Race #402 – Spencer Mountain 10k/5k – Gastonia, NC – 11/04/17

This is one of the races I look forward to every fall, partly because of the near legendary hill you have to climb to the finish but also because it’s just up the road about 3 miles from my house. It’s actually in the town of Ranlo, which is just outside Gastonia.

The “Spencer Mountain 10-Miler” seemed to me to be one of the most iconic races around and I remember hearing about it long before I ever became a runner in 2008. During last year’s 10-miler there was an unfortunate accident where one of the runners was hit by a car and severely injured, which resulted in a decision to discontinue the 10-miler and replace it was a 10k instead that would go in the same direction as the 5k and would be much more manageable in terms of traffic control.

It’s too bad that this race is dwindling in popularity. This year there were only 40 finishers in the 10k and another 59 in the 5k, for a total of 99 runners. The first year I ran it back in 2009 there were a total of 287 finishers. There are too many races these days to choose from so a race needs to do something to stand out from the crowd and unfortunately this one seems like it’s on autopilot. Better post-race food, better awards, and a person with a camera who can produce some race photos would possibly give it a boost.

I ran the 10k and for me personally I liked the course. It was out-and-back for what used to be the last 5k of the 10-mile course, and even though it was the part with the most hills it was also the most scenic part of the race. The big hill is still part of the course, but at least you get to go down it on the way out so it kind of evens things out a little.

I was happy with my finishing time of 47:33, which was 7th overall, and managed to squeak by Andrew Cook so once again we are tied for second place in the Gaston County YMCA series with 582 points each. There are only two races left in the series, and while neither of us has a chance to catch speedy Jimmy Glover unless he happens not to show up (unlikely), it’ll be fun to see how things turn out between me and Andrew. He pointed out to me that the next race in the series is a much bigger race (about 1,200 runners) so it’s likely that we’ll have a larger gap between us then. He also told me he’s coming back a day early from his vacation in Arizona so he can be back in time for the race, so he’s serious! Unfortunately the trophies for 2nd and 3rd place are virtually the same (wish they’d change that) so all either of us will get for 2nd place will be bragging rights, but it’s fun to have that extra element of friendly competition.

Race Number:  402

Race Name:  Spencer Mountain 10k & 5k

Location:  Ranlo, North Carolina  (Just outside Gastonia)

Date:  November 4, 2017

Race Rating:  79

Winners (Top 20):

 

Course:  Out-and-back course on rural mountain road with lots of ups and downs. First and last mile of the course is flat.

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Unseasonably warm, sunny, 64 degrees, 88% humidity (Probably the last warm race of the year!)

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

 

My Stats:

Time:  47:33
Pace:  7:40
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  7 of 40
Average Heart Rate:  165
Maximum Heart Race:  172
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  36:57 (72.31%)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OTHER
2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
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:  79

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Race #400 – Dannie Benjamin Mission Fund 5k – Belmont, NC – 10/14/17

This wasn’t the most exciting race to pick for my 400th, but that’s the way it worked out and it was kind of fun even though I’m no fan of trails. About half of this race is on the road and the other half on single-track trails that wind through the woods on the outskirts of Belmont. This race and the Daniel Stowe race back in February are the only two predominantly technical trail races I’ve ever run, and the constant worry about falling and/or twisting an ankle make trails an unpleasant experience for me. Fortunately I didn’t break anything. I did twist my ankle on the trail, bad enough that it’s bothered me some for a few days since then but hopefully I’ll be back to normal by next week’s half marathon.

One thing that struck me about this race was how welcoming the church members who were volunteering were. When I arrived at the church and got out of my car the volunteers were being led in prayer, and I even got a couple of invitations to join them at their Sunday morning service. Several times before and after the race I subtle spirituality and kindness that was unusual for a Saturday morning 5k. It wasn’t pushy or anything, but just a nice change of pace from what’s usually seen at a local race.

As for the race itself, it was small (only 66 finishers) but I was pleasantly surprised to finish 6th overall. I did drop a notch in the YMCA series to 3rd place, but only by 1 point, finishing about 15 seconds behind Andy Cook, who I was tied with for 2nd place. Andy is an accomplished trail runner so I was really happy to be fairly close behind him at the end.

There were several fancy cameras in attendance with people snapping pictures like it was a Hollywood premier. Unfortunately as far as I can tell there are no photos that have been made available to runners and I couldn’t find any on the church website either. If I ever find them I’ll try to include a link and change my rating.

Race Number:  400

Race Name:  Dannie Benjamin Missions Fund 5k

Location:  Belmont, North Carolina (First Baptist Church)

Date:  October 14, 2017

Race Rating:  81

Winners (Top 25):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course: Approximately 1 mile side streets and 2 miles technical trail.

 

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

 

My Stats:

Time:  25:23
Pace:  8:11
Age Group:  1 of 4
Overall:  6 of 66
Average Heart Rate:  158
Maximum Heart Race:  169

***************
* 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
4 – 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)
0 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
3 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  81

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Race #399 – Run Around Downtown 5k – Bessemer City, NC – 10/07/17

This was the 6th annual year of Bessemer City’s only 5k. I ran it last year when it wasn’t part of the YMCA series, and this year it was part of the series for the first time. The weather was great (except for the 100% humidity) but the crowd was small, with only 36 runners finishing the 5k. There were also quite a few participants in the 2k noncompetitive walk and those weren’t counted in the results.

There aren’t any big hills in this race but there seem to be subtle inclines and declines throughout the entire course so nothing seems entirely flat. I felt pretty good but I have a bad habit of walking up most hills. Lately I’ve been in a close battle for 2nd place in the YMCA race series with Andy Cook, who in every series race this year has been within two finishers of me, either ahead or behind. Several times in this race he passed me going uphill only to have me pass him as we went back down another hill. He had a 2 point lead on me going into this race and I was able to squeak past him and finish ahead this time, with another runner finishing between us, which resulted in us being tied for 2nd place in the series. Next week is another series race and it’s a hybrid of trail and road. I almost never run trails and Andy does, so look for me to definitely fall out of the tie for 2nd place next week, but it was nice while it lasted.

Current YMCA series standings (top 10).

Race Number:  399

Race Name:  Run Around Downtown 5k and 2-Mile Walk

Location:  Bessemer City, North Carolina

Date:  October 7, 2017

Race Rating:  77

Winners (Top 10):

Course:  Through downtown Bessemer City and along some neighborhoods. Not terribly hilly but definitely not flat.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, 100% humidity.

Full Race Results:

 

My Stats:

Time:  22:25
Pace:  7:14
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall: 7 of 36
Average Heart Rate:  155
Maximum Heart Race:  169
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:29  (74.28%)

***************
* 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
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)
0 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
3 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

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

POST RACE
4 – 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
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

TOTAL:  77

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Race #398 – Novant Health 15k/5k – Charlotte, NC – 10/01/17

I first ran this race back in 2009 when it was called the LungStrong 15k, and I’ve run it several times since then. It’s a popular autumn race and one of the few times most local runners get to run a 15k race (9.3 miles). There’s also a 5k option that starts just after the 15k, and this year the 5k had 367 finishers while the 15k had 471 finishers, a total of 838, which is close to the same number of runners in 2009. For many runners, the 15k distance provides a good test for their upcoming half or full marathons later in the fall.

It’s a pretty course mostly through the upscale neighborhoods on the Lake Norman peninsula just north of Charlotte. It’s one of those races that draws lots of runners from a wide radius so it’s always fun to meet up with running friends I don’t get to see at the local Gaston County races.

There’s a big after-race party with music and vendor tents providing samples of their wares, and the awards ceremony is good although the age group awards are just so-so. This year it was a water bottle and a towel of some sort — I wasn’t really sure what it was or what it could be used for but maybe that’s just because I’m an old man and out of the loop.

I did have a pretty good race though. I’m currently about 10 pounds lighter than a few months ago and seem to be holding at that point even though I’d like to nudge the scale down another 5 pounds or so, which would put me in the 140-145 range. My time this year was 1:10:23, which was enough for 1st place in the 65-69 age group, and 50 seconds faster than last year. Of course it’s much slower than I ran in the same race in 2011 at age 59 (1:04:47 – 6:57 pace), but that’s one of the fringe benefits of aging. I compared my age grade percentage from this year (74.71%) with 2011 (76.64%) and on an age-graded basis I’m a little behind now, but the fall of 2011 was when I ran my best times at several distances.

So this ends two weeks of running two different races each weekend, which included a 5k, a 10k, a 15k, and a half marathon. I didn’t plan it that way and didn’t even notice it until after I had completed all of the races, but I thought it was interesting. I’m now ready to go back to one race per week, which is what I prefer.

Race Number:  398

Race Name:  Novant Health 15k/5k

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina (Cornelius/Lake Norman)

Date:  October 1, 2017

Race Rating:  101

Winners:

 

Course:  Not too hilly but definitely not flat with 334 feet of elevation climb over the course of the race. You can see the elevation data in my splits below. Notice also in the split data that the race measured about 0.15 of a mile too long, at least according to my Garmin.

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 50 degrees (felt like 48), 6 mph NNE wind, 76% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Official Race Photos

 

My Stats:

Time:  1:10:23
Pace:  7:34 (7:27 on my Garmin… Course was 0.15 miles long)
Age Group:  1 of 7
Overall:  43 of 471
Average Heart Rate:  157
Maximum Heart Race:  166
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  54:46 (74.71%)

 

Thanks to my friend Kaye Sostak for catching this pic of me near the finish line!

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – 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
2 – 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
0 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes (0.15/mile long)
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  101

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Race #397 – Run for Hope 5k – Shelby NC – 09/30/17

This was the second year of this small 5k about 20 miles up the road in Shelby at Hope Community Church, which is just on the outskirts of town. I ran it last year and enjoyed it so I decided to go back this year too. Several friends ran it, which always adds to the appeal, and it’s an almost completely flat course with very few turns.

Post race food was great and the awards were held in the church’s activity center. The weather was fine outside but you never know when it might be cold or rainy so having an inside spot for post-race activities is a good thing.

The one drawback for the race was traffic control. There were times during the race that runners had to cross fairly busy intersections where, as far as I could tell, there was no indication to drivers that a race was going on and there were no volunteers or officers to direct traffic. At one intersection I had to go around the back of a car because I could tell the driver didn’t see me. I don’t think there were any major problems but the race started fairly late (9:00 a.m.) and by then there was quite a bit of traffic on the streets.

There were no major speedsters there and I was lucky to finish 4th overall, finishing just a few seconds after the 2nd and 3rd place runners. There were especially nice awards for the top 3 runners (both male and female) but I missed out on that. The medal for the normal age group awards was pretty nice too though.

Race Number:  397

Race Name:  Run for Hope 5k

Location:  Shelby, North Carolina (Hope Community Church)

Date:  September 30, 2017

Race Rating:  78

Winners (Top 10):

 

Course:  Almost pancake flat, through the outskirts of downtown Shelby. Nice streets but there needed to be more traffic control.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 63 degrees, 63% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  22:33
Pace:  7:17
Age Group:  1 of 4
Overall:  4 of 85
Average Heart Rate:  158
Maximum Heart Race:  167
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:35 (73.84%)

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

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
x – 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:  78

 

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Race #395 – Stop Soldier Suicide 10k/5k – Belmont NC – 09/23/17

After the big trip to Texas it was good to get back home to the local races. This one’s fun and well organized, and it’s one of the few 10k opportunities in Gaston County. It’s also the third race of eight in the Gaston County YMCA fall racing series, and since I’m trying to run all of the series races this fall I definitely didn’t want to miss it, even though I’m already registered for a half marathon the next day.

I felt good and ran my fastest 10k in two years (46:48), which surprised me and probably a couple people I passed in the race, and I bumped up to 3rd overall in the YMCA race series, only 2 points behind 2nd place.

Last year there was a little bit of a snafu with the 5k race, with some runners missing the turnaround, but this year everything seemed to go smoothly.

There were a total of 286 runners in the two races (115 in the 10k and 171 in the 5k). Even though the 5k has more runners, the 10k tends to draw some fast runners who are trying to collect some of the cash prizes offered for the top three male and female runners. There’s no cash for the 5k race, and I didn’t have a chance to win any in the 10k, but for the YMCA race series, the 10k runners receive 15 bonus points for running the longer distance.

Race Number:  395

Race Name:  Stop Soldier Suicide 10k/5k

Location: Belmont, North Carolina

Date: September 23, 2017

Race Rating:  92

Winners (10k Top 20):

Winners (5k Top 20):

Course: Mostly through neighborhoods around Belmont. Not very hilly. The 5k course was out-and-back.

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start: Sunny, 68 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Race Results:

 

My Stats:

Time:  46:48
Pace:  7:31
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  16 of 115
Average Heart Rate:  156
Maximum Heart Race:  165
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  36:22 (73.47%)

***************
* 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)
2 – 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
6 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
3 – 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
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
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:   92

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Race #392 – The Burn 5k – Gastonia NC – 09/04/17

Now in its fourth year, The Burn 5k has become my race of choice on Labor Day. It’s not that I’m in love with the course, but it’s my running club’s group run every Thursday so I’m familiar with every steep hill and winding turn along the way.

The race is 1.55 miles up the Tower Trail, which my Garmin says is a 536-foot climb, then thankfully it turns around and descends back to the finish. It’s so steep in several places that you have to hold yourself back to keep from losing control, but the downhill does help make up for a little lost time.

It’s no PR course for sure, and my goal this year was just to be a second or so faster than last year. That didn’t happen but I was just 1 second slower this year (26:32 vs 26:31 last year) so maybe not so bad for being a year older, although since I’ve recently lost 10+ pounds I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t do better.

This was the second race of the fall season of the YMCA race series so there were plenty of friends to make it more fun, and although I’ve complained about running up this mountain forever I’m kind of hoping the race will continue as long as I’m able to run it.

Race Number:  392

Race Name: The Burn 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina (Crowders Mountain)

Date: September 4, 2017 (Labor Day)

Race Rating:  64

Winners (Top 25):

 

Course:  Unpaved gravel service road to the top of Crowders Mountain. Mostly steep climb going up (especially after 1-mile mark) and steep descent going down.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 63 degrees, 94% humidity.

Race Results:

 

My Stats:

Time:  26:32
Pace:  8:34
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall: 13 of 70

***************
* 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!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
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
3 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • *Parking is 0.7 miles up the road at a remote location and a bus takes runners to the start, then back to their cars after the race.

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

TOTAL:  64

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Race #391 – Pardee Apple Festival 8k – Hendersonville, NC – 09/02/17

This was my second trip to Hendersonville for this race that starts and finishes at the Pardee Medical Office Building on the campus of the Pardee Hospital. It’s held every year in conjunction with the Hendersonville Apple Festival, so if you run the race and you’re in the mood for a street festival you can take it in right after the race. Linda and I went after the race last year and it’s huge; so crowded that I decided not to mix it up with the festival crowd this year.

The 8k and 5k races begin together before the races split off in different directions. This year there were 228 finishers in the 8k and 117 in the 5k.

Just like last year, there were quite a few photographers taking pictures but so far I haven’t been able to find them. When and if I do I’ll add a few pics to this post and change my rating.  Oddly, sometimes there are photographers all around and the photos are never found. Not sure what they do with them.

My recent weight loss of 10-15 pounds (it seems to vary day-to-day) seems to have done the trick as I bettered last year’s time by over a minute (36:01 this year compared to 37:18 last year). I’m trying to drop another 5 pounds or so in hopes of having at least one more decent year of racing.

Race Number:  391

Race Name:  Pardee Apple Festival 8k & 5k

Location: Hendersonville, NC

Date:  September 2, 2017

Race Rating:  82

Winners (8k Top 3):

My Age Group (65-69):

Course:  Some hills, but not as bad as you might expect for a race in the mountains. Scenic course.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 59 degrees, 94% humidity

Race Results:

 

 

My Stats:

Time:   36:01
Pace:  7:15
Age Group:  1 of 7
Overall: 29 of 228
Average Heart Rate: 158
Maximum Heart Race: 167
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  28:00 (75.71%)

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  82

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Race #390 – Yiasou Greek Festival 5k – Charlotte NC – 08/26/17

It seems I always have a conflicting race on this date that I choose, and I almost went in a different direction on this day until a friend reminded me that I was already registered. Several months earlier I had taken advantage of a cheap price and I had forgotten all about it. So for the first time in seven years I ran the Greek Festival 5k.

I didn’t remember a lot about the race except it’s always listed as one of the flattest and fastest 5k races in the Charlotte area. According to my Garmin it turned out to be 83 feet of elevation gain and 90 feet of elevation loss, so there were no hills to speak of but there were some areas of slight inclines and declines.

All of the pics of me in this blog post are from the pro photographers along the course (Marathon Photos). I’ve seldom bought an entire package of race photos but I thought these were exceptional and a good deal. The package was $49.95, which isn’t cheap, but there were 20 different pics in 5 formats (this one’s called the “Race Time” format, so for a total of 100 pics they’re just 50 cents each. I won’t use them all but it’s a much better deal than it used to be. Of course everybody’s pics will be different — some better and some worse — but I was happy with these.

My main concern going to the race was parking. The race website said there wasn’t much local parking in the area and recommended parking at some other locations outside the area and even taking the light rail to the race site, so I left early enough to arrive about an hour and a half before the race just to make sure I found parking. It turns out there was plenty of parking within just a couple blocks of the race venue, or it seemed that way to me, and none of my friends had any problem parking nearby as well.

I guess one reason I’ve bypassed this race for so many years is because of the size. It’s just a personal preference but I’m more comfortable finishing 10th in a race with 100 people than I am finishing 100th in a race with 1000 people. Both are okay and I’ll do either one, but I tend to enjoy the smaller races more. It’s usually easier to park, easier to find your friends, not as crowded at the start and along the course, and that kind of thing.

There were some perks in this race that you wouldn’t normally find in a smaller race such as a great finishers medal (rare in a 5k) and professional photography.

The race turned out well for me. People don’t usually ask me what time I’m shooting for but a few did ask about this one. I’ve lost a little over 10 pounds lately and have been running pretty well for a 65-year-old and better than I have in a year or two, so I reluctantly said I’d like to run under 22 minutes. The last time I was under 22:00 was about a year and a half ago so it wouldn’t be easy, but with race being flat it’s possibly one of my few chances to do it. It’s not life and death, of course, but it’s nice to have a goal to try to accomplish.

As I crossed the finish line and hit my watch it stopped on exactly 22:00, but since it had taken me a couple seconds to get to the starting line after the gun sounded my official chip time was 21:58, so I was happy with that.

I did enjoy the race and maybe I’ll try to do this one every year that I can in the future just to get a benchmark of how I’m doing. I’m past the point of getting faster each year but it would be nice not to slow down too much every year.

Race Number:  390

Race Name: Yiasou Greek Festival 5k

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina

Date: August 26, 2017

Race Rating:  100

Winners (Top 15 Overall):

 

My Age Group (65-69):

Course: Around Charlotte streets in the Dilworth neighborhood, it’s about the flattest 5k that could be run in Charlotte with less than 100 feet of elevation gain and loss.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 70 degrees, 88% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from Marathon Photos

 

My Stats:

Time:  21:58
Pace:  7:05
Age Group: 2 of 20
Overall:  91 of 1146
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:08 (75.8%)

As happy as I was with my time of 21:58, my hat’s off to Paul Myers, who ran even faster (21:07) and won the age group.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  100

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Race #389 – R(un) for One 5k – Cramerton, NC – 08/19/17

This was the first race of the Gaston County YMCA Fall Race Series and I’m registered for all of the races, so even though many of my friends ran a popular Charlotte race, a few of us decided to stay local and get some series points.

It’s for a good cause — unadopted children — and the race revolved around that topic unlike many races that have a cause that hardly gets mentioned.

The race venue was Stuart Cramer High School, which provides a great backdrop for a race with plenty of parking. I ran a race earlier this year that followed a different course, through the park and downtown Cramerton, all on paved paths and streets. Unfortunately, this race followed a completely different route, mostly on the Carolina Thread Trail in back of the school. That’s fine if you’re in love with running on trails, but I’m completely uncomfortable on trails because of the increased likelihood of tripping or twisting an ankle, etc., so it’s an understatement to say it wasn’t my favorite 5k course this year.

Because of the young children involved with the adoption program there were also numerous people pushing strollers during the race. For that reason alone it would seem reasonable to go to an all-road route in the future. I would estimate that about two-thirds of the race was on the trail.

Race Number:  389

Race Name: R(un) for One 5k

Location:  Cramerton, North Carolina

Date:  August 19, 2017

Race Rating:  74

Winners (Top 25):

Course:  About two-thirds trail, some single track, lots of gravel and uneven surfaces. Thankfully it wasn’t muddy or it would have been a huge mess.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 75 degrees, 4 mph NE winds, 89% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:23
  • Pace:  7:33
  • Age Group:  1 of 4
  • Overall:  11 of 118
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race:  171
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:14 (71.2%)

 

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  74

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