Race #429 – Common Heart Firecracker Run 10k/5k – Lake Park NC – 07/04/18

I ran this race last year and liked it so I returned this year. It’s a nice flat course in a pleasant upscale neighborhood, and the race is managed nicely. With a half marathon coming up in a couple weeks I decided to run the 10k option, which is two loops of the 5k. The 10k began about 15 minutes before the 5k so there was very little interaction between the two races except for having to pass some of the slower 5k runners who were finishing the 5k as some runners were finishing the 10k.

With only around 300 finishers in the 10k and 5k combined, it’s a much smaller alternative to the big Charlotte 4-mile race downtown that has around 1,300 finishers, but I tend to prefer the smaller races over the larger ones, at least this time around.

Race Number:  429

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

Location:  Lake Park, NC (Indian Trail, NC)

Date:  July 4, 2018

Race Rating:  96

Winners:

Participants:

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

Free race photos, which is always a fantastic perk!

My Stats:

Time:  49:21
Pace:  7:56
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  15 of 85
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Rate:  171
Age Grade Percentage:  71.39%

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
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
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
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
6 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
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
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
10 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

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

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

TOTAL:  96

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Race #428 – Cat’s Cradle 5k/10k – Morganton, NC – 06/23/18

Although it’s a little more than an hour’s drive from home, it’s one of the Gaston County Runners favorite races of the year and we typically have 20 or more runners make the drive. It’s a great race with a good cause (if you like cats). It’s an almost completely flat course along the greenway, and the pleasant venue at Catawba Meadows Park along with good food, door prizes, and 5-year age group awards always make for a fun Saturday morning.

The flat course is offset a bit by the warm temperatures because of the late race start (8:30 a.m.) and generally high humidity, so I’m never surprised that my times tend to be a little slow at this race, but I’m getting used to that no matter what the circumstances.

Race Number:  428

Race Name:  Cat’s Cradle 5k & 10k

Location:  Morganton, North Carolina

Date:  June 23, 2018

Race Rating:  90

Top 10 (10k):

Top 10 (5k):

Course (5k):

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  24:25
Pace:  7:51
Age Group:  1/5
Overall:  7/100
Average Heart Rate:  156
Maximum Heart Rate:  166
Age Grade Percentage:   69.35%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
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
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
6 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

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

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
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
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:  90

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

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

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

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

Race Number:  426

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

Location:  Lake Wylie, SC

Date:  June 9, 2018

Race Rating:  62

Top 10 (5k):

Top 10 (10k):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

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

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  62

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

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

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

Race Number:  425

Race Name:  Jog in the Jungle 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina (Forestview High School)

Date:  June 2, 2018

Race Rating:  74

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

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

My Stats:

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

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  74

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

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

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

Race Number:  424

Race Name:  Belmont Classic 5k

Location:  Belmont, North Carolina

Date:  May 26, 2018

Race Rating:  80

Winners:

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

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

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
0 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
0 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  80

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race Number:  422

Race Name:  Goat Island 5k

Location:  Cramerton, North Carolina

Date:  May 12, 2018

Race Rating:  90

Winners (Top 10 Overall):

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for FREE Race Photos

My Stats:

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

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

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:   90

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

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

Race Number:  420

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

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

Date:  May 5, 2018

Race Rating:

Winners (Top 10):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

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

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

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

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

Photo from Gaston Gazette

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  73

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

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

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

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

Race Number:  418

Race Name:  Community Foundation Run 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

Date:  April 14, 2018

Race Rating:  104

Winners:

Course:

Elevation (by Mile):

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

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

My Stats:

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

 

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  104

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race Number:  417

Race Name:  Cherry Blossom 5k

Location:  Cherryville, North Carolina

Date:  April 13, 2018

Race Rating:

Winners (Top 20 Overall):

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

My Stats:

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

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:

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Race #415 – Bunny Run 5k – Concord, NC – 03/31/18

There were quite a few races to choose from this week but I’ve always enjoyed the Bunny Run and race-day registration was only 20 bucks, so I figured it would be worth the 40-mile one-way drive from home. The course is interesting, with the first mile being predominantly down the same huge hill that makes the Santa Scramble so fast, followed by a flat mile on the greenway, and finishing with a tough final uphill mile back to downtown Concord.

I had a specific goal in mind for this race: to go back to the heart-rate training that I used for many years, dial back my heart rate about 10 beats from where I began 8+ years ago since I have a theory that my heart rate is decreasing about 1 beat per minute each year, and see what happens. I don’t remember exactly but it’s probably been over a year since I’ve run a race without walking and most of the time I’ve walked many times (maybe an average of 5 times in a 5k). This time I tried to stay around the 155-157 range as opposed to 165 in past years. It worked out well, and I’m happy to report that I ran the entire race without feeling an overwhelming need to walk, and even in the last mile (uphill) I was able to hold on and keep running. I wasn’t any faster than I have been with the walking, and I didn’t expect to be. Knowing that I would be naturally slower if my target heart rate dropped by 10 beats, I was prepared to be slower, so I was actually pretty happy to finish in about the same time that I’ve been running in a 5k, but with much less misery during the race. I felt comfortable enough near the end to push up past 160 on my heart rate, but by then I felt confident enough to know I would finish without walking.

Next week’s race is the Cooper River Bridge 10k, and largest race in the Carolinas with over 30,000 runners. I’ve already snooped around enough to see that my age group competition is tough and I don’t stand a chance of winning the age group. I’ll actually be lucky to land somewhere in the top 10, and it looks like top 20 might be a more realistic goal for me, which isn’t that bad considering there are more than 400 runners in my age group. I’m not really too concerned about how everybody else does and would just like to run under 49 minutes, which is a little bit of a stretch for me right now in a 10k. I do plan on keeping my heart rate under control again and would like to finish without walking just to see if I can do it.

Race Number:  415

Race Name:  Bunny Run 5k

Location:  Concord, North Carolina

Date:  March 31, 2018

Race Rating: 81

Winners (Top 10 Overall):

Course:  First mile downhill, second mile flat, and third mile uphill.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time: 23:38
Pace:  7:37
Age Group: 1 of 5
Overall:  18 of 231
Average Heart Rate: 155
Maximum Heart Rate: 163
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 18:16 (71.09%)

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
2 – 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
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
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
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL: 82

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