Race #402 – Spencer Mountain 10k/5k – Gastonia, NC – 11/04/17

This is one of the races I look forward to every fall, partly because of the near legendary hill you have to climb to the finish but also because it’s just up the road about 3 miles from my house. It’s actually in the town of Ranlo, which is just outside Gastonia.

The “Spencer Mountain 10-Miler” seemed to me to be one of the most iconic races around and I remember hearing about it long before I ever became a runner in 2008. During last year’s 10-miler there was an unfortunate accident where one of the runners was hit by a car and severely injured, which resulted in a decision to discontinue the 10-miler and replace it was a 10k instead that would go in the same direction as the 5k and would be much more manageable in terms of traffic control.

It’s too bad that this race is dwindling in popularity. This year there were only 40 finishers in the 10k and another 59 in the 5k, for a total of 99 runners. The first year I ran it back in 2009 there were a total of 287 finishers. There are too many races these days to choose from so a race needs to do something to stand out from the crowd and unfortunately this one seems like it’s on autopilot. Better post-race food, better awards, and a person with a camera who can produce some race photos would possibly give it a boost.

I ran the 10k and for me personally I liked the course. It was out-and-back for what used to be the last 5k of the 10-mile course, and even though it was the part with the most hills it was also the most scenic part of the race. The big hill is still part of the course, but at least you get to go down it on the way out so it kind of evens things out a little.

I was happy with my finishing time of 47:33, which was 7th overall, and managed to squeak by Andrew Cook so once again we are tied for second place in the Gaston County YMCA series with 582 points each. There are only two races left in the series, and while neither of us has a chance to catch speedy Jimmy Glover unless he happens not to show up (unlikely), it’ll be fun to see how things turn out between me and Andrew. He pointed out to me that the next race in the series is a much bigger race (about 1,200 runners) so it’s likely that we’ll have a larger gap between us then. He also told me he’s coming back a day early from his vacation in Arizona so he can be back in time for the race, so he’s serious! Unfortunately the trophies for 2nd and 3rd place are virtually the same (wish they’d change that) so all either of us will get for 2nd place will be bragging rights, but it’s fun to have that extra element of friendly competition.

Race Number:  402

Race Name:  Spencer Mountain 10k & 5k

Location:  Ranlo, North Carolina  (Just outside Gastonia)

Date:  November 4, 2017

Race Rating:  79

Winners (Top 20):

 

Course:  Out-and-back course on rural mountain road with lots of ups and downs. First and last mile of the course is flat.

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Unseasonably warm, sunny, 64 degrees, 88% humidity (Probably the last warm race of the year!)

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

 

My Stats:

Time:  47:33
Pace:  7:40
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall:  7 of 40
Average Heart Rate:  165
Maximum Heart Race:  172
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  36:57 (72.31%)

***************
* 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
0 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
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
4 – 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
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
0 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

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

OTHER
2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
2 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
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:  79

Please like & share:

Race #392 – The Burn 5k – Gastonia NC – 09/04/17

Now in its fourth year, The Burn 5k has become my race of choice on Labor Day. It’s not that I’m in love with the course, but it’s my running club’s group run every Thursday so I’m familiar with every steep hill and winding turn along the way.

The race is 1.55 miles up the Tower Trail, which my Garmin says is a 536-foot climb, then thankfully it turns around and descends back to the finish. It’s so steep in several places that you have to hold yourself back to keep from losing control, but the downhill does help make up for a little lost time.

It’s no PR course for sure, and my goal this year was just to be a second or so faster than last year. That didn’t happen but I was just 1 second slower this year (26:32 vs 26:31 last year) so maybe not so bad for being a year older, although since I’ve recently lost 10+ pounds I was just a little disappointed that I didn’t do better.

This was the second race of the fall season of the YMCA race series so there were plenty of friends to make it more fun, and although I’ve complained about running up this mountain forever I’m kind of hoping the race will continue as long as I’m able to run it.

Race Number:  392

Race Name: The Burn 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina (Crowders Mountain)

Date: September 4, 2017 (Labor Day)

Race Rating:  64

Winners (Top 25):

 

Course:  Unpaved gravel service road to the top of Crowders Mountain. Mostly steep climb going up (especially after 1-mile mark) and steep descent going down.

 

Elevation:

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

Race Results:

 

My Stats:

Time:  26:32
Pace:  8:34
Age Group:  1 of 2
Overall: 13 of 70

***************
* 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!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – 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
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
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
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
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

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

  • *Parking is 0.7 miles up the road at a remote location and a bus takes runners to the start, then back to their cars after the race.

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:  64

Please like & share:

Race #380 – Gastonia Grizzlies 5k – Gastonia NC – 06/09/17

Held just before a Gastonia Grizzlies evening baseball game, this 5k is always a fun event although it can be a hot one. The race was switched this year from July to June in order to possibly have cooler weather, and it actually worked. Past races have been held with temperatures in the 90s. This year the 6 p.m. race time temperature was 82 degrees, so it was a little bit of a break from summer heat although that’s still a hot 5k.

 

The Grizzlies 5k starts in left field inside the stadium, then runs down to the greenway and stays there until the finish, which takes you around the inside of the stadium to the finish line at home plate. Your race registration gets you into the race for free and it’s always a lot of fun although Linda and I had stuff to do and left shortly after the race and didn’t get to stay for the entertainment.

 

After taking last week off due to straining my back playing basketball, I was back to running this week and actually have been feeling pretty good except my race time of 24:54 was again my worst 5k time since the year I began running (2009) and I’d like to think it was because of the hot weather, but I’m not too sure. I understand that at 65 I’m bound to be slower, but it seems like I’m disproportionately slower than just three or four years ago. Still, I’m happy to still be running even if I’m not as fast.

 

Race Number:  380

 

Race Name:  Gastonia Grizzlies 5k

 

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

 

Date:  June 9, 2017

 

Race Rating:  81

 

Winners:

 

Course:  Virtually flat except for going downhill to get to the greenway. On the way back in the last mile you climb the same hill to get back to the stadium.

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 82 degrees, 40% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  24:57
Pace: 8:00
Age Group:  2 of 3
Overall: 31 of 135
Average Heart Rate: 159
Maximum Heart Race: 174
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  19:25  (66.87%)

Great group photo of the Gaston County Runners after the race. Unfortunately I was long gone by then so I’m not in the photo.

***************
* 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
8 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
0 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
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
3 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
9 – 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
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:  81

Please like & share:

Race #376 – Girls on the Run Spring 5k – Gastonia, NC – 05/06/17

Coming back down to earth after the big race in Las Vegas last week, it was nice to be able to drive just a couple miles from home to the race this week. This Girls on the Run race is part of the Gaston County YMCA series. Last week’s race in Mount Holly that I missed was also part of the series so that pretty much bumped me from any contention I might have had since all of the races in the series count this year. Last year’s series allowed runners to miss a couple races but this year they’re all counted so if you miss one you’ve had it. Too bad, and I hope that next year they’ll include a buffer in there. If not I’ll be one of the runners who won’t be officially in the series, although I do like the local races so I would do some of them whether I’m trying to contend in the series or not.

 

The Girls on the Run program consists of elementary (and maybe some middle school) girls who are involved in the running program at school, culminating in the 5k race at the end of the season. It’s a great program that originated in Charlotte and is now popular all across the United States. There’s a similar program for boys that has been started over the last few years called “Let Me Run,” and their 5k race will be held next weekend.

 

This race begins at Lineberger Park and uses the course that all races from this park have used since I’ve been running. It’s the same as the popular old Labor Day race that was held in Gastonia. The first mile has a huge uphill climb that you get to come back down in the last mile. It would seem that would result in fast times, but for some reason that’s not the case. I’m usually a bit slower here than in most other races, and times for other runners seem a little slower as well.

 

I managed to finish 9th overall out of 435 finishers, just ahead of the first female, who was not only NOT one of the elementary school girls but was my friend and beast of a runner, Dianne Allen, who at 61 years old is a phenomenal runner who shows no signs of slowing down. As a matter of fact, the day after this race she competed in a triathlon that included a 1,000 meter swim, an 18-mile bike ride, and and 4-mile run. Of course she was dominant there too. I took the day off.

 

I managed to leave my Garmin watch at home so I apologize that much of the data I usually have for races is missing on this one.

 

Race Number:  376

Race Name:  Girls on the Run Spring 5k

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

Date:  May 6, 2017

Race Rating:  90

Winners (Top 25 Overall):


Course:  Huge uphill in the first mile, followed by a mostly flat second mile through local neighborhoods, with the third mile being back down the big hill with a fairly flat finish.

 

Race Results:

 

Click Here for Race Photos on Flickr by Matthew Gregory

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:36
  • Pace:  7:35
  • Age Group:  1 of 7
  • Overall:  9 of 435
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:24 (70.55%)
Free photos provided by Matt Gregory are always a great perk at the local races!

***************
* 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)
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
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)
3 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals (*for GOTR)

POST RACE
3 – 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
1 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
2 – 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
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
0 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

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

TOTAL:  90

Please like & share:

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

 

 

Please like & share:

Race #348 – The Burn 5k Labor Day Race – Gastonia, NC – 09/05/16

2016-the-burn-richard-downhillOf all the races I run each year, this one is the course I’m most familiar with. Just about every Thursday afternoon a handful of folks from my running group trudge our way to the top as best we can, regroup, then head back down Gaston County’s biggest climb. Although I’d prefer running a pancake flat course, this race does provide a benchmark for how I’m doing in relation to previous years. It’s only the third year of the race, and I skipped the first one so all I have to compare is last year. I was happy to finish only 14 seconds slower than last year’s race.

 

We’re over halfway through the Gaston County YMCA race series and the only race I’ve missed so far was the first race of the series. With this race I jumped up a spot into a tie for 2nd overall in the Male category with Jerry Price, just behind speedy 59-year-old Jimmy Glover. Jerry is my age (64) and we don’t have a realistic chance to catch Jimmy in the series, but it’s nice having three old guys at the top of the heap for the time being.

2016-the-burn-series-standings
With this race I moved into a tie for 2nd place in the Overall Male Category of the Gaston County YMCA race series!

 

Race Number:  348

 

Race Name:  The Burn – Labor Day 5k

 

Location:  Crowders Mountain (Gastonia, North Carolina)

 

Date:  September 5, 2016

 

Race Rating:  67

 

Winners (Top 25):  *Steve McClure set a new course record at 21:52.

2016-the-burn-top-25

 

Course: Crushed gravel all the way. It’s out-and-back, several hundred feet up Crowders Mountain, then turn around near the top (1.55 miles) and return downhill to the finish line. Much of the course is too steep for most runners to climb without walking. The steepest part is just after you hit the 1-mile mark in the race. Coming down you have to slow yourself down to prevent losing control.

 

Elevation: I’ve heard that GPS watches have a hard time getting elevation correct but here’s what mine shows for this race. I suspect it’s off because there’s a difference of about 50 feet in Gain/Loss even though we started and finished at the same spot.

2016-the-burn-elevation

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 64 degrees, 88% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  26:31
  • Pace:  8:32
  • Age Group:  1 of 4
  • Overall:  10 of 74
  • Average Heart Rate:  159
  • Maximum Heart Race:  168

 

***************
* 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!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – 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
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
3 – 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)
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
0 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no  (Remote parking about a half mile away… Ride bus or walk to start)
0 – 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:  67

Please like & share:

Race #343 – Grizzlies 5k – Gastonia, NC – 07/22/16

gastonia-grizzlies-logoAs usual for this race, I was able to skip the earmuffs and tights. In its short 4-year history the Grizzlies 5k has proven to be one of the hottest races of the year and the race this year was no exception. The sun did manage to hide behind a big cloud for most of the race, but even with that my Garmin showed a temperature of 91 degrees and a scorching heat index of 99 degrees.

 

With a starting time of 6 p.m., the race precedes the Gastonia Grizzlies baseball game which follows at 8 p.m. Registration for the race provides you with a free ticket for the ball game, which is followed by a fireworks show. This year I didn’t hang around after the awards because I had some other things to do, but it’s a great evening of entertainment and most of the runners remain after the game.

 

When I ran here a couple years ago the awards were held between innings (I think the 2nd or 3rd) so if you won an award and wanted to get it you had to stay for a while. This year the awards were held right after the race and before the game, which was a big improvement.

 

 

Last year I had a half marathon scheduled for the following day so instead of running I took pictures. I posted a couple hundred photos of runners along the course. I considered doing the same this year since it was so hot but I’m glad I decided to run instead. I did see a couple of what appeared to be actual photographers at the awards who were taking pictures of the award winners, but as is often the case, there’s a good chance that those photos will never be found so I’ll just assume there are no photos and hope I have to go back later if I find out I’m wrong.

 

I did like the T-shirt this year and I believe it’s one of the rare race shirts I’ll actually wear, so there’s that.

 

Race Number:  343

 

Race Name:  Gastonia Grizzlies 5k

 

Location:  Gastonia, NC (Sims Park)

 

Date:  July 22, 2016

 

Race Rating:  83

 

Winners (Top 25):

2016-grizzlies-top-25

 

Course: Starts inside the ball park then goes downhill a block to the greenway. Out-and-back and mostly flat along the greenway until returning back up the hill and finishing inside the ball park after a trip around the outfield.

 

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 91 degrees (heat index 99 degrees), 53% humidity.

2016-grizzlies-temperature

 

 

 

Race Results:

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:46
  • Pace:  7:40
  • Age Group:  1 of  5
  • Overall:  17 of  140
  • Average Heart Rate:  165
  • Maximum Heart Race: 176
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:41 (69.5%)

2016-grizzlies-post-race

***************

* 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
8 – 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
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
2 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
9 – 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
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
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

2016-grizzlies-post-race-GCR-group

Please like & share:

Race #334 – Run for Honduras 5k – Gastonia, NC – 05/14/16

2016-run-for-honduras-logo

This is a race I had been looking forward to running, not only because it’s organized by some of my running friends, but also because it’s in the area just outside Gastonia where we raised our kids. We moved to the other side of town more than 20 years ago but will always have a soft spot in our hearts for the Chapel Grove community.

 

The race is a point-to-point course running from Pisgah ARP Church to Chapel Grove Baptist Church. It’s in the shadows of Crowders Mountain and the curvy hilly roads gave me the same feeling I’ve had when running races in the Asheville area. Fortunately the hills aren’t as plentiful as they are in the mountains, but there are still several challenging uphill stretches in this race that had me in walking mode.

 

I brought my camera along to do some race photos and Penny Hodge helped out by taking photos of the runners before me, then I took over and between the two of us we got pics of everybody who finished within about 45 minutes as they approached the finish line. Photos can be freely downloaded from the Facebook album I created.

 

The post-race food was great: donuts, sausage biscuits, fruit, and more! There were 5-year age groups for the awards and a drawing for some pretty cool stuff was also held during the awards ceremony.

 

Race Number:  334

 

Race Name:  5k Run/Walk for Honduras

 

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

 

Date:  May 14, 2016

 

Race Rating:  86

 

Winners (Top 40):

2016-run-for-honduras-top40

 

2016-run-for-honduras-chris-pierce-finish
“Chris Pierce” was 1st Overall.

 

2016-run-for-honduras-dianne-allen-finish
Ageless wonder Dianne Allen was 1st Female Overall. At age 60 she shows no signs of slowing down.

Course: Point-to-point course from Pisgah ARP Church to Chapel Grove Baptist Church. Rural setting with just a couple turns but lots of curves and hills. Not closed to traffic but very few cars seen. Nice downhill finish of about a quarter mile.
Weather at Start:  Clear, 61 degrees, 77% humidity, no wind.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Click Here for Race Photos on Facebook

 

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:10
  • Pace: 7:27
  • Age Group:  1 of  4
  • Overall: 9 of  64
  • Average Heart Rate:  159
  • Maximum Heart Race: 171
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:13  (71.29%)
As usual, I was "lettin' my freak flag fly."
As usual, I was “lettin’ my freak flag fly.”

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

RACE COURSE
0 – 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!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
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
5 – 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)
2 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
0 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  86

 

 

 

 

Please like & share:

Race #333 – GOTR Spring 5k – Gastonia, NC – 05/07/16

GOTR 5K 2016The Gaston County Girls on the Run Spring 5k is one of the two big annual events for the local Girls on the Run and it’s also a race that’s part of the Gaston County YMCA series. The start and finish is at Lineberger Park, which is just a couple miles from my house so it fits neatly into my goal of not driving any farther than I have to for a race these days.

 

As you would expect, everything is centered around the Girls on the Run program, as it should be. There is plenty of entertainment for the girls (hair booth, etc.). It was great to see Gaston County  GOTR coordinator Kathleen Boyce at the race after her major health problems over the past year, and she announced the awards.

 

In some ways race #333 seems like a milestone. I’m one-third of the way to a thousand, but I doubt seriously that I’ll make it that far. It would be great if I can make it to 500, but as with mostly everything else in life, we’ll just have to see.

 

Race Number:  333

 

Race Name:  Girls on the Run Spring 5k

 

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

 

Date:  May 7, 2016

 

Race Rating:  92

 

Winners (Top 25 Overall):

2016-GOTR-spring5k-top25

 

Course:  The same course that’s always used at the Lineberger Park races, and the same as the old Labor Day 5k route. There’s a huge uphill climb in the first mile then a neighborhood loop that’s mostly flat. At the end of the loop you run back down the big hill then there’s a mostly flat quarter mile to the finish line.

2016-GOTR-spring5k-map

 

Weather at Start:  Clear, 55 degrees, 72% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

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

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:05
  • Pace:  7:25
  • Age Group:  1 of  2
  • Overall:  8 of  613
  • Average Heart Rate:  158
  • Maximum Heart Race: 169
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:09  (71.55%)

2016-GOTR-spring5k-richard-finish

***************
* 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!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

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

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

POST RACE
5 – 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
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
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
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
0 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no

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

TOTAL:  92

Please like & share:

Race #329 – Community Foundation Run 5k – Gastonia, NC – 04/16/16

2016-community-foundation-startThis race was formerly known as Run for the Money and for several years it has been the largest running event in Gaston County. Since it began in 2003 it has raised more than $15 million for local nonprofits. There are about 5,000 participants, with the majority being walkers; however, there were 1,186 runners this year, with the top 2 runners in each age group choosing a favorite charity to receive extra money for their cause.

 

The last time I ran the race there were 10-year age groups and the 1st place winner of each age group won $500 for his or her charity, and 2nd place won $250. I always complained about the 10-year age groups as did a lot of other runners, and now they’re having 5-year age groups with the winner getting $300 and 2nd place getting $150. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a huge improvement since it allows more people to be age-group winners and also spreads the money out to more organizations.

 

My charity is Gaston Residential Services, a nonprofit that provides housing services to disabled adults in Gaston County. My wife’s twin sister has cerebral palsy and has been one of their clients for many years. We’ve been thankful for the service GRS provides and I’ve been fortunate to win 1st place in my age group each of the three years I’ve run for them.

2016-community-foudation-panorama

Race day provides plenty of excitement and entertainment in uptown Gastonia, with dozens of tents set up providing samples and information on the different organizations involved. If you want to go around to all the tents there are plenty of freebies available, but there aren’t many perks for runners besides that. There were bananas and water at the finish line, and sadly that’s an improvement from past years where you were lucky just to get water. It’s more about the charities though, not the dining experience, so if you go into the race knowing that you’ll be fine.

 

I like the race even though it’s not the most runner friendly race ever, and I hope to keep doing it for a few more years.

 

Race Number: 329

 

Race Name:  Community Foundation Run 5k

 

Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina

 

Date:  April 16, 2016

 

Race Rating:  71

 

Winners:

2016-community-foundation-winners-male.JPG
Top 5 Male Finishers

 

2016-community-foundation-winners-female.JPG
Top 5 Female Finishers

 

My age group (60-64)
My age group (60-64)

Course:  Too many turns and too many hills through the historic York Chester neighborhood of Gastonia. It results in generally slower race times for most runners. The long uphill climb at the end is excruciating, but an improvement in recent years is to send the walkers and runners in different directions. The runners and walkers merge at the bottom of the hill to the finish (1/4 mile maybe?) but the runners stay in the left lane and walkers stay in the right lane so it’s not a problem.

 

Weather at Start:  48 degrees (felt like 44), 53% humidity, 9 mph NNE wind

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  22:47
  • Pace:  7:20
  • Age Group:  1 of  12
  • Overall:  60 of  1186
  • Average Heart Rate:  164
  • Maximum Heart Race:  173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:55 (72.49%)

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

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

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

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

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

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
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:  71

Please like & share: