Race #366 – Charlotte 10-Miler (& 4-Mile Run) – Charlotte, NC – 02/18/17

Over the past five years this has become one of the premier races in Charlotte with about 1,500 finishers combined in the 10-mile and 4-mile races. There’s free breakfast at the finish, and even though the pancakes and sausage seem to always be cold the coffee is hot and the whole race atmosphere is almost enough to keep you warm in the frigid February temperatures. Fortunately this year the weather was great, with temperatures in the 50s at the end and sunny skies. There were also mimosas at the finish line, a great custom finisher medal, do-it-yourself “TapSnap” photos, and one of the best shirts of the year (this year a long-sleeved zip-up pullover). All combined, it’s one of my favorite local races and a must-do if you’re looking for a race in the Charlotte area.

Race Number:  366

Race Name:  Charlotte 10-Miler and 4-Mile Run

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina

Date:  February 18, 2017

Race Rating:  99

Winners:


Course: Some road miles but lots of unpaved paths on the McMullen Creek Greenway. Can be muddy if there’s been a lot of rain but completely dry today. The greenway is plenty wide enough (no single-track trails). Tough hills in the first mile and the ninth mile.


Elevation:


Weather at Start:  Sunny, 46 degrees, calm winds, 87% humidity.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Finish Line Video on YouTube

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

  • Time:  1:17:44
  • Pace:  7:45
  • Age Group:  1 of 17
  • Overall: 180 of 1137
  • Average Heart Rate:  163
  • Maximum Heart Race: 173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:01:07 (72.00%)

***************
* 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
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
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)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
8 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
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
5 – 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
7 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

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

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:   99

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Race #357 – Holy Angels 4-Miler – Belmont, NC – 10/29/16

2016-belmont-rotary-4-miler-logoThis was the 11th race of the 15-race Gaston YMCA series and is a mostly flat and fast out-and-back course beginning at the Holy Angels facility and going through downtown Belmont. It’s organized by the Belmont Rotary Club and many of the runners dress in Halloween costumes. As a matter of fact, I spent much of the race running behind one girl dressed as Minnie Mouse and another dressed like a witch. Hey, they were fast!

 

From the outset my friend Bernhard took the lead and held it all the way to the finish. Through the first 3 miles I was the second male. I did manage to finally catch and pass to two girls in the last mile, but two younger guys also managed to catch and pass me in that last mile. I did end up 4th overall, which is a great spot for me, and my pace of 7:03 was one of the best I’ve run all year.

2016-belmont-rotary-4-miler-start

There were 5-year age groups but only 1-deep, which is understandable in a race this small (there were 77 finishers in the 4-miler and 42 in the 2-miler).

 

Race Number:  357

Race Name:  Belmont Rotary 4-2-1 Costume Dash Run Tu Tu Holy Angels*

  • This race wins the award for the longest official name, or at least it appears to be official on the flyer. I usually just call it the “Holy Angels 4-Miler.” It’s the closest thing to the 5k they ran on the TV show “The Office” a few years ago that was called “Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for the Cure.”

Location:  Holy Angels (Belmont, North Carolina)

Date:  October 29, 2016

Race Rating:  83

Winners:

2016-belmont-rotary-4-miler-top-25-overall

 

Course: Out-and-back through downtown Belmont, mostly flat but a couple small hills.

2016-belmont-rotary-4-miler-map

Elevation:

  • Gain:  95 feet
  • Loss:  83 feet

Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 63 degrees, 83% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

2016-belmont-rotary-4-miler-gcr

***************
* 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
5 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
0 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
0 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

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

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

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

OTHER
2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  83

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Race #301 — American 4-Miler — Charlotte, NC – 07/04/15

2015-american-4-miler-LOGOA nor’easter blew through Connecticut last Sunday, and the wind and rain persuaded me not to run the Fairfield Half Marathon that I had been looking forward to while visiting my daughter and her family in the area. A day later I ran an easy 10-mile training run to make up for the lost mileage and could barely walk afterwords. It crossed my mind that maybe in some cruel twist of fate my 300th race would be my last, but I woke up the next morning and was able to walk again without much pain, so life returned to normal.

 

Normal for me lately isn’t quite what it used to be when nothing hurt. Besides a hernia that’s plagued me for the past couple years, I now seem to have a hip problem. I’m avoiding the doctor for now, but my Google diagnosis seems to indicate a possible acetabular labral tear. That could be completely wrong since more testing would be needed to know for sure, but I think I’ll just keep running until it hurts too much to run. My pace is off about 20 seconds per mile from last year, which I can live with, and the pain is more annoying than debilitating, so I think I’ll just stay in denial for the time being and maybe it’ll go away.

 

2015-american-4-miler-Number-of-Runners-graphThe American 4-Miler is part of the Run for Your Life Grand Prix series races and is a fairly big event with more than 800 finishers. The name has changed since I last ran it two years ago (it was the July 4th Spectacular 4-Miler then) and I think the course is different, but my memory’s pretty much shot when it comes to remembering race courses, particularly in Charlotte.  As you can see in the graph above, there was a huge increase in the number of participants this year.

 

Just as in the King Tiger 5k a few weeks ago, the 60-64 age group was loaded with some fast people and I barely squeaked into the top 3 of the age group because Jerry Clark won 3rd Masters with his blazing fast time that was (as always) in the neighborhood of a state age group record. Bob Nelson and Dave Forrest (who placed 4th in the age group of the 2013 New York City Marathon) both ended up finishing about 50 seconds ahead of me, so I could see them both throughout most of the race but never could really make much progress on catching them.

 

2015-american-4-miler-60-64-age-AND-mastersjpg

 

The post race festivities were really nice and included a good band and lots of tents set up where you could get food, information, etc., but I mostly just hung out and talked to different friends who had run the race.

 

AmericanShirtsOh, and I gotta mention the shirt! It was a blue tech singlet with the race logo and after 301 races it goes down as one the greatest race shirts ever! It’s comfortable, fits perfectly, and in my opinion looks fantastic, so it’ll go into my rotation to wear every week until I ruin it, which hopefully will be a while. I actually considered changing into this shirt before the race, which is something I’ve never done, but it’s definitely race-worthy! My wife Linda couldn’t run the race because she’s in a boot due to a broken foot (ouch!) but she was registered so I picked up her shirt and she loves it too.

 

Race Number:  301

 

Race Name:  American 4-Miler (formerly the July 4th Spectacular 4-Miler)

 

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina (Park Road/Dilworth area)

 

Date:  July 4, 2015

 

Race Rating:  103

 

Winners:

  • M:  Bert Rodriguez (age 35) — 20:47
  • F:  Alice Rogers (age 37) — 23:16

 

Course:  A few ups and downs but no major hills. Elevation gain: 125 feet; Elevation loss 121 feet.

 

Weather at Start:  Overcast, 75 degrees, and 78% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Official Race Photos

 

2015-american-4-miler-Marathon-Photos-screen
I’m glad to see professional quality photos in the local races. These start at $13.95 for a single shot, so they’re kind of expensive although some race pics in big races are much pricier.

 

My Stats:

Time:  29:26
Pace:  7:22
Age Group:  4 of  16
Overall:  91 of  816
Average Heart Rate:  167
Maximum Heart Race:  177
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  23:03  (73.1%)

 

2015-american-4-miler-richard-finish-from-jaime
Thanks to Margaret McDonald for catching a photo of me crossing the finish line.

 

***************
* 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
2 – 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!
0 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted promptly online: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website: (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)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
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
5 – Design: (0)not good (1)not bad (2)nice (5)beautiful!
2 – Material: (0)cotton (2)technical fabric
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
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
10 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10) (10 extra points for one of the best race shirts ever!)

TOTAL:  103

 

 

 

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Race #285 – Charlotte 10-Miler and 4-Mile Run – Charlotte NC – 02/21/15

charlotte-10-miler-LOGOThe bone-chilling weather didn’t keep the crowd away from the Charlotte 10-Miler and 4-Mile Run this year. In only its fourth year (the first year was timed by Queen City Timing), this race has become one of Charlotte’s premier foot races, thanks in part to the unusual but challenging 10-mile distance, which is a nice step up from 5k or 10k for someone who’s training for a half marathon or full marathon. The rest of the credit for making this a top notch race goes to Start2Finish Event Management, an innovative full service race management company that seems to do everything right. I’ve run a few of the races they’ve managed since they arrived in Charlotte (headquarters is in Memphis) and every one has been special in some way. Local race directors would do well to adopt some of the S2F methods!

Other than the cold weather I can’t think of anything bad to say about this race, so here are a few of the highlights:

  • Best shirt ever! A tech hoodie with a beautiful design… It’s in the rare category of a race shirt that I’ll actually wear, and I’m pretty sure it’ll be my favorite!
  • Instant results printout. This is something they do at all S2F races, and it’s a great improvement over waiting for a printout to be posted, or even worse, not knowing the results until the awards ceremony.
  • Finish line video! It’s easy to find your finish since the clock is displayed on screen (mine wasn’t great but still I appreciate it).
  • Pancakes, sausage, and hot coffee provided by Big View Diner! They really couldn’t keep the pancakes and sausage hot (although they tried), but the coffee was steaming and there was plenty of it even after the race (I filled up my cup before leaving).
  • Fantastic medal! Great finishers medal for everyone who ran the 10-Miler.
  • Race-day registration. I signed up on race day, which I always prefer. Yes, it’s a little more expensive but if I’m not able to make it to a race (or don’t want to go) then I’m not out of anything. A lot of races this size don’t have race-day registration.
  • Drawing for Hoka shoes. I think they gave away two pairs of Hoka shoes (retail $150) in a drawing. I didn’t actually catch the drawing on this day but somebody else told me that saw it.
  • TapSnap Photo Booth… Yep, free professional photos after the race provided by TapSnap!
  • Nice age group awards! I won an insulated travel mug that works well and a pair of Balega socks. While a nice trophy is always appreciated, these days the practicality of something usable works out better for me.
  • Downloadable finisher certificate.
  • Five-year age groups for both races.
2015-CLT-10-miler-stuff
Lots of good loot including the best shirt ever and a great finishers medal! The socks ($11 value) and insulated mug were age group awards.

 

The 4-Miler started promptly at 7:30 a.m., followed about 10 minutes later by the 10-Miler. Last year I ran the 4-mile race and was thinking I’d do the same this year, but after missing several recent races because of cold weather and having some cold half marathons coming up soon (most notably the New York City Half on March 15th) I figured I should run the 10-Miler just to get back into the habit of racing longer distances and braving the cold (I usually opt for the treadmill when it’s cold). The course was predominantly run on Charlotte’s greenway system, and following last week’s ice storm I was a little concerned that there would be ice on some of the wooden walkways that go across the water. It turned out that ice wasn’t a problem at all except for a stray slick patch every once in a while. There was also a stretch of a mile or so that wasn’t paved, but it wasn’t muddy at all due to the freezing temperatures.

As usual, I was more concerned with the guys closer to my age than the young speedsters up front, and most of the Charlotte area old fast guys were present, most notably Butch Holt, Bob Nelson, and Randy Mendat. When the dust settled, Bob and I finished 1st and 2nd in the 60-64 age group and Butch and Randy finished 1st and 2nd in the 65-69 age group, with finishing times all within 2 minutes of each other.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  1:14:30
Pace:  7:27
Age Group:  1 of  5
Overall:  73 of 700 (there were also 160 in the 4-Mile race)
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  59:01  (75.2%)

2015-CLT-10-miler-group
Some good friends braved the cold temperatures!

 

***************
* 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
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
0 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted promptly online: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website: (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
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
6 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals (for 10-miler)

POST RACE
8 – 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
5 – Design: (0)not good (1)not bad (2)nice (5)beautiful!
2 – Material: (0)cotton (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
x – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (2)yes (5)lots of free pics! (Free TapSnap 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

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  108

 

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Race #247- Charlotte 10-Miler & 4-Mile Run – Charlotte, NC – 03/23/14

Pros:

  • Loved the race! This is one I’d like to do every year but of course that depends on what else is happening since it’s such an active time of the year for races.
  • Sunday morning race! This was originally scheduled for a Saturday but due to bad weather was rescheduled on a Sunday. I’d like to see more Sunday races so keeping it scheduled for Sunday in the future would be great.
  • Pancakes, sausage, and hot coffee for breakfast awaited runners at the end of the race! I’ve never seen so many pancakes in my life. It wasn’t easy to keep the pancakes and sausage warm but it tasted great to me.
  • Pleasant course mostly on the paved greenway. Mostly flat except for the killer hill in the 3rd mile of the 4-mile race.
  • In addition to professional photos by Carolina Snapshot there was a TapSnap photo booth that allowed runners to get a free professional photo that was printed right on the spot. First time I’ve ever seen it, but it was wildly popular. I didn’t take the time to stand in the long line but next time around I think I will. The photos I’ve seen from it were great (I’m including one example below).
  • No waiting for results. As soon as you finished the race you could walk over to the timing tent and get a printout of your results and know whether or not you placed in your age group.

Cons:

  • I can’t think of anything that I didn’t like about this race! Maybe somebody else will leave a comment about something that rubbed them the wrong way, but for me it was all good.

Additional Comments:

  • I ran the shorter option (4-Mile Run) on this race, which was only a part of the complete Charlotte 10-Miler course, so I can’t speak for the longer race except for pre- and post-race activities.
  • There were many more runners in the 10-Miler (332 finishers for the 10-Miler and only 89 finishers in the 4-Mile Run).

Click Here for Race Results

As you can see from my time in the 3rd mile,
I thought the hill would never end.

Nice finish line in the shopping center parking lot.


All-you-can-eat pancake breakfast right after the race!


Yup… I parked right next to the finish line!


It pays to show up whether you run or not! Jane got the starting time mixed up and arrived too late to run.
No problem… The sensor picked up her bib and gave her a finishing time. She was the only one in her age group
so she got 1st place. Oh, and she also won a pair of Hoka running shoes in the drawing!


Some of my running friends from Shelby. They’re perfect models for this example of the TapSnap photo booth,
which provided free photos and a printout as soon as the photos were taken.


My daughter-in-law Erica had a great run in the 10-Miler as she trains for her first half marathon next month!


The pancake breakfast was a big hit with my grandkids and their friend Cassidy, whose mother also ran the 10-Miler.
Pay no attention to the fact the Marley’s shoes are on the wrong feet… she likes it that way.



My Stats for the 4-Mile Run:

Time:  28:11
Pace:  7:02
Age Group:  1 of  2
Overall:  7 of  89
Average Heart Rate: 171
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  22:16  (75.66%)

***************
* 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
2 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)not bad  (5)very good  (7)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 promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (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
7 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
3 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals (*10-Miler only)

POST RACE
8 – 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
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
2 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
2 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics! (*TapSnap)

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

WEBSITE
2 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (2)yes, some  (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (2)yes

TOTAL:  108

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Race #221 – July 4th Spectacular 4 Miler – Charlotte, NC – 07/04/13

Nice race, and we had fun. I don’t have a lot of extra time to blog right now so I’ll cut right to the video I made with my new PivotHead video glasses…

Click Here for Race Results

* Regarding photos, I think there was professional photography for the race but I haven’t found a link for the pics yet. I’ll add the link once I find it.

My Stats:

Time:  28:08
Pace:  7:02
Age Group:  2 of  8
Overall:  44 of  466 (9.4%)
Average Heart Rate:  174
Maximum Heart Race:  186
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  22:26 (75.13%)

***************
* 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
2 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)not bad  (5)very good  (7)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  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (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)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
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)
8 – 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
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
0 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
2 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
? – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

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

WEBSITE
0 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (2)yes, some  (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (2)yes

TOTAL:  88

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Race #44 – Run for Your Cause 4-Miler – Charlotte NC – 07/11/09

I had heard they were expecting about 1200 runners for this race so I was surprised to see in the results there were only 678 finishers. Still, that’s a big race and I used my standard scientific measure of race size: I watch for Linda to cross the finish line then I go to meet her. If I can find her right off the bat then it’s a fairly small race. Today I walked around for about 10 minutes until somebody who had seen her heading for the porta potties headed me in the right direction.
The Run for Your Cause 4-Miler is the second of only two double points races in the RFYL Grand Prix and the fifth race in the nine-race series so all of the fast folks vying for position in the Grand Prix were there. I received a jolt of reality when I found out that a couple of the fastest runners in the 50-54 age group had recent birthdays and are now in my age group, dropping me like a ruptured colostomy bag out of the running for placing in the top 3. Optimist that I am though, I see that as an opportunity to not have to go out and spend money on that new trophy case I’ve had my eye on.
I was actually happy with my own race though. I finished in 28:38 (7:10 pace), which is almost 2 minutes faster than my only previous 4-mile race back in March. I read Theoden’s blog just before writing this one and he mentioned that the third mile was the slowest for almost everyone he had talked to. I hadn’t noticed it, but I checked my Garmin and it was my slowest mile too (mile splits 7:21, 6:53, 7:26, and 6:55). I didn’t really notice anything in the third mile to slow me down other than I was kind of tired because I just ran 2 miles, but I have a hard time remembering all kinds of things these days (anybody seen my keys?).
The T-shirt for this race was the best ever: a white tech material Asics T-shirt without a lot of ads on the back — just the race logo, which is pretty cool looking. And there was a similar pink shirt for the female runners.
I was surprised there was very little food after the race. No fruit and only some bread from Great Harvest Bread Company and some coconut macaroons from another sponsor (sorry I didn’t get their name). Both the bread and the macaroons were excellent, but in a race of this magnitude we’re expecting a bit more in the food department ya know? We’re getting used to it though and now know that it can be feast or famine after a race so we’re used to stopping somewhere and eating on the way home.
I was also surprised that the age group awards were drinking glasses once again. Ugh. What’s up with that? I was almost relieved I didn’t place and have to try not to break my glass on the way home, lest I not be able to say to family and friends, “Look at this here glass I won.” Are all the trophy shops closed down or what?
As always with the photos, click on the slideshow to view larger photos or to get free downloads (3000×4000 pixels) of any photos you want…
Race Rating:
9 – 1-10 Website (Informaton, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
3 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
3 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
10 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No)
0 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
6 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
7 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups)
0 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
6 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0 – 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 80
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Race #24 – Shamrock 4 Miler – Charlotte NC – 03/21/09

Try as I may to avoid it, I still look like a ninja (an old one at that) when I dress for these cold weather races. Although it was the first race since the official beginning of spring, it was maybe 37 degrees at race time, which is not quite warm enough yet for me to run in my skibbies. The Shamrock 4 Miler is also the first race in the “Run for Your Life Grand Prix Series Presented by Asics,” which according to the Run for Your Life website, consists of “the best nine short races (5k to 15k) in the Carolinas.” It was my first actual Charlotte Grand Prix race and with the big build-up maybe I expected too much, but it didn’t seem nearly as spectacular to me as advertised. Not that it was a bad race at all — it just didn’t quite live up to all the hype of being “one of the best nine short races in the Carolinas.”
Once again, the awards were beer glasses. I guess it’s got something to do with the Irish drinking a lot of beer on St. Patty’s day (maybe all of the Irish people are too drunk to complain about being stereotyped), but come on folks… knock it off with the glasses as awards. Watching 12-year-old running phenom Alana Hadley, who was the #1 women’s runner, walk off with a beer glass seemed a little freaky. Lucky for me (Irish reference again), I didn’t win one. I finished 157th out of 824 runners, which was fine by my standards, but in my age group (55-59) I finished 6th out of 17 runners despite cutting 8 seconds off my fastest pace ever and finishing the 4-miler in 30:33 (7:39 pace).
The T-shirts were nicely designed but just short-sleeved medium-weight cotton shirts. Since all of the Grand Prix races feature “premium” shirts I was expecting maybe tech material or long sleeves, but nope.
After the race there was coffee from Iron Brew Coffee, always a plus with old coffee drinkers like me, and biscuits from one of my favorite restaurants, The Flying Biscuit. Other than that, there was some standard post-race stuff like bananas and oranges, but nothing spectacular.
Just before the awards ceremony they gave away door prizes chosen somehow by bib numbers. Probably 90% of the people in the race left before then so it seemed that about 1 out of 10 numbers called out were actually claimed by runners. People do tend to leave right after the race so that’s not too unusual, but it does remind me that there was nowhere warm for people to congregate after the race, and while that’s not always possible or always necessary, it’s definitely best when there’s shelter available.
>> Click Here for Race Results. <<

Race Rating:
6 – 4/6 Number of Participants (4 for less than 100; 6 for 100 or more)
2 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, stating winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No)
0 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
6 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
5 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups)
0 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
7 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0 – 1-10 Other
TOTAL – 78
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