Race #374 – Cherry Blossom 5k – Cherryville, NC – 04/21/17

This was my sixth trip to the Cherry Blossom 5k that’s held in Cherryville in conjunction with the Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s a small race (101 finishers this year) but it’s always fun, with plenty of local running friends in attendance and they always have free pizza after the race. It’s not flat but it’s certainly not hilly with less than 100 feet of elevation gain.

 

The race is always held on Friday evening (6:00 p.m. start time) and the temperatures did reach into the mid 80s on this day, but fortunately the sun ducked behind a big cloud just before the race and brought the temperature down to 77 degrees as we approached the starting line. I felt okay and finished 11th overall despite walking several times. That seems to be the new normal for me but I’m okay with it. Just as long as I can keep running and racing I’m happy, and if I can do pretty well in my age group that’s about all I can ask for.

 

Next week is my 100th half marathon and it’s a fast downhill race in Las Vegas. No way I’ll get an all-time PR but I’m hoping to get somewhere near the 1:35 mark if all goes well.

 

Race Number:  374

Race Name:  Cherry Blossom 5k

Location:  Cherryville, North Carolina

Date:  April 21, 2017

Race Rating:  82

Winners (Top 25 Overall):


Course: Fairly flat course on neighborhood streets around Cherryville. Not hilly, but it does seem like there are more hills than the elevation chart indicates. Go figure.


Elevation:


Weather at Start: Partly cloudy, 77 degrees, 54% humidity.

 

Click Here for Full Race Results
My Stats:

  • Time:  23:25
  • Pace:  7:33
  • Age Group:  1 of 2
  • Overall:  11 of 101
  • Average Heart Rate: N/A
  • Maximum Heart Race:  173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:01 (70.05%)
Gaston County Runners

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

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

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

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
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)
3 – 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
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:   82

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Race #330 – Cherry Blossom 5k – Cherryville, NC – 04/22/16

2016-cherry-blossom-5k-LOGO2It’s a small race but one I enjoy mostly every year in nearby Cherryville that’s held in association with the town’s Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s part of the Gaston County YMCA series so I wanted to run it even though the next morning I was getting up to run the Kings Mountain Half Marathon. It rained earlier in the day but the rain stopped just in time for the race. One of the highlights every year is pizza at the end of the race! I’m in a rush as I write this so I won’t get too wordy; besides, I’m thinking very few people are interested in what I had for breakfast.

 

Race Number:  330

 

Race Name:  Cherry Blossom 5k

 

Location:  Cherryville, North Carolina

 

Date:  April 22, 2016

 

Race Rating:  78

 

Winners (Top 25 Results):

2016-cherry-blossom-5k-Top-25
Course:  Some rolling hills but nothing too drastic. Possibly the heat and humidity make it seem like a tougher course than it is.

2016-cherry-blossom-5k-MAP

 

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

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:14
  • Pace: 7:30
  • Age Group:  1 of  4
  • Overall: 9 of  121
  • Average Heart Rate:  162
  • Maximum Heart Race: 172
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time: 18:16 (71.09%)
2016-cherry-blossom-5k-group
Some of the folks from my running group who placed in their age groups (L-R): Me, Joe Marlowe, Jimmy Glover (overall winner), Robin Littlejohn, Birgitt H., April Ballard, Bobby Ballard (aka Banana Guy).

***************
* RACE RATING *
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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
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
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
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)
3 – 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
2 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes (*A few on Facebook)

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
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  78

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Race #292 – Cherry Blossom 5k – Cherryville, NC – 04/17/15

cherry-blossom-5k-logoThis was my fourth time to run the Cherry Blossom 5k in Cherryville. It’s a small but enjoyable Friday night race held in conjunction with the town’s Cherry Blossom Festival. This year it’s part of the Gaston County race series, which I thought would make it more popular than ever, but for some reason the number of finishers was down to only 59 compared to 151 who competed in the race last year.

 

It’s a pretty tough course with a number of hills so I was happy with my time of 21:57, which is exactly the time I ran for this race in 2012 (3 years ago) and it was actually faster than last year’s time of 22:20.

 

This was the second race of the 12-race Gaston County road race series, which I’m hoping to stay competitive in this year. So far, so good, as I’m tied for third place overall after the first two races, but that’s going to change next week because I’ll miss the third race since I’ll be running the Kings Mountain Half Marathon instead of the series race. Hopefully I can make it up over the next couple months and get back into the hunt.

 

One of the great perks of this event is the post-race pizza. I’m trying to behave myself in order to lose a few pounds to get back to my best running weight, but when I tried to pick up a banana that was right beside a pizza, my hand was almost magically and magnetically drawn to the pizza. I really can’t explain it but I went home without losing any weight.

 

Best of all at this race was that photographer Matthew Gregory was on hand to take photos, which he posts on his Flickr page and makes freely available to be downloaded. If you’ve ever run a race where professional photographs were taken you know that most of the time the photos are outrageously expensive, usually $20-30 for one photo, so if you can get just one good quality photo of your run for free it’s a huge perk. I think he tries to get at least one picture of everybody in the race. As far as the quality, they’re better than almost any race photos I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a bunch).

2015-04-17-cherry-blossom-richard-and-linda
After I finished I went out to find my wife Linda and ran back with her. Thanks to Matthew Gregory for the photo!

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos on Flickr by Matt Gregory

 

2015-04-17-cherry-blossom-richard-1My Stats:

Time:  21:57
Pace:  7:03
Age Group:  1 of  3
Overall:  7 of  59
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:11 (75.04%)

***************
* 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
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 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)
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)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
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
2 – Design: (0)not good (1)not bad (2)nice (5)beautiful!
0 – Material: (0)cotton (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
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
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
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  88

2015-cherry-blossom-5k-GCR-group-after-race
Award winners from the Gaston County Runners
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Race #251 – Cherry Blossom 5k – Cherryville, NC – 04/25/14

Pros:

  • First race of the Gaston County YMCA series.
  • Friday evening small-town race close to home.
  • Held in conjunction with the town’s Cherry Blossom Festival.
  • Hot pizza post race!
  • 5-year age groups to 75+

Cons:

  • Several runners kept going straight at a turn that was either not marked or was very poorly marked, and there was no volunteer posted at the turn. I would have missed it too if not for a runner ahead of me being familiar with the turn. I finished 11th overall in the race and 4 runners who were ahead of me missed the turn and finished behind me. Not sure how many behind me missed it but it was definitely an issue.
  • Hilly course, but there’s probably not much that could be done to make it flatter. Slow race for me (I walked four times) but I’m not great at evening races anyway.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  22:20
Pace:  7:14
Age Group: 1 of  5
Overall:  11 of  151 (7.3%)
Average Heart Rate:  167
Maximum Heart Race:  175
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:39 (73.1%)

I chased Mitchell Rippy for most of
the race. I caught him a couple times
but then he’d pass me when I started
walking. Gotta rethink the walk breaks!

***************
* 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.]
0 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
2 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
0 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
0 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
2 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)not bad  (5)very good  (7)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 promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

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

REST ROOMS
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
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
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x – 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
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

TOTAL:  71

Nice turnout for the Gaston County Runners!

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Race #172 – Cherry Blossom 5k – Cherryville, NC – 04/27/12

In the first of two races for me this weekend we headed out to Cherryville on Friday night for the Cherry Blossom 5k. This is a small but fun race we ran last year when it was a Saturday morning race. The move to Friday night proved to be a good one with about a 50% increase in the number of runners from last year to this year (72 finishers in 2011 — 111 finishers in 2012).

I enjoy evening races and hope they’ll keep this one in the evening. Having said that, however, I don’t seem to do quite as well in night races. I did manage to win the 60-64 age group with a time of 21:57 and finished 7th overall, but that’s my slowest 5k since October 2010, when I ran 22:01 at the HOP race in Morganton. No biggy really, but after having made a lot of progress last fall and running my best times ever I really don’t want to start heading off in the opposite direction just because I’m now in my sixties.

Thanks to Karen Gagnon for the photos!

Much of first mile in this race is downhill, and of course, what the downhill giveth the uphill taketh away, so after running a fast first mile my second and third miles were pretty slow by comparison. I think part of my problem with evening races is not eating exactly right in the hours leading up to the race. With morning races I have a fairly standard healthy regimen that I follow, but with a night race my diet’s usually a mess before I get there.

Some of the Gaston County Runners
Liz (on the left) was 1st overall female.

I really enjoy smaller races, especially when they’re run as well as this one. The new race timing company “Racing Toes” out of Lincolnton did a super job with the timing and the much improved finish line. The age group awards were really nicely designed custom medals — surprisingly nice quality for a small race. There was plenty of pizza for runners after the race, which always makes me happy. Best of all I think is that a lot of people from our group, the Gaston County Runners, were there. It’s nice to run a race with a bunch of friends, especially when you can find them before and after the race. Some races are so huge that it’s hard to find anybody, but in a race this size it’s easy to keep track of each other.

Click Here for Overall Race Results


Click Here for Age Group Results


My Stats:

Time:  21:57
Pace:  7:06
Age Group: 1 of  5
Overall:  7 of 111

**************************************
* RACE RATING  (100 Possible Points) *
**************************************

Note: With my new rating system (started in December 2011) there’s not a chance of any race scoring near 100. If it’s important to you, look at each individual category to see how points were earned (or not). Just trying to be more objective with the details. I generally like all of the races I run. If there’s something that really rubs me the wrong way I’ll mention it in the summary above.

RACE COURSE  (20 possible points)
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (at least 1 for 5k, 2 for 10k, 4 for half marathon) (2 points)
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
1 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (1)good
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
2 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)pretty good to excellent
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  (6 possible points)
1 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

RESULTS  (3 possible points)
2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

AGE GROUPS  (13 possible points)
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)
1 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (1)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (1)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (1)yes

AWARDS  (9 possible points)
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (1)yes  (3)really cool medals

POST RACE  (7 possible points)
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (2)adequate  (5)a feast! (Pizza is always a feast!)
0 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
1 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (1)yes

REST ROOMS  (4 possible points)
0 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS  (8 possible points)
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice
0 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes

PARKING  (8 possible points)
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

WEBSITE  (5 possible points)
0 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
1 – No dedicated site but separate page on other site (organization, running store, etc):  (0)no  (1)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

OTHER  (5 possible points)
2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (1)yes, some  (2)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (1)yes

TOTAL:  64

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Race #123 – Cherry Blossom 5k – Cherryville, NC – 04/30/11

This week we decided to go cherry picking at the Cherry Blossom 5k. It was a fun small-town race, surprisingly well organized, and we had eight members of the Gaston County Runners who decided to run it. The race is organized by the Cherryville branch of the YMCA but they didn’t really promote it outside of Cherryville so the crowd was small, with only 72 runners in the race. Still though, it was a lot of fun, especially since 4 of the 5 top finishers were from our club.

The race was started with a deafening blast from a musket, which Cherryville is famous for. I held my breath as I ran through the smoke left by the musket firing, and we were on our way. Early in the race I took the lead, a place that I’m not only unfamiliar with but uncomfortable with as well. I stayed out front for possibly a half mile, all the while listening to the pitter patter of younger footsteps than mine and knew it was only a matter of time before people began passing me. First up was Mike Wilson, a GCR member, who shouted as he passed me that he had always wanted to see what it felt like to be in first place in a race. Just a few seconds later I was overtaken by another GCR member, Josh Barron, who eventually won the race. I watched as Josh slowly overtook Mike over the course of the next half mile or so, and about that time Stephen Phillips also caught and passed me.

Stephen and I were back and forth during the second mile and during that time a runner from Cherryville, Kevin Minton, passed us both and eventually finished in second place. Mike Wilson, who later said that he had gone out too fast, drifted back and finished behind Stephen and I. During the last half mile or so Stephen lost a little momentum and I was able to gain some ground on him, and at the end I was 3rd overall, with Stephen coming in 4th and Mike coming in 5th. GCR member Michele Hoheiser was the overall female winner in the race. All eight of our Gaston County Runners club came away with a trophy or an age group medal.



Click Here for Race Results

Race Rating:

4 – 1-10  Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
6 – 1-10  Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10  Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10  Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10  T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 4/6   Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No)
0 – 0/5   Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
4 – 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)
7 – 1-10  Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 1-10  Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
0 – 0-10  Age Groups (10 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups)
5 – 0/5   Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
5 – 1-10  Bathroom Facilities
0-10  Other

TOTAL – 70

Race Stats:

1st Overall Male: Josh Barron (20:01)
1st Overall Female:  Michele Hoheiser (22:40)

My Stats:

Time:  21:07
Pace:  6:48
Age Group (50-59):  1 of 9
Overall:  3 of 72

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