Race #350 – Run for Green Half Marathon – Davidson, NC – 09/17/16

run-for-greenThe Run for Green Half Marathon marks the unofficial start of the half marathon fall season locally. It’s the first half marathon of a half dozen or so that I’m planning on running before the end of the year, and I was a little apprehensive going into the race owing to the fact that I haven’t run a “normal” half marathon since Kings Mountain in April. Of course there was Downhill at Dawn and The Scream over the summer, but those are both fast races with much more downhill assistance than you normally get in a race.

 

This one is known for being fairly hilly, especially the big hill in the 12th mile, which always gives me fits. Gone are the days when I consider anything over 1:40:00 a disappointment in a half marathon, and I thought that if I could just stay under 1:50:00 in this race it wouldn’t be bad. Best case scenario that I could imagine would be to break 1:45:00, so when I finished in 1:44:23 I was more than satisfied with the result.

 

Just before the race I spotted 71-year-old Wade Clark from Pittsboro NC, who I had never met but I’ve heard his name mentioned many times as being a great runner and is still running great times in his 70s. We started off the race side-by-side, then I pulled ahead of him in the first mile, thinking that I would most likely be seeing him again before the end of the race. I took a look back about 11 miles into the race, and sure enough, there he was maybe 100 yards behind me. I knew he was an old school runner who didn’t believe in walking, and of course I walk every time I hit a rough patch (or a hill) so things didn’t look good for me to stay ahead of him. Long story short though, I barely managed to stay ahead of him to the finish line, which was somewhat of a miracle given the number of times I walked in the last two miles. Of course, we’re not in the same age group so it didn’t really matter, but being older guys and competitors we both want to do our best, especially against other old guys. Oh, and I checked the state age group records afterwards and his time beat the state record for the 70-74 age group by more than a minute!

 

Race Number:  350

 

Race Name:  Run for Green Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k

 

Location:  Davidson, North Carolina

 

Date:  September 17, 2016

 

Race Rating:  103

 

Winners:

2016-run-for-green-winners-half-marathon

 

2016-run-for-green-winners-10k

 

2016-run-for-green-winners-5k

 

Course:  Beautiful course on the greenways and through upper class neighborhoods of Davidson. Some tough hills, especially in the 12th mile.

 

Elevation:

2016-run-for-green-elevation

 

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 66 degrees, 100% humidity.

 

Click Here for Complete Race Results

 

2016-run-for-green-richard-finish-watermarked
Professional photos are available… but expensive.

Click Here for Race Photos from Marathon-Photos.com

 

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  1:44:23
  • Pace:  7:59
  • Age Group:  1 of 8
  • Overall:  49 of 221
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race:  170
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:22:10  (71.05%)

 

***************
* 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
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
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)
5 – 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)
7 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

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

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

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
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:  103

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Race #310 – Run for Green Half Marathon – Davidson, NC – 09/19/15

2015-run-for-green-greenway-with-runnersThere was a choice between two great local (kind of) half marathons this weekend and I settled on this one since it’s a little closer and some of my friends from the GCR were running it. It’s a good one that I’ve run three times previously and I’ve always thought of it as one that had lots of hills. It’s an out-and-back course with more downhill on the way out and, of course, more uphill on the way back. I settled into a decent pace on the way out, then after the turnaround I braced myself for what I remembered being hilly on the way back. Oddly though, it never seemed to get that bad on the way back. As I finished I felt a little puzzled at how there weren’t nearly as many hills as I remembered. I’m not sure if I can attribute it to a poor memory or my impending senility, but I was happy to finish without a lot of grief. I was actually pretty thrilled with my time of 1:41:00, which was about 5 minutes faster than the Holden Beach half a week earlier, and about 9 minutes faster than my disastrous run at the Hotlanta Half a few weeks back.

 

Race Number:  310

 

Race Name:  Run for Green Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k

 

Location:  Davidson, North Carolina

 

Date:  September 19, 2015

 

Race Rating:  102

 

Winners:

  • M:  Yannick Fischback (Age 24) — 1:21:43
  • F:  Grace Ridley (Age 37) — 1:38:45

Course:  Out-and-back through some beautiful Davidson upscale neighborhoods and partly on the greenway.  Most people say there are a lot of hills and I’ve always thought that myself. They seemed to be a little flatter this year and it’s the same course. I appear to be losing it in my old age apparently, so don’t take my word for any of this.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Official Race Photos from Marathon-Photo

 

2015-run-for-green-richard-from-marathon-photos

 

My Stats:

Time:  1:41:00 (chip time)
Pace:  7:43
Age Group:  1 of  3
Overall:  33 of  244
Average Heart Rate:  160  (lower than it normally is in a race)
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:26  (73.25%)

***************
* 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
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)
0 – 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
3 – 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)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
5 – 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)
6 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

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

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

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
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:  102

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Race #270 – Run for Green Half Marathon – Davidson, NC – 09/20/14

With two great half marathons that are always on the same day each year within driving distance from me on race morning, it’s a juggling act to decide which one I’ll run. The Run the Valley Half Marathon is a little bit longer drive but I really like the race, although this year I opted for the Run for Green Half Marathon, which I last ran in 2011. Run the Valley has a monster climb to the top of Morrow Mountain, but Run for Green has its own challenges and seems to include every hill in Davidson. Except for the relatively flat stretches on the greenway it’s pretty much a roller coaster for the rest of the race.

This time around I was only about a minute slower than in 2011, but that was the year I set all of my PR’s so it’s encouraging that I seem to be running at just about the same level three years later. It would be nice to keep that up for the next few years.

Pros:

  • Beautiful course (although hilly) that runs through upscale neighborhoods in Davidson and along the greenway.
  • Nice staging area for the race at The Village Green in downtown Davidson, surrounded by quaint shops and restaurants.
  • Good race size, with 370 finishers in the half marathon. I think that counting the 5k and 10k races there were 800-1000 runners, which is an ideal size to my way of thinking. I like small races too (under 150 or so runners) and sometimes larger races with thousands of runners, but the huge races can be a nightmare with logistics and trying to find friends afterwards. For this race I parked right across the street from the staging area.
  • Professional photography — photos were sorted and available online within 48 hours.
  • Chocolate milk recovery after the finish.
  • Timing by Queen City Timing (always one of the best for quick and accurate results).

Cons:

  • Uphill finish. It’s always better to be able to finish strong and fast when everybody’s watching.
  • Definitely more hills than normally expected in a race, especially one that’s not in the mountains.
  • No official race website. 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Official Race Photos

My Stats:

Time:  1:36:42
Pace:  7:24
Age Group: 1 of  6
Overall:  31 of  370
Average Heart Rate:  166
Maximum Heart Race:  176
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:16:46 (77.14%)

There seems to be a new trend in haircut avoidance among runners. With Sonny Ali and Chad Randolph.

With running friends Dianne Allen and Kay Ziemer.

Margaret Hagerty is 91 years old and ran the 5k. She’s in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person
to complete a marathon on seven continents.

***************
* 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
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
1 – 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 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)
0 – 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
3 – 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 (Gift certificates – $30, $20, $10)
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
3 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals

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

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
0 – 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

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

TOTAL:  102

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Race #145 – Run for Green Half Marathon – Davidson, NC – 09/17/11

Photo courtesy of Bobby Aswell

Well, this one got off to an interesting start. First there was Kalib Wilkinson, from Lynchburg, Virginia, who went out like a bolt of lightning, leaving everybody behind right from the beginning. He never looked back and never was challenged, finishing with a time of 1:10:06, more than 12 minutes ahead of second place. It’s not too surprising since he finished 22nd OVERALL in the 2011 Boston Marathon with a mind-boggling time of 2:19:53. The women’s winner, Molly Nunn, is one of North Carolina’s best known runners, and she finished fourth overall with a time of 1:22:40. Molly recently missed qualifying for the Olympic Trials by less than 1 minute.

But to me, the really interesting thing about the start was that as we were going down what was quite a bit of downhill in the first mile, I was in about tenth place overall. I’m the first to admit that I always start out too fast. That’s just the way I roll. It’s not ideal but it works for me probably as well or better than anything else (for instance, running equal or even negative splits like most good runners do). I knew that I was way out of my league about halfway through the first mile, but the pace seemed awfully slow, so before you know it, there I was in 2nd place, passing everybody except Kalib Wilkinson, who was in another county by then. I know how these things work and I knew it was just a matter of time before they all passed me up without so much as a “Good Job,” but I didn’t really mind knowing that was my ultimate fate. At the 1-mile marker I was still ahead of that group, and there was what appeared to be a professional photographer who was snapping photos as I tried my best to look like I belonged in front of Molly Nunn and her entourage. If he got a good picture of that, you can bet I’ll be changing my profile picture on Facebook.

Me and Grand Masters winner
Alan Pover of England, who at
age 62 ran the race in 1:28!

So getting back to reality, by the time we reached the 3-mile marker I think I was back in about 10th place again, which was no surprise and no disappointment to me. There are a lot of fairly small hills in this race that wear you down, and two years ago, the only time I had previously run it, my time was 12 seconds slower than in the Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon, generally regarded as one of the toughest half marathon courses in the state.

I’m two years older now, and the difference in 57 and 59 is not the same as, say, 17 to 19, when two years of maturity might be a boost. Nope… I’ve received pretty much all the benefit I’m gonna get from more maturity. Having said that, I feel like I’m a better runner now than I was two years ago. Since I was a little over 1:40 then, I thought a reasonable goal for this race would be to finish in under 1:40. I seldom look at my progress in a race unless there are clocks at each mile, which wasn’t the case in this race so I wasn’t really sure how I was doing. Just yesterday I read about Dave Munger’s pre-race strategy in his blog and I made a comment telling him that he’d probably pass me 8 or 9 miles into the race. I missed it by a little bit, but there he was chugging right past me at around 10.5 miles in, just before the biggest hill. He walked for a few seconds as he said he would, but I walked for what seemed like a minute or so before running again, and before long he was completely out of sight. As he was passing me he mentioned that we were both ahead of our projected pace, which was good to hear. As I passed the 13-mile marker I thought about hitting my watch to see what my time was, but I decided I’d just rather be surprised when I see the clock. I do that often and I’ve had some good surprises and some bad surprises, but today was a good one as I finished well under my 1:40 goal with a time of 1:35:25 and winning my age group.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Official Race Photos

Race Rating:

4 – 1-10  Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
7 – 1-10  Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10) (Gift Certificates)
2 – 1-10  Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
4 – 1-10  Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
5 – 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)
5 – 0/5   Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
6 – 4/6   Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
3 – 3/7   Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
7 – 1-10  Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 1-10  Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
10 – 1-10  Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
10 – 0-10  Age Groups (10 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups)
0 – 0/5   Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
5 – 1-10  Bathroom Facilities
0-10  Other

TOTAL – 76

My Stats:

Time:  1:35:25
Pace:  7:17
Age Group:  1 of  7
Overall:  25 of 300

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Race #53 – Run for Green Half Marathon – Davidson NC – 09/19/09

It was my second half marathon in two weeks, which qualifies me for the “Half Fanatics.” On the downside, I wasn’t quite as perky as in last week’s half marathon in Asheville. In my mind before the race, Davidson seemed like it would be nice and flat, relatively speaking. In reality, not so much. There were plenty of hills to go around, but everybody in the half marathon had to run the same course as me, so no complaints, and I did manage to finish 1st in my age group with a time of 1:40:07 (7:39 pace), which was just 21 seconds slower than last week’s finish.
Race pace is something I need to work on in the coming year. As you can see from my mile splits (below), I tend to start out too fast then progressively slow down throughout the race. I once again reverted to the Galloway run-walk-run, only slightly less than last week, taking a total of fifteen 20-second walk breaks. Ouch! I need to work on that. You can see a generally slower trend mile-by-mile in my pace as I took more walk breaks and generally slowed down.
The race route wound its way through some of the beautiful neighborhoods of Davidson as well as a good portion of the greenway, and was held in conjunction with the Davidson Lands Conservancy Green Day exhibition that featured green products and services as well as live music afterwards.
In addition to the half marathon there was also a 5k and 10k race, and the age group awards this time around were gift certificates for Omega Sports, one of the race sponsors.
Race Rating
6 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
6 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
3 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
4 – 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)
5 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
6 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
8 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups)
0 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
6 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0-10 Other
TOTAL – 79
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