

The race itself was fine as far as organization goes. It’s a big one for what I’m used to lately, with around 1,000 in the 10k and another 500 in the 5k. Free food was skimpy (bananas and bagels) but there were food trucks and plenty of free beer from a variety of local breweries. I don’t drink at all so the significance of that is lost on me.

 

There was no race-day registration so I had to make a special trip to Charlotte day before the race to sign up, which was annoying. If you registered late, as I did, there was no T-shirt, but they said I could get one after the race if there were any left. I didn’t really need another T-shirt but wanted to see if I could get one so I checked after the race, and there were plenty. They also gave me a nice drinking glass along with the shirt.

 

One other perk is that all finishers of the 10k and 5k received a nice custom finishers medal after the race.

 

Race Number:  345
Race Name:  OrthoCarolina Classic 10k/5k
Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina
Date:  August 20, 2016
Race Rating:  89
Winners (Top 15 in the 10k):

2016-orthocarolina-top15-10k

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 73 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Click Here for Official Race Photos

 

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  51:37
  • Pace:  8:19
  • Age Group:  3 of 12
  • Overall:  165 of 976
  • Average Heart Rate:  161
  • Maximum Heart Race: 171
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  40:30  (65.97%)
2016-orthocarolina-me-running-stu-stepp-cropped
Here I am trudging towards the finish line. Thanks to Stu Stepp for the photo!

***************
* 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
1 – 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
0 – 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
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)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
2 – FREE 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
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
1 – 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
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:   89

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Race #341 – Peach Festival 10k – Gaffney, SC – 07/09/16

2016-peach-festival-LOGOThis was only my second trip to the Peach Festival race in Gaffney. It’s a well organized and popular race but just happens to land on the same day as other races so I usually have a conflict. When I ran it three years ago I popped a hamstring about halfway through the race and ended up dropping out and limping back to the finish line. It now has the distinction of being the only race I’ve ever dropped out of because of an injury. I was running the 10k that year so I wanted to run the 10k this year also just to try and redeem myself.

 

The 10k and 5k start together then branch off in different directions, but then meet up again several times during the race so you keep meeting up with different groups of runners along the way, which I don’t mind because it provides a little variety not to mention it makes me feel a little faster since I always end up with a slower group of 5k runners.

 

It was hot, humid, and hilly but I don’t really mind. I always just remind myself of how much I dislike cold weather and how fortunate I am to just be able to keep running. I’ve come to grips with being slower, and my time of 48:17 was my slowest 10k time since my first three 10k races back when I began running. I find myself actually being more comfortable with slower times these days and I’ll be lucky if I slow down a little bit at a time as opposed to being stopped in my tracks by an injury.

 

Next week is The Scream! Half Marathon, which is a logistical nightmare but one of my favorite races of the year. I’m looking forward to lots of downhill running and sore quads for several days afterwards.

 

Race Number:  341

 

Race Name:  South Carolina Peach Festival 5k & 10k

 

Location:  Gaffney, South Carolina

 

Date:  July 9, 2016

 

Race Rating:  82

 

Winners:

10k Top 25:

2016-peach-festival-top25-10k

 

5k Top 25:

2016-peach-festival-top25-5k

Course: More hills than I expected — nothing major but lots of fairly long medium hills to climb, but of course you get to go down on the other side. Quite a bit of meeting up with runners in the other race so you have to be careful not to miss a turn.

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 70 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Click Here for Full Race Results

 

 

After the race I was showing off my new truck to some of my GCR friends. It replaces my beloved red Honda Insight that I've driven for the past 8 years. Gonna miss that car. I was able to keep my "RUNNER" license plate though.
After the race I was showing off my new truck to some of my GCR friends. It replaces my beloved red Honda Insight that I’ve driven for the past 8 years. Gonna miss that car. I was able to keep my “RUNNER” license plate though.

My Stats:

 

  • Time:  48:17
  • Pace:  7:47
  • Age Group:  1 of  1
  • Overall:   24 of  107
  • Average Heart Rate:  166
  • Maximum Heart Race: 175
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  37:53  (70.52%)

 

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

RACE COURSE
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
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)
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)
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)
2 – 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
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
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
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:   82

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Race #340 – Cat’s Cradle 5k/10k – Morganton, NC – 06/18/16

2016-cats-cradle-LOGOThe Cat’s Cradle 5k and 10k have become one of the favorite races of the year for my running club, the Gaston County Runners. It’s a fairly long drive from Gastonia — 70 miles or so — but it’s always a lot of fun. The course is flat and fast and most of the GCR folks choose the 10k option. I prefer the 5k, maybe because I’m getting a little lazy, but mostly so I can finish the race then take pictures of the people who still haven’t finished yet, thus providing some free photos for most of the runners in the race. This year I took a bunch of pics, got home and deleted the bad ones, and posted more than 1200 photos in two albums on Facebook that runners can download.

 

The race benefits the nonprofit Cat’s Cradle organization, whose mission is “To help bring about a time when no more abused or abandoned cats will be destroyed.” As a cat lover myself I’m always happy to be able to support this cause.

 

For me, the highlight of this year’s race was the appearance of Tom McCormack. Tom is a 62-year-old legend in the making who has the distinction of being the only person in the United States to ever run a sub 17-minute 5k at the age of 60, which he did two years ago in the national championship in Syracuse, New York, with a time of 16:58. He told me before the race that he’s been dealing with an injury and has only run three races this year, but he still managed to beat several fast high school runners in the 5k and get the overall win with a time of 17:42.

2016-cats-cradle-5k-me-mccormack-peay
Me, Tom McCormack, and Bill Peay.

Speaking of fast old guys, I met Bill Peay for the first time at this race. I’ve known him for a while on Facebook and have heard about his running history from some of the old-time runners in the Charlotte area. After a long layoff of many years he’s on the comeback trail at age 70 and ran strong in this race and actually edged me by two-tenths of a percentage point on an age-graded basis. He’s now living in South Carolina and has his eye on some of the 70-74 state age group records.

 

After the race about 20 folks from the GCR had breakfast at Granny’s Country Kitchen in Icard just off Interstate 40 on the way home. I’m pretty sure that’s a contributing factor to what makes this such a fun racing experience for our group. It’s also a contributing factor to what keeps those of us without any willpower about 10 pounds overweight.

 

Race Number:  340

 

Race Name:  Cat’s Cradle 5k & 10k

 

Location:  Morganton, North Carolina

 

Date:  June 18, 2016

 

Race Rating:  96

 

Winners:

5k Top 15:

2016-cats-cradle-5k-top15

 

10k Top 15:

2016-cats-cradle-10k-top15
Course: Out-and-back course entirely on the Catawba River Greenway. It’s a beautiful course along the river and is mostly flat with just a few slight inclines along the way.
Weather at Start:  Sunny, 70 degrees, 60% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Race Photos:

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  22:38
  • Pace:  7:17
  • Age Group:  1 of  5
  • Overall:  13 of  130
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race: 174
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:06  (71.72%)
2016-cats-cradle-GCR-group-CROPPED
Gaston County Runners

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

RACE COURSE
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
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
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
5 – 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
5 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
6 – 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
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
0 – 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
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
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  94

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Race #332 – Mount Holly Springfest 5k/10k – Mount Holly, NC – 04/30/16

47__Mount-Holly-SignThis was the 19th annual running of the Mount Holly Springfest 5k but only the first year of the 10k option. It’s the 5th race in the Gaston County YMCA race series this year and since they awarded 15 extra points for finishers of the 10k I decided to run the longer race. The extra 15 points came in handy and I bumped myself up to third place overall in the race series.

 

The race was held at a new location this year, which was a nice location although the former location was a good one as well. The 10k started 15 minutes before the 5k and went in a different direction, then came back and ran the 5k course.

 

This was my 30th 10k race (I just counted them on Athlinks) but the first this year after having only run one 10k in 2015, so I have to go back a couple years to compare how I’m doing. I was slower this time around but I’m feeling like my slowdown is becoming more in line with normal aging and overall I don’t have any major aches and pains right now, so I actually feel pretty good about my current running level.

 

Just as in every other year I’ve run this race, there was a drawing after the race that featured some great giveaways. One of my friends received a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant. There were weekend vacations (I remember hearing Atlanta as one of locations) and a number of other good prizes.

 

The post-race food was also good. The healthy fruit looked appetizing but most people (including me) were drawn to the donuts and coffee. It’s a tried and true formula: run off 500 calories in a race, then eat 1000 calories to make up for it. And we wonder why we get slower.

 

Race Number:  332

 

Race Name:  Mount Holly Springfest 5k & 10k

 

Location:  Mount Holly, North Carolina

 

Date:  April 30, 2016

 

Race Rating:  87

 

Winners:

2016-mt-holly-top20-10k

 

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Course: Kinda hilly but not terrible. The new part of the 10k goes through an industrial park that’s not exactly on the scenic side, but it was very well marked with a dashed line you couldn’t miss and there weren’t many hills in that area. Halfway through the 10k it meets up with the 5k route and continues to the finish. There are quite a few 5k walkers to dodge but I didn’t have any trouble making my way around them.
Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, 88% humidity

2016-mt-holly-MAP

 

Race Results:

 

My Stats:

Time:  47:54
Pace:  7:42
Age Group:  1 of  1
Overall:  9 of  55
Average Heart Rate:  162
Maximum Heart Race: 171
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  37:35 (71.09%)

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Some friends after the race. (Thanks to Penny Hodge for the photo)

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

RACE COURSE
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
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!
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
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
9 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – 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)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

REST ROOMS
1 – 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
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
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:  87

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