Race #383 – SC Peach Festival 10k & 5k – Gaffney, SC – 07/08/17

Needing some extra race mileage, I once again chose to run the 10k option instead of the 5k, hoping to improve a little on this past Tuesday’s 4th of July 10k. I managed to shave 6 seconds off Tuesday’s time so I guess that’s better than being slower. This one also had more hills and the humidity was 100%, so all in all I felt okay about my run.

 

This race itself is somewhat of a disaster and if I’m still running next year and haven’t completely lost my memory, I’ll instead run the Coon Dog Day 5k in Saluda which is generally held on the same day.

 

The only water stop in the 10k was 4 miles into the race. I didn’t pay attention since I usually carry my own water, but one runner up front said there was nobody at the water stop when they went by and you had to pull a water bottle out of the plastic packaging if you wanted it. Another runner near the back said they were offered water by a person, but it was a closed bottle. Uh, no thanks. This is supposed to be a race. There was water and Gatorade at the finish but it was all hot so it wasn’t that appealing with the soaring temperatures and 100% humidity.

 

The one bright spot was that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall winners as well as Masters (40-and-over) in both races received money (1st=$100; 2nd=$50; and 3rd=$25). If you were one of those top runners that was a plus, but most of us weren’t in that category, although I was 4th among those 40-and-over, so I felt okay about that.

 

To say that the age group awards were an afterthought is an understatement. After giving the overall awards they gave out some hats and T-shirts as door prizes. Then they presented awards to the 15 little kids who ran in the 1k kids race. Their overall awards (1st male and female) were really nice plaques, and the other kids received pretty nice trophies as well. After handing out the kids awards, the lady in charge said, “That’s it. Thanks for coming to the race.” A lot of people started leaving but of course some of the people who were waiting for the age group awards got a little miffed and went up to the table asking about the age group awards. She said “Oh yeah” or something to that effect, and then finally announced the age group winners for both races. I guess it’s kind of odd how we age-groupers will wait for the awards even when we know they’re crappy, and these are about as bad as they come — a ribbon. They did have the name of the race at least, so they weren’t quite generic ribbons.

 

I looked back to 2010 and saw that there were a total of 363 runners that year in the 5k and 10k combined, compared to 165 this year. My guess is that this race, which has been held since 1977, is on its last leg unless somebody takes over who has an interest in seeing it become a popular road race again. If you’re looking for me next year I’ll at the Coon Dog Day 5k.

Race Number:  383

 

Race Name:  SC Peach Festival 5k & 10k

 

Location:  Gaffney, South Carolina (Limestone College)

 

Date:  July 8, 2017

 

Race Rating:  84

 

Winners (10k):

 

Winners (5k):

 

Course:  Through neighborhoods in Gaffney. Some rolling hills. The 5k and 10k courses overlap at different points in the race and I passed some of the slower 5k runners three times during the race.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 72 degrees, 100% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  49:06
  • Pace:  7:55
  • Age Group:  1 of 2
  • Overall:  11 of 50
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race: 173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time: 38:09 (70.03%)

 

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
1 – 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!
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
5 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap! ($20 race day for either race)
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
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
3 – 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
2 – 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
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
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  84

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Race #341 – Peach Festival 10k – Gaffney, SC – 07/09/16

2016-peach-festival-LOGOThis was only my second trip to the Peach Festival race in Gaffney. It’s a well organized and popular race but just happens to land on the same day as other races so I usually have a conflict. When I ran it three years ago I popped a hamstring about halfway through the race and ended up dropping out and limping back to the finish line. It now has the distinction of being the only race I’ve ever dropped out of because of an injury. I was running the 10k that year so I wanted to run the 10k this year also just to try and redeem myself.

 

The 10k and 5k start together then branch off in different directions, but then meet up again several times during the race so you keep meeting up with different groups of runners along the way, which I don’t mind because it provides a little variety not to mention it makes me feel a little faster since I always end up with a slower group of 5k runners.

 

It was hot, humid, and hilly but I don’t really mind. I always just remind myself of how much I dislike cold weather and how fortunate I am to just be able to keep running. I’ve come to grips with being slower, and my time of 48:17 was my slowest 10k time since my first three 10k races back when I began running. I find myself actually being more comfortable with slower times these days and I’ll be lucky if I slow down a little bit at a time as opposed to being stopped in my tracks by an injury.

 

Next week is The Scream! Half Marathon, which is a logistical nightmare but one of my favorite races of the year. I’m looking forward to lots of downhill running and sore quads for several days afterwards.

 

Race Number:  341

 

Race Name:  South Carolina Peach Festival 5k & 10k

 

Location:  Gaffney, South Carolina

 

Date:  July 9, 2016

 

Race Rating:  82

 

Winners:

10k Top 25:

2016-peach-festival-top25-10k

 

5k Top 25:

2016-peach-festival-top25-5k

Course: More hills than I expected — nothing major but lots of fairly long medium hills to climb, but of course you get to go down on the other side. Quite a bit of meeting up with runners in the other race so you have to be careful not to miss a turn.

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 70 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Click Here for Full Race Results

 

 

After the race I was showing off my new truck to some of my GCR friends. It replaces my beloved red Honda Insight that I've driven for the past 8 years. Gonna miss that car. I was able to keep my "RUNNER" license plate though.
After the race I was showing off my new truck to some of my GCR friends. It replaces my beloved red Honda Insight that I’ve driven for the past 8 years. Gonna miss that car. I was able to keep my “RUNNER” license plate though.

My Stats:

 

  • Time:  48:17
  • Pace:  7:47
  • Age Group:  1 of  1
  • Overall:   24 of  107
  • Average Heart Rate:  166
  • Maximum Heart Race: 175
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  37:53  (70.52%)

 

***************
* 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)
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
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)
2 – 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
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
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:   82

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Race #203 – Race for the Grasshopper 5k – Gaffney, SC – 01/12/13

For the past couple years on this date I had run the half marathon in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, but this year since I’ve decided to cut back on the half marathons I opted instead for the Race for the Grasshopper, a well established 5k (I think it was the 30th year) held at the Cowpens National Battlefield, which is not too far from Gaffney.

What struck me more than anything about this race was how many great runners there were who were over 50 years old. The Upstate of South Carolina has a reputation of having some amazing runners and a bunch of them were there. I did manage to end up in 1st place in the 60-64 age group at 21:23 (my best 5k time since last July), but only because 64-year-old David Spark came in 2nd in the Grand Masters with a time of 20:44 and I was bumped up.

Even more remarkable than that were the times of 53-year-old Susi Smith (20:20), 57-year-old Dian Ford (20:33), and 72-year-old George Luke (21:17). It’s not terribly surprising since all three of those runners hold multiple age group state records. I had read about all of them but it was the first time I had seen any of them and it was kind of inspiring and humbling all at the same time. I could see the girls for about half the race until they were finally out of sight. George passed me about halfway through and I stayed just a few seconds behind him for the rest of the race. I wasn’t sure it was him but I thought it might be although he definitely doesn’t look 72 years old.

Also at about the 2-mile mark I caught up with Mitchell Rippy, a friend from Shelby who recently turned 50 and whom I’ve never beaten, and 10-year-old Gunner Hogston, who’s practically famous as being one of the fastest 10-year-old runners in North Carolina. I passed them both with about a mile left in the race and just tried to hang on. I was tempted to look back but I figured that wouldn’t really help anything. I crossed the finish line with Gunner 6 seconds behind me and Mitchell 7 seconds behind him.

By the way, the weather was amazing for the middle of January. It was foggy and the temperature was in the mid 50s early, but by race time (10:00 a.m.) the fog was starting to lift and the sun was trying to break through and the temperature seemed to be around 60 or maybe a little higher, which is perfect for me.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Free Race Photos

My Stats:

Time:  21:23
Pace:  6:53
Age Group:  1 of  12
Overall:  32 of  245
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:12 (75.01%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
2 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
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)not bad  (5)very good  (7)spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

REGISTRATION
1 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (2)yes
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
2 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (3)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)
0 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
1 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (1)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
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

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

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

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

TOTAL:  78

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