Race #365 – Hearts-a-Bustin’ 5k – Belmont, NC – 02/11/17

After avoiding trail races for years, I finally decided since it was the first race in the local YMCA race series I’d go ahead and run my first single-track trail race ever, and I’m happy to say I didn’t break an ankle or do a face plant. Having come out without any scrapes or bruises I’ll count it as a success, although I still favor running on pavement and this could have been my last trail race as well as my first. It was nice to get out again with all of the friendly runners who compete in the YMCA series, and I’m looking forward to the series this year although my schedule already has me missing one or more races because of conflicts so I’m not likely to be one of the top competitors.

 

The race is held on the trails surrounding the famous Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden and a ticket for free admission to the garden is included with the race entry fee. Since I’m a nature photography enthusiast and the garden is just 5 miles or so down the road from my house, I’m a season pass holder and visit often. It’s not peak season now for the garden but it’s still a great place to visit, especially for a couple who are celebrating Valentine’s Day.

 

Race Number:  365

Race Name:  Hearts-a-Bustin’ 5k

Location:  Belmont, North Carolina

Date:  February 11, 2017

Race Rating:  83

Winners (Top 30):

Course: Mostly single-track trail around Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden except for beginning and end on paved road in park.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 50 degrees (felt like 46), SSW wind at 9 mph, 43% humidity.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  23:55
Pace: 7:43
Age Group:  3 of 7
Overall:  25 of 182
Average Heart Rate:  163
Maximum Heart Race: 172
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:48 (69.06%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
0 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
7 – 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)
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
4 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  83

 

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Race #358 – Spencer Mountain 10-Miler & 5k – Gastonia, NC – 11/05/16

2016-spencer-mountain-startThe Spencer Mountain 10-Miler is one of my favorite local races and for many years has drawn runners who are looking for a tough challenge. It actually starts off completely flat, but about 4 miles into the race the fun starts. The last 6 miles are like a roller coaster, culminating in the biggest hill of all in the 9th mile, which is a 300-foot climb that lasts for most of that mile. The 10th mile flattens out, which is nice, taking you back to the elementary school in the Town of Ranlo where the race starts and finishes.

 

The race is only about a 10-minute drive from my house so I was able to leave home a little later than usual. I was pretty amazed as I reached the race site at how many people were there. Cars were parked a lot farther away than in the past. In previous years there had been fewer than 200 runners in the 10-miler and 5k combined. This year I was surprised to learn that the 5k was a Girls on the Run event so there were elementary school girls from all over the county participating, and of course their families were there to watch. There ended up being only 56 finishers in the 10-miler and a whopping 785 in the 5k, creating gridlock on the tiny 2-lane road around the school.

 

I started out this year’s race with a little bit of a knee issue and wore a brace on my right knee for the first time in several years. It really didn’t bother me much during the race and going in I was just hoping to finish in under 1:20:00, so I was satisfied with my time of 1:18:41.

 

I’m writing this blog entry 9 days after the race and, sorry to say, my knee problem has gotten worse instead of better during that time. I skipped the half marathon I had scheduled for the following week, and after running a few miles over the past week that seemed to exacerbate the situation, I’ve decided to take this entire week off of running in the hope that it will completely heal. I’ve never taken a whole week off of running, even when I’ve had injuries in the past, but it’s probably a good time to try it now and I’m hoping that will do the trick. If not I’ll end up scheduling a doctors appointment next week to get a better idea of what’s going on.

Me and Aaron Chan after the race.
Me and Aaron Chan after the race.

On the bright side, this race is part of the Gaston County YMCA series, which has been my focus for much of the year. It was my 10th race of the 15 in the series and only your top 10 race results are counted, so I’m okay if I don’t run any of the upcoming races through the end of the year. As a matter of fact, I did the math and I’m pretty sure that I’ll finish 2nd overall in the series no matter what. I can’t catch 1st place and I don’t think anybody below me can mathematically catch up with me. Of course, math never was my strong suit so maybe I’ll get a surprise before the end of the year.

 

Race Number:  358

Race Name:  Spencer Mountain 10-Miler and 5k

Location:  Ranlo, North Carolina (on the outskirts of Gastonia)

Date:  November 5, 2016

Race Rating:  83

Top 25 (10-Miler):

2016-spencer-mountain-10mile-top25

 

Top 25 (5k):

2016-spencer-mountain-5k-top25

 
Course:  Flat and fast for the first 4 miles, followed by big rolling hills for the next 5 miles including a whopper of a hill in the 9th mile. Mile 10 is flat to the end.
Elevation:

  • Gain:  528 feet
  • Loss: 526 feet

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 43 degrees, 75% humidity, calm winds.

Race Results:

My Stats:

Time:  1:18:41
Pace:  7:52
Age Group:  2 of 5
Overall:  19 of 56
Average Heart Rate:  160
Maximum Heart Race: 167
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 1:01:52 (71.13%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
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)
3 – 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)
3 – 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
1 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
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
0 – 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:  83

 

 

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Race #295 – GOTR Spring 5k – Gastonia, NC – 05/09/15

2015-GOTR-startI wouldn’t ordinarily go out and test my mettle against a flock of elementary aged girls but since this race was part of the local YMCA race series most of us who are trying to earn points in the series were there. It was a fun race and hundreds of Gaston County girls achieved their goal of running a 5k. Girls on the Run is a great organization helps 3rd through 8th grade girls realize their potential. The program started locally in Charlotte and is now nationwide, having had over a million girls involved.

 

There was a special remembrance of our recently deceased running friend, Danny McBee, who was a great supporter of Girls on the Run and a mentor and friend to almost everybody in the local running community.

 

Photographer Matthew Gregory was there and took plenty of photos, which are available for free on his Flickr page.

 

At 22:41 this was my slowest 5k of the year so far, and slower than all but one 5k in 2014. I actually felt pretty good so I was surprised that I was over a minute slower than my last 5k a couple weeks ago. I’m hoping it was a fluke and I’ll at least get back down under 22 minutes.

 

2015-GOTR-richard-finish-from-penny-cropped
Thanks to Penny Hodge for taking this pic of me at the finish line.

 

Race Number:  295

 

Race Name:  Girls on the Run Spring 5k

 

Location:  Lineberger Park, Gastonia, NC

 

Date:  May 9, 2015

 

Race Rating:  88

 

Winners:

  • Male:  Franklin Keathley — 18:50
  • Female:  George Toal (age 10!) — 23:38

 

Course:  It was the same route as the popular old Labor Day 5k in Gastonia that is (sadly) no longer held. There’s a huge hill in the 1st mile that fortunately you get to run back down in the 3rd mile. In between there are a couple of smaller hills but nothing extreme.

 

Weather at Start:  About 70 degrees and humid.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Click Here for Race Photos from Matthew Gregory

 

2015-GOTR-richard-splits
On the bright side, I did run negative splits.

My Stats:

Time:  22:41
Pace:  7:14
Age Group:  1 of  4
Overall:  11 of  610  (1.8%)
Average Heart Rate:  163
Maximum Heart Race:  173
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:46  (72.61%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
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 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
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
2 – 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  (*GOTR Only)

POST RACE
3 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average) (*Bananas and bottled water only)
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
2 – 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! (*pink… okay if you’re a girl)
0 – Material: (0)cotton (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
x – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
10 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes (*Great free pics from Matt Gregory)

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:  88

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Race #288 – Rail Trail 5k – Belmont, NC – 03/21/15

RT5K LogoIt was a relief after last week’s huge race with 20,000 strangers to come home to a nice small race with about a hundred runners. There’s something to be said for driving a few miles, getting out of the car, picking up your race number, warming up with friends, running a familiar course, and being back home before noon.

 

The Rail Trail 5k is somewhat of a misnomer. Just seeing the name of the race the first thought that comes to mind is that it’s a trail race. It’s actually all paved on the roads surrounding Belmont Abbey College.  I had planned to run a different race until I realized that this would be the first race in the Gaston Race Series. It’s a series of 12 local races and I’d like to stay close to home this year as much as possible so this should be fun since a lot of my friends will be running the races.

 

I always prefer race-day registration and this was the easiest registration ever. All they wanted was my name, age, and whether I was male or female. Quite a nice change from the overly complicated registration forms I usually see on Saturday mornings.

2015-rail-trail-5k--richard
As with many of the local races, Matthew Gregory used his skills to provide professional quality photos of the runners. All of the photos are on his Flickr page (link below).

 

Since many of my running group’s training runs have been held at Belmont Abbey I was very familiar with the out-and-back course, which has just a couple of small hills and a couple of turns. I felt pretty good considering I spent most of the week limping around trying to recover from the half marathon on the previous Sunday. I finished 12th overall out of 95 finishers.

2015-rail-trail-5k--award-winners
Award winners at the Rail Trail 5k. Photo by Matthew Gregory.

 

Next week is my third half marathon in four weeks. It’s the 5th annual Grandfather-Grandson race with my now 27-year-old grandson Ryan at the Knoxville Half Marathon!

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from Matthew Gregory (on Flickr)


My Stats:

Time:  21:10
Pace:  7:01 (course was short by about .08 mile)
Age Group:  1 of  4
Overall: 12 of  95
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  16:35  (77.82%)

2015-rail-trail-5k--my-stats

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
0 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
0 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
0 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes  (short 0.1 mile)
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
5 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!  ($20 on race day!)
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)
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)
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
6 – 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
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
5 – Design: (0)not good (1)not bad (2)nice (5)beautiful!  (Really nice tech shirt!)
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
5* – Prices: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
2 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (2)yes (5)lots of free pics!
(* – Actually free professional quality photos… at least 1 each for most runners)

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 (Gaston Race Series)
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:   79

 

 

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Race #280 – ChristmasTown 5k – McAdenville, NC – 11/29/14

My friend and age group competitor Ralph Shore
is a regular year-round at road races, but he’s
especially noticeable in the Christmas races!

In only its second year the ChristmasTown 5k in McAdenville has become one of Gaston County’s biggest races, with more than 1,100 registered runners and 900+ finishers. Each December more than 600,000 visitors come to see the hundreds of thousands Christmas lights in this small town just outside of Charlotte. This tradition that began in 1956 has made McAdenville one of the most visited Christmas destinations in the country.

The lights don’t officially come on until December 1st, but this year on November 29th the streets were closed to traffic and the lights were turned on just for this race. It started and finished at a small park just off Main Street. Because of the number of runners and the fairly small street where the start/finish line was located, the runners were separated into five different waves of about 200 runners with the waves starting 2 minutes apart.

While the intentions were good, the wave start became a fairly major problem. Runners were pre-assigned a wave but many of them paid no attention to starting in the assigned wave. If there had been a starting mat to record a beginning time then it might have worked, but without that the final results were a mess (although they worked hard after the race and straightened things out for the most part). I’m hoping that in the future they’ll just start everybody at the same time. Posting pace times prominently with the fastest runners up front would help and would simplify the process. There would still be a few people sneaking ahead of where they actually should be but it works in a lot of bigger races. The Southpark Turkey Trot in Charlotte has more than 5,000 runners every year with no more than a suggestion that the faster runners should line up first. It’s a mess for sure and way more crowded at the starting line that I prefer, but things get sorted out pretty quickly once the race starts.

The race course for the ChristmasTown 5k winds through the major streets where the Christmas lights are located. It’s a beautiful run, of course, but I spent more time trying to make sure I didn’t trip instead of enjoying the lights since it was hard for me to see the road much of the time. There weren’t any terribly dark areas and there were several extra spotlights used in areas where it was more difficult to see the street.

From the main intersection in McAdenville the race first goes up one big hill, off to a side street (well lit with tons of Christmas decorations) then back and up the remainder of the hill. After coming back down, the course then goes up the other big hill until the final turnaround for the downhill finish. The downhill finish was great but I had a miserable time with both hills, taking a walk break on both of them. I ended up 18th overall out of 906 finishers, just 1 second ahead of the first female finisher. I wasn’t thrilled with my time of 22:34 but it seemed like everybody I talked to was about a minute off their normal 5k time because of the two huge hills, so maybe I’ll do a little better in a flatter race. My times have definitely been off lately and I’m not sure how much of it is due to my diet, training, and that type of factors as opposed to the fact that I’m just getting older and slower. I hope it’s more a matter of diet and training, which I can control somewhat. There’s not much I can do about getting older.

Click Here for Overall Race Results

Click Here for Age Group Award Results

Click Here for FREE Race Photos from Matthew Gregory

My Stats:

Time:  22:34
Pace:  7:16
Age Group:  1 of  16
Overall:  18 of  906 (2%)
Average Heart Rate:  168
Maximum Heart Race:  174
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:50 (72.34%)

Once again Matthew Gregory provided lots of free high quality photos of this race on his Flickr page.
This was the only one of me and I’m not even the main character in the photo, but there were great shots
of many of the other runners in the race. Free photos, especially good ones, are a huge deal since race
photos tend to be so expensive. Kudos to Matthew Gregory and folks at the Walk and Run Belmont store!

***************
* 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
5 – 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
0 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)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
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)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
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)
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
5 – 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
5 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap! (*Free!)
10 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5-10)lots of free pics!

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 (*Some took bus from high school)
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 (*Gaston County YMCA)
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no   (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  97

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Race #277 – Spencer Mountain 5k – Ranlo, NC – 11/08/14

I was planning to run the 10-miler at one of my favorite Gaston County races but after missing the previous weekend’s races because of having a cold I decided to not overdo it and run the 5k instead. That was probably a good decision, although not as good of a decision as avoiding racing altogether and taking another recovery week as I managed to run my slowest 5k of 2014 at 22:56. I’d like to blame it on the hills but it was actually pretty flat except for a short stretch a quarter of a mile or so down Spencer Mountain and back up.

There were some bright spots, most notably professional quality photographs taken by Matthew Gregory (I think he’s part owner of the running store in Belmont but I’m not positive). Either way, he’s apparently got a great DSLR camera and knows how to use it and took fantastic hi-res photos and posted them on Flickr for free. That’s a huge perk for a race, especially since race photographers tend to charge outrageous prices for their photos. There were photos of virtually every runner in the race and multiple photos of many runners. It would be great to have pics like this every year and over time it would probably make the race more popular than ever.

Here’s a photo of me taken by Matthew Gregory. I sized this one to be viewed
on the blog. The original is huge! Many of the other photos look better than mine of course
(the person in the photo does make a difference).

This is a well established race but still not too big (131 finishers in the 5k and 96 finishers in the 10-miler). I suspect a lot of folks are scared away from the challenge that the 10-mile race presents. It’s famous for the huge hill in the ninth mile and there are also a couple other major hills before you reach that one as you’re going to the small town of Spencer Mountain, but the first 5 miles of the race are actually flat so it’s not as bad as some people might think, and it’s a beautiful race in the autumn.

Here’s speedy Matt Longworth winning the 10-miler!
(I actually took this photo with the camera on my phone)

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos on Flickr

Click Here for Race Photos on the YMCA Facebook Page (214 pics)

Charlotte running friend (and faithful reader of my blog) Aaron Chan had a great race.


My Stats:

Time:  22:56
Pace:  7:07 (the race was a little long, measured by my Garmin at 3.25 miles)
Age Group:  1 of  4
Overall:  10 of  131 (7.6)
Average Heart Rate:  168
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:07 (71.18%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
4 – Course Scenery:  (0-5) 1=bad  and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9)   0=bad  and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes (a little long is okay… 3.25 miles)
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)
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)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
3* – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals
    *Medals for finishers of 10-mile race

POST RACE
3 – 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 (only a couple needed)
2 – 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!
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
5 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!  (FREE!)
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

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 (YMCA Race Series)
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no   (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  95

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Race #272 – Run Around Downtown 5k – Bessemer City, NC – 10/04/14

With some big out-of-town races coming up in the next few weeks I decided to stay near home this week and run this small local race (49 finishers). It was fun and actually seemed bigger since the 2k started at the same time as the 5k. The first mile was nearly flat but the 2nd and 3rd miles were fairly hilly on the side streets of Bessemer City. Despite the small size of the race there were quite a few fast runners there and I barely squeezed my way into the top 10, finishing 8th at 20:26.

I did enjoy the race and it was organized nicely, but I did have one beef: there was an extra charge for the T-shirt if you registered on race day. I understand if they run out of shirts at a race you might not get one, but I’ve never seen anybody charge extra for the shirt, especially since they were already charging an extra $5 for race-day registration. Not a huge deal for me personally since I’ve got more shirts than I want or need, but some people really want the shirt and it should be included in the registration price.

Pros:

  • Nicely organized small-town race.
  • Excellent timing services by RacingToes (results posted quickly at race and online).
  • Cool engraved plexiglass awards for 1st place age group (2nd and 3rd got medals)

Cons:

  • 10-year age groups.
  • Extra charge for T-shirts if you registered on race day.
  • No mile markers on course.

Click Here for Overall Race Results
Click Here for Age Group Results

My Stats:

Time:  20:26 (race was about 1/10 of a mile short)
Pace:  6:55
Age Group:  1 of  3
Overall:  8 of  49
Average Heart Rate:  164
Maximum Heart Race:  174

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
3 – Course Scenery:  (0-5) 1=bad  and 5=fantastic
0 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0-9)   0=bad  and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
0 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes (about 1/10 of a mile short)
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)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less) (10-year age groups)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
0 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no  (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
5 – 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
6 – 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
1 – 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
0 – 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
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
-3* – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)
        *(-3 points for extra charge on T-shirts for race day registrants)

TOTAL:  61

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Race #271 – Stanley Massacre 10k – Stanley, NC – 09/27/14

As I ran this race it occurred to me why I hadn’t returned since 2011: they managed to design a course that included every hill in the Town of Stanley. I did remember that there were hills but I didn’t remember that they were awful… the kind that turn me back into a Gallowalker. So I’d run a little bit and then walk a little bit. I didn’t count how many times I walked during the race but it was probably around ten different times. It’s mostly an out-and-back course so if you had to run up a hill you got to run down it coming the opposite way, but some of the hills are the kind that you have to put on the brakes as you run down because they’re so steep, thereby negating the positive downhill benefits. Despite my woes I still managed to finish 5th overall, but there were only 32 runners in the 10k.

Pros:

  • Reasonable $25 race-day registration for either race (5k or 10k).
  • Quick results from RacingToes.com.
  • Nice Halloween themed tech shirt.

Cons:

  • Too many hills. They warn you in advance, but I thought they were just kiddin’.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  46:19
Pace:  7:36
Age Group: 1 of  5
Overall:  5 of  32 (15.6%)
Average Heart Rate:  170
Maximum Heart Race:  176
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  36:36 (73.36%)

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

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

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
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

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:  71

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Race #255 – Belmont Classic 5k – Belmont, NC – 05/24/14

Pros:

  • Well established local race now in its tenth year.
  • Nothing fancy but it’s been one of my favorite Gaston County races for several years.
  • 5-year age groups this year after “accidentally” switching to 10-year age groups last year.
  • It’s one of the few courses I’ve run often enough that I actually know the entire course.
  • Pretty good race for me. I finished in 21:01, which was my fastest 5k this year so I can’t complain although I wish I would have finished about 2 seconds faster so I would have been under 21 minutes.
  • Good job of timing and results by the Gaston County YMCA.

Cons:

  • Tough hill in the last mile.
  • Course was actually a little short because we started about 100 yards in front of where the race normally starts.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  21:01
Pace:  6:50
Age Group: 1 of  6
Overall:  13 of  199
Average Heart Rate:  166
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  16:36  (77.68%)

One of the things I like about this race is that there are always quite a few runners from our club,
the Gaston County Runners. This is part of the group who showed up this year.

***************
* 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
0 – 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)
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)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
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
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
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
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

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

TOTAL:  68

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Race #252 – Mount Holly SpringFest 5k – Mount Holly, NC – 05/03/14

Pros:

  • Drawing after the race for lots of great stuff from meals to vacations. 
  • Plenty of volunteers at all turns with someone pointing you in the correct direction.
  • Nice technical fabric T-shirt for this year’s race.
  • Well established small-town race near home.

Cons:

  • 3-deep, 5-year age groups (which is good), but oldest age group was 60-and-over. All races should have 5-year age groups to at least age 70. I knew runners who avoided this race for that reason. Just one entry would have paid for the extra awards.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  21:13
Pace:  6:51
Age Group: 1 of  5
Overall:  13 of  139 (9.4%)
Average Heart Rate:  169
Maximum Heart Race:  173
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 16:46  (76.94%)

After the race with some friends.

***************
* 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
2 – 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!
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)
0 – 65+ group (1)
0 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no  (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
9 – 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
3 – 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
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
0 – 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:  73

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