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

 

2016-mt-holly-top20-5k

 

 
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%)

2016-mt-holly-friends
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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Race #318 – Jingle Bell Rockin’ Run 5k/10k – Kings Mountain NC – 12/05/15

2015-jinglebellKM-LOGOThe last time I ran this race it started and finished at the gazebo in downtown Kings Mountain. It’s usually one of the coldest races of the year and I remember in 2008 they had a 6-foot long sub sandwich that ended up being frozen by the time the race ended. Since then the venue has changed to First Baptist Church in KM and that’s a great improvement. Both before and after the race the runners and spectators can go into the church, where the warmth is appreciated by most of us this time of year.

 

This year’s race was chilly but not nearly as cold as the year of the frozen sub. Although the low temperature that morning was about 32 degrees, by the 9:00 a.m. start the thermometer had risen to about 40 degrees. The 5k and 10k runners all started together and it’s not a small race, with about 650 finishers in the two distances combined.

 

The two races split up only about a quarter mile into the race, which I like, since it gives me a better idea of who’s actually in front of me. I ran the 5k, and after the split there was a pretty big hill and I tried to count the runners who were up ahead. It was a little crowded but I counted at least 20 in front of me so I thought if I could hold my spot and finish in the top 20 that would be good. I felt pretty good and actually passed some folks along the way and ended up finishing 11th overall, which was a pleasant surprise since I didn’t try to keep up the counting and figured I was still around 20th in the race. Best of all for me was that I finished as “3rd Male Master” (third fastest over 40 years old). Since I’m now 63, any Masters top 3 is rare for me, especially since most races don’t have a Masters category, and those who do are usually only 1-deep.

 

There was a little food outside after the race and about a half dozen boxes of donuts inside the building, which didn’t last long (although I managed to scarf up 3 donut holes early). On the plus side, there was plenty of hot coffee and hot chocolate inside and they kept it flowing throughout the post-race festivities.

2015-jinglebellKM-friends
I made an Irish exit before it was all over so I missed the group pic, but the Gaston County Runners and the Cleveland County Running Club were well represented.

Several people mentioned that this was one of their favorite 5k races of the year and it really is a good one. A major draw for a lot of folks is that instead of a T-shirt they have a really nice pullover hoodie, which is itself almost worth the registration price of the race. Unfortunately for me, in order to get a hoodie you had to register before November 20th, so I didn’t get one since I registered on race morning. I was told that I should add my name to the list of people who didn’t get a shirt, so I did that. I’m not sure if or when I’ll get a hoodie or a T-shirt, but if they send me one I’ll update this blog entry with that information.

 

Race Number: 318

 

Race Name:  Jingle Bell Rockin’ Run 5k/10k

 

Location:  Kings Mountain, North Carolina

 

Date:  December 5, 2015

 

Race Rating:  95

2015-jinglebellKM-chad-and-payton
Chad Lenox was the winner of the 10k and his 6-year-old daughter Payton was the youngest finisher of the 5k! She has run “about a half dozen” 5k races this year according to Chad.

Winners:

  • 5k Male:  Gunner Hogston (Age 13) — 19:15
  • 5k Female:  Amy Edelstein (Age 38) — 20:43
  • 10k Male:  Chad Lenox (Age 33) — 38:54
  • 10k Female:  Heather Hovan (Age 38) — 39:01

 

2015-jinglebellKM-courseCourse:  Around side streets and neighborhoods of Kings Mountain. A few small hills but nothing major.

 

Elevation:

  • Elevation Gain:  110 feet
  • Elevation Loss:  112 feet
  • Minimum Elevation:  892 feet
  • Maximum Elevation:  982 feet

 

Weather at Start:  41 degrees (felt like 36 degrees) and sunny; 8 mph North wind; 65% humidity

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  21:40
Pace:  6:59
Age Group:  1 of  8
Overall:  11 of  449
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Race:  170
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:11  (75.54%)

2015-jinglebellKM-mitchell-and-richard
Running giant Mitchell Rippy was nice enough to bend his knees at about a 30-degree angle as I stood on my tiptoes so we would look almost the same height.

***************
* 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
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
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)
5 – 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  (*Extra credit given below for hoodie)
4 – Design: (1-5)
3 – 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
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
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
10 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10) (*High quality hoodie worth registration price!)

TOTAL:  95

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Race #305 – Lake Lure Olympiad Dam Run 10k – Lake Lure, NC

2015-dam-run-LOGOThe hills were alive with runners — and in my case walkers — in the first of three races that make up the Lake Lure Olympiad. This Friday night 10k was followed on Saturday by a sprint triathlon then on Sunday with a 5k that began at the bottom and climbed to the top of the Chimney Rock parking lot. Some athletes do all three races but I was only concerned with what was surely the easiest, since it didn’t involve swimming, cycling, or running completely up the side of a mountain with no downhill at all. The 10k was all hills — either up or down — so I did have the benefit of having some merciful downhill breathers, but it was still possibly the toughest 10k I’ve ever run. I didn’t actually count them during the race, but according to my Garmin I walked a total of 13 times during the race, which is a little more than two times every mile… Ouch! As usual, the only thing I looked at during the race was my heart rate, so I expected the worst in regards to time and thought I might do well to finish in under 50 minutes. In the end, my time was 46:22, and even though that’s one of my slower 10k times I was pretty happy with it considering all of the walk breaks, and I managed to win the age group by about a minute over 64-year-old Doug Miller, who I met after the race. He had been keeping an eye on me throughout most of the race, and had I known that I would have probably walked less, but lucky for me he wasn’t quite able to catch me.

 

Now on to the important stuff. Jim Owens had told me in advance that this was his favorite race of the year because of the great party afterwards on the beach. And he was right. The food was plentiful and delicious and the view of Chimney Rock and the lake was spectacular, making it worth the miserable 6-mile run to get there. There were lots of homemade baked cookies and brownies, fruit of course, maybe 10 different types of pasta salad, and ice cream sundaes where you could choose your own toppings.

 

Despite my general dislike of hills, I really did enjoy the experience and I’ll probably be back for more of this challenge in the future.

 

I’ve waited about a week for photos to be posted and so far all I’ve seen is some pics of the triathlon on Saturday, so I’m going to assume there were no pics for the 10k. I’ll change my rating if I eventually do find some photos.

 

Race Number:  305

 

Race Name:  Lake Lure Olympiad Dam Run 10k

 

Location:  Lake Lure, North Carolina

 

Date:  August 14, 2015

 

Race Rating:  79

 

Winners:

  • M:  Adam Weeks (Hickory, NC) (Age 34) — 34:29
  • F:  Blakely Garrity (Cary, NC) (Age 24) — 42:30

 

Course:  Huge downhill at the beginning from Ingles grocery store to the lake, followed by rolling hills that seemed to be a lot more up than down until ending along the beach in the sand.

 

Elevation:

  • Elevation Gain:  634 feet
  • Elevation Loss:  778 feet (mostly in the first mile it seems)

 

Weather at Start:  73 degrees, 83% humidity, and partly cloudy.

 

Race Results

 

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

Time:  46:22
Pace:  7:28
Age Group:  1 of  6
Overall:  31 of  178
Average Heart Rate:  167
Maximum Heart Race:  181
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  36:44  (72.74%)

 

***************
* 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
8 – 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
0 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
0 – 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
2 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
0 – 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)
8 – 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
1 – Design: (0)not good (1)not bad (2)nice (5)beautiful!
0 – Material: (0)cotton (2)technical fabric
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
0 – 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:  79

 

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