Race #421 – Lake Norman Half Marathon – Mooresville, NC – 05/06/18

With a half marathon coming up at the end of May and an important 5k (for me) on the same day, I decided to run this half marathon just to see if I felt well enough to run that half in a few weeks. If not, I reasoned, I’d just go for the 5k. Turns out I was miserable, just as I have been in the two previous half  marathons I’ve run this year. Just being realistic, at 66 years old, my best half marathon days are long gone, and this might very well have been my last half marathon. I don’t actually feel bad about it; in fact, I’m kinda looking forward to running fewer miles overall and cutting back my long run each week from 10  miles to maybe 6 miles or so. That will allow me to keep running 5k and 10k races and should be a lot less stress on my right knee, which seems to be getting progressively worse as time goes by. The doctor told me a few months ago that the x-rays only showed arthritis and that I’m not doing any damage by running on it, so I should be able to keep going as long as I don’t mind the discomfort.

About the race, it’s a good one that I would have loved back when I was younger. The venue was the Trump National Golf Club on Lake Norman, and neither being a golfer nor a rich person, it was my first excursion onto the grounds. Parking was a bit of an issue since there is no huge parking lot, but there were a ton of volunteers who directed runners to park in the grass all along the area leading up to the race venue. For me it ended up being a 10-minute or so walk to the starting line, but the weather was great and it was a pleasant walk.

The race course ran past the lake houses of some of the famous Nascar drivers, but I’ve noticed that scenery of that sort kind of flies by unnoticed when I’m in a race and mostly just looking at the road ahead of me instead of sightseeing. It was pleasant though, and there were very few hills to contend with along the way. For me though, the whole race was somewhat of a struggle and when the 1:50 pace group passed me in the latter miles I knew I was finished.

After the race there was pizza and other good post-race fare as well as a good band for entertainment. The awards were nice, especially for the overall winners ($$$), but there was a nice medal for age group winners too.

Race Number:  421

Race Name:  Lake Norman Half Marathon & 5k

Location:  Mooresville, North Carolina (Trump National Golf Club)

Date:  May 6, 2018

Race Rating:  94

Winners:

Course:

Elevation and Splits:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

My Stats:

Time:  1:52:27
Pace:  8:35
Age Group: 1 of 7
Overall:  90 of 464
Average Heart Rate:  153
Maximum Heart Rate:  160
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:26:47 (67.27%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip & Gun 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
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
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
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

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

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

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
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
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
1 – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes

PARKING
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

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

TOTAL:  94

 

 

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Race #411 – BB&T Corporate Cup 5k – Charlotte, NC – 03/10/18

I decided to take a load off my knees by running the 5k instead of the half and it was probably a wise decision. During my first mile, which was fairly flat, it felt kind of like the first year I raced, when in the first mile of every race I questioned my sanity for attempting to race for 3 miles.

I managed to settle down a little over the following 2 miles and although it wasn’t fast by a long shot, I did manage to finish in an upright position, so mission accomplished.

This is a big race with about 3,500 participants in the 5k, half marathon, and relay half combined, and there is a lot of corporate sponsorships, making it one of the big race event of the year in Charlotte. It’s also nice that both the pre- and post-race festivities are held inside the Wells Fargo Atrium and runners can park in the Wells Fargo parking decks, so if the weather’s bad the only time you need to be outside is for the race itself.

Race Number:  411

Race Name:  BB&T Corporate Cup Half Marathon & 5k

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina

Date:  March 10, 2018

Race Rating:  95

Winners:

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  24:28
Pace:  7:53
Age Group:  1 of 8
Overall:  142 of 1580
Average Heart Rate:  159
Maximum Heart Race:  170
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:54 (68.66%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
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
3 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
0 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes

AWARDS
2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
3 – 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)
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
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

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

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

OTHER
2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
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
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  95

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Race #410 – Myrtle Beach Half Marathon – Myrtle Beach SC – 03/03/18

It’s been a long winter for me, and this was only my second race of the year. I’m now 66 years old and my goals are changing quickly as I slow down and find that I can’t string together half marathons week after week.  Since I last raced I saw an orthopedist for my right knee pain, and x-rays showed that there’s nothing major wrong. He told me that I’ve got arthritis and I’m getting old, so if I want to keep running it’s gonna hurt. He said I’m not damaging anything by running so that’s encouraging. I’ll keep going for as long as I can, albeit slower.

This was the first time in about five years that I’ve run this race and nothing much has changed. It’s a big race with lots of fast runners in both the half marathon and full marathon. It’s flat of course, but the wind was terrible for much of the race. My weather data at the beginning of the race showed the wind at 16 mph but there were times during the race that gusts were probably in the 40-50 mph range.

Race Number:  410

Race Name:  Myrtle Beach Half Marathon

Location:  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Date:  March 3, 2018

Race Rating:  108

Winners:

Course:

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

Professional race photos are available, but they’re not cheap. See link above.

My Stats:

  • Time:  1:47:21
  • Pace:  8:11
  • Age Group:  4 of 54
  • Overall:  218 of 1865
  • Average Heart Rate:  157
  • Maximum Heart Race:  173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:22:51 (70.47%)

 

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

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

REGISTRATION
0 – 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)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
3 – 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
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

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

REST ROOMS
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: (1-5)
3 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

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

PARKING
2 – 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

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:  108

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Race #409 – Charleston Half Marathon – Charleston, SC – 01/13/18

There were a lot of firsts in this race: It was my first race ever in Charleston (not sure why), my first race of the year, my first half marathon of the year, and the first time I’m seriously considering never running another half marathon. I’m actually already registered for three or four more already this year, but I’ll have to see how things go between now and those races. As I write this, the race was about ten days ago and I’m still recovering. Gone are the days that I can run a half marathon and not give it a second thought and be ready to run another one the next weekend.

My race wasn’t exactly terrible although it was slower than any half marathon I ran in 2017. The race didn’t go over the big  bridge so it was almost entirely flat, so I don’t have the elevation excuse. There was a lot of wind and we ran into a headwind for about the final 10 miles of the race, so that slowed me down a little, but I think I’m reaching the point where my main obstacle is age. Next month I’ll be 66 and I’m starting to feel like it. As much as I’d like to be an ageless wonder I don’t think it’s gonna happen, so I’m rethinking my running goals. I’ll probably run a few more half marathons this year, mostly because I’m already registered, but I think I’ll start concentrating on shorter races — mostly 5k — in hopes that I still have some decent races ahead of me. Only time will tell.

Okay, so I haven’t said much about the race itself. It was fine — well organized, nice course (especially the first half of the race), good food afterwards, and nice age group medal awards.

Despite being slower than I would like, I still managed to win the 65-69 age group with a time of 1:48:28 (chip time). That’s 106 half marathons in a row under 2 hours but I have a feeling that streak might end this year.

I should probably finish this blog entry before I complete depress myself to the point of retirement. I’ve got a 4k and an 8k race scheduled for this Saturday, which will be two weeks after the half, and at this point my I’m just hoping my bum knee will allow me to finish the 4k without too much grief. I’ll probably skip the 8k. We’ll see.

NOTE: I accidentally left my Garmin watch at home so I don’t have the normal stats such as elevation, weather, and course map. 

Race Number:  409

Race Name:  Charleston Half Marathon

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Date:  January 13, 2018

Race Rating:  98

Winners:

Course:  Point-to-point flat course around The Battery and through the historic section of Charleston then north for 10 miles, ending in North Charleston.

Elevation:  Not sure of the exact elevation since I forgot my watch, but almost completely flat.

Weather at Start:  Clearing skies after a lot of rain the previous day, temps in the mid-40s that felt colder with the 10-20 mph winds.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  1:48:28  (chip)
Pace:  8:16
Age Group:  1 of 14
Overall:  319 of 2437
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:24:33 (69.05%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
2 – 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
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)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F: (0)none or first only (2)top 3 or better
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)
5 – 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)
8 – 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
4 – Design: (1-5)
3 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

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

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
0 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
0 – 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:  98

 

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Race #403 – Charlotte Half Marathon – Charlotte NC – 11/11/17

Back in 2008 when it was called Thunder Road, this was my first half marathon (Race #14). That day my time was 2:01:05, and the run today was my 106th half marathon. and with that first one being the only one slower than 2 hours, my streak is now up to 105 half marathons under 2 hours. I didn’t even think about it being a streak until recently, but now it’ll be interesting to see how long I can hold on.

The race is now officially called The Charlotte Marathon, but the full marathon is actually smaller than the half marathon, with 851 full marathon finishers and 2,169 half marathon finishers this year. With additional runners in the 5k and the marathon relay the number of finishers was close to 5,000 this year.

It was a frigid day for North Carolina (wind chill 27 degrees) and I shivered for about 15 minutes at the starting line. I’m still amazed that anybody likes to run in cold weather, but it seems like they do.

The race now begins and ends at Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte, which would be great if it weren’t so cold. I wish they could move the post-race activities to somewhere like the Wells Fargo Atrium like some of the other Charlotte races, but maybe there are too many runners for that. No problem handling the crowd in the park today since it was so cold the only people who stayed seemed to be those who thought they might win an award.

One great thing about this year’s race is the addition of FREE race photos! With the exorbitant prices that are usually charged, it’s a great perk to get free photos. There were thousands of professional quality photos that were free to download, or you could also buy prints at a reasonable price.

Race Number:  403

Race Name:  Charlotte Marathon, Half Marathon, 5k, and Marathon Relay

Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina

Date:  November 11, 2017

Race Rating:  106

Winners:

Course:  City streets and neighborhoods around Charlotte.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 34 degrees (feels like 27), 8 mph NNE wind, 55% humidity.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:  1:43:20
Pace:  7:55
Age Group:  2 of 10
Overall:  229 of 2169
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:20:33 (72.48%)

Old guy awards… We’re all dressed like we’re in Siberia… Felt like it too.

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
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
8 – 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 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)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
6 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
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
2 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

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

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
0 – 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:  106

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Race #401 – Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon – Myrtle Beach SC – 10/21/17

Of all the races I return to year after year, this one has become my favorite. Maybe I’ll change my mind sometime in the future, but for now it’s the one I look forward to more than any other. We’ve been blessed with great weather every year and this year was the best yet, with afternoon temperatures hovering around 80 degrees, making it a great time to squeeze a little bit of extra summertime out of the beach.

There are a lot of special things about this race. The last 5 miles down Ocean Boulevard provides my all-time favorite race finish. There are always a lot of friends at the race, both from my local running club (it’s our big race of the year) and also runners from elsewhere that I just see at these regional races that draw runners from a wider area.

It’s unfortunate that the race is shrinking in size though. This year there were only 1,513 half marathon finishers compared to 3,125 in 2014. I don’t believe it’s due to the race itself, which is always managed beautifully, but because there is so much competition from other races. There are so many races each weekend that runners have to choose among several, and it’s almost always easier and cheaper to stay close to home. Nevertheless, it’s still my favorite and I hope it’ll continue for many years.

This was my sixth straight year of placing in the top 3 in my age group for this race, so I’m feeling a little pressure to keep the streak going next year, but I’m looking forward to it. My time of 1:39:08 this year was my second fastest half marathon since the same race last year, and the only one I’ve run faster since then was the Revel Mt. Charleston Half Marathon in Las Vegas that featured a little over 2,000 feet of elevation loss!

Race Number:  401

Race Name:  Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon

Location:  Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Date:  October 21, 2017

Race Rating:  108

Winners (Top 5 Overall):

My Age Group (65-69):

Course:  Starts at the Coastal Grand Mall and travels up Grissom Parkway. After a short run on the greenway of about a mile course goes to Ocean Boulevard for final 5 miles. Final stretch is along the boardwalk for about a half mile, ending at the site of the old Myrtle Beach Pavilion. Awards and post-race activities are held a block up at Plyler Park. Only 7 turns in entire race and very little elevation change throughout the course.

Elevation:

Weather at Start: Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, 5 mph NE wind, 94% humidity.

Hard to beat the 5-mile stretch along Ocean Boulevard!

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

Time:  1:39:08
Pace:  7:35
Age Group:  1 of 17
Overall:  48 of 1,513
Average Heart Rate:  163
Maximum Heart Race: 173
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:17:16 (75.55%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
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
9 – 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
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
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
6 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
8 – 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
4 – Design: (1-5)
3 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

TOTAL:  108

One of the highlights of the weekend is our group run on the morning following the race along the boardwalk!
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Race #396 – Race 13.1 Charlotte Half Marathon – 09/24/17

This was the inaugural race in Charlotte for the Race 13.1 series and about 1,500 runners showed up for the half marathon and 8k combined. This was my second Race 13.1 series race in the past month (I ran the one in Greenville last month) so I collected an extra medal for running both races. If there is one thing this racing series excels in it’s the great medals, so it’s a great draw for the bling fans.

Post-race food included pizza and chocolate milk, which pretty much says it all for me. I’ve been in weight-loss mode for the last couple months so I’m trying to stay away from pizza, but a couple slices after a half marathon hit the spot. I can worry about eating healthy tomorrow.

The race course was predominantly along the McMullen Creek Greenway, which is a popular running area that I’ve been on quite a few times in other races (Charlotte 10-Miler in particular) and the unsanctioned half marathons that are held by some of the Charlotte runners.

I’m hoping to run at least one more Race 13.1 event this year since they have a series that requires three races in order to make your score official, but I’m not sure there’s one I can fit in. As always, so many races, so little time.

Race Number: 396

Race Name: Race 13.1 Charlotte

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Date: September 24, 2017

Race Rating:  106

Winners (Top 20 – Half Marathon):

Winners (Top 20 – 8k):

Course:  Mostly along the McMullen Creek Greenway in South Charlotte. Mostly paved but dirt sections can be a mess when it’s rainy. Nice weather today so no slop. Not too many hills but about 400 feet of total elevation gain in the half marathon.

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Partly cloudy, 64 degrees, 94% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

Time:  1:44:06
Pace:  7:56
Age Group:  1 of 5
Overall: 93 of 837
Average Heart Rate:  154
Maximum Heart Race: 170
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:09 (71.95%)

Great medals for this race! Today I picked up a finishers medal, a special medal for completing the two races of the Interstate 85 Challenge, and a medal for winning my age group!

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
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
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
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – 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)
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
4 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
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:  106

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Race #393 – Race 13.1 Half Marathon – Greenville SC – 09/09/17

The Race 13.1 series has just been around a couple years but already seems to be making a big splash in the half marathon pool. I’ve seen some of their races advertised but since they have been in conflict with other races I had scheduled I haven’t participated in one until now. I saw that this half marathon in Greenville would be followed by one in Charlotte in just a couple weeks, and those two races fit into my schedule perfectly so I signed up for both.

I took advantage of the season’s pass, which costs $150 up front but then allows you to register for just $15 for any of their Race 13.1 half marathons that are scattered around 10 or more states, but heavy on the Carolinas since they’re centered in Raleigh. So right off the bat I saved around 100 bucks and I’m planning on probably running five or six of their races over the next year so it seems like a great deal to me.

With running friend Katie Freid after the race.

Since Greenville is about 80 miles from home I left early and arrived in plenty of time.  There was tons of free parking near the starting line and the porta potties were plentiful as well. There was a total of around 500 runners in the three races (300 in the half marathon and 100 each in the 5k and 10k) and that’s a good size for my tastes.

The course was almost entirely along the Swamp Rabbit Trail, which is a great place to run. The trail is mostly flat and scenic, but the first half mile of the race that leads to the SRT was mostly downhill, which is great except to finish the race you have to come back up the hill. That’s not too bad but it’s a lot easier to finish downhill instead of struggling to the finish line.

The post-race party was great, especially the fresh pizza, and the finisher medals for the half marathon were really nice. The age group awards were also nice medals. There were just a couple of small beefs I had about the age group awards. One was that there was not an age group ceremony. Instead of calling the age group winners up to receive their awards you just went to a tent where they checked the results and gave you your medal. It wouldn’t be a lot more trouble to announce the winners and have them come up for their awards. Us age groupers kinda like it that way. The other small beef was that for the 5k and 10k there was only an award for 1st place instead of the top 3 in each age group. I realize there weren’t as many runners in those races but perhaps that’s one of the reasons why.

Overall it was a great race and I’m looking forward to more of the Race 13.1 series in the coming year.

Race Number:  393

Race Name:  Race 13.1 Half Marathon – Greenville SC

Location: Greenville, South Carolina

Date: September 9, 2017

Race Rating:  108

Winners:

 

Course:  Mostly flat out-and-back course along the scenic Swamp Rabbit Trail.  It’s all paved and plenty wide enough for runners going both ways.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 61 degrees, 8 mph NNE wind, 77% humidity.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos

Click Here for Race 13.1 Website

Professional race photos are available but kind of expensive. Could be worth it though if they caught a great pic of you!

My Stats:

Time:  1:45:03
Pace:   8:01
Age Group:  1 of 4
Overall: 44 of 246
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:53 (71.3%)

Great finishers medal and likewise for the age group awards!

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

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

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

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

AGE GROUPS
1 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less) (* 1-deep in 5k and 10k)
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
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
5 – 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)
8 – Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  108

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Race #386 – John & Jessie Kelley Half Marathon – New London, CT – 08/05/17

Since I was visiting my daughter in nearby Essex, Connecticut, I was excited to see a local half marathon that I could run. This race has been held since 1962, making it the oldest road race I’ve ever been part of and I would guess one of the oldest in the country. It’s named after John J. Kelley, winner of the 1957 Boston Marathon who later went on to coach Runner’s World editor and Boston winner Amby Burfoot when Amby was in high school. Kelley was also a two-time Olympian and winner of several other marathons, including the Yonkers Marathon eight times.

 

The race is held at the beautiful Ocean Park Beach in New London; unfortunately, this year was a washout with constant rain during the race so the beach setting wasn’t great on this particular day. No problem though. The pre-race downpours settled down and by the time the race started it was more of just a light rain that continued throughout but never became too bad. I’d like to come back next year in what will hopefully be better weather.

 

It wasn’t my best half marathon but I was actually pretty satisfied to finish in 1:44:09, which landed me in 6th place out of 32 runners in the 60-69 age group. At age 65 I’m really not thrilled when there are 10-year age groups, but it seems to happen more often, especially as you get older. If there had been the normal 5-year age groups I would have placed 3rd in the 65-69 age group, so that’s a little consolation.

 

This race has been different distances (around 12 miles) over the years, and in recent years 11.6 miles, but this year was the first time it has been measured as an actual half marathon (13.1 miles).

 

Finally, I’ve got to mention that this race is entirely FREE… No registration fee at all! Apparently it’s always been that way. I didn’t know what to expect when I registered online after finding the race listed, but it’s not only a legitimate race but excellent in every way: plenty of volunteers, great timing (although not chip-timed), good food afterwards (think clam chowder), and lots of runners. There were 552 finishers this year but I think the crowd was lower this year because of the rainy weather.

Race Number:  386

 

Race Name:  John & Jessie Kelley Half Marathon

 

Location: New London, Connecticut

 

Date:  August 5, 2017

 

Race Rating:  76

 

Winners (Top 25 Overall):

 

Course:

 

Elevation:

 

Weather at Start:  Rain, 72 degrees, wind SSE 11 mph, 94% humidity.

 

Race Results:

 

Click Here for Race Website

I was happy with my time of 1:44:09 but it was only good enough for 6th place in the 10-year age group.

My Stats:

 

  • Time:  1:44:09
  • Pace:  7:57
  • Age Group:  6 of 32 (60-69 age group)
  • Overall:  118 of 552
  • Average Heart Rate:  158
  • Maximum Heart Race:  171
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:11 (71.92%)

 

 

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
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
10 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!   (10)–>>> FREE!!!
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)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
0 – 14 and under group (1)
0 – 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)
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  76

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Race #384 – The Scream! Half Marathon – Jonas Ridge, NC – 07/15/17

Since its inception in 2011, The Scream! has been one of the races I look forward to every year. I’ve had to miss it twice — once because of injury and another time because of the weather — but I’m always eager to do it again.

 

It’s an odd race in some ways. Runners park at the Brown Mountain Beach Resort along Wilson Creek somewhere between Morganton and Lenoir North Carolina. It’s in the middle of nowhere at the foot of the mountain and just getting there on the winding road is half the fun. Once you’re parked, it’s time to get on a bus and travel about 20 miles to the starting line at the top of the mountain in the town of Jonas Ridge. After exiting the bus and getting your bib and maybe something from the convenience store, it’s another half mile jog to the starting line. After you run the 13.1 miles to the finish line you end up in the tiny ghost town of Mortimer, where there’s a little convenience store in an old house and not much else that I could see. You then hop on the bus again to return to Brown Mountain Beach Resort which is about another 7 or 8 miles away. There’s plenty of food when you get back (catered barbecue this year — some years it’s been different). Some runners cool off in Wilson Creek and others just hang around for the awards, but it’s a pleasant place and a good chance to meet up with runners you haven’t seen in a while.

 

As advertised, the half marathon course is mostly downhill, with a net elevation drop of a little over 2,000 feet. That makes it faster than most but it can be a little deceptive too. There’s also more than 500 feet of elevation gain along the way.

 

This year I was about 10 minutes slower than the first time I ran this race in 2011 (1:42:01 this year as opposed to 1:32:11 in 2011) but that’s no big surprise since I’m now 65 years old and definitely slowing down. Whatever the time, I’ll be looking forward to running this race again next year.

 

Race Number:  384

 

Race Name:  The Scream! Half Marathon

 

Location:  Jonas Ridge, North Carolina

 

Date:  July 15, 2017

 

Race Rating:  98

 

Winners (Top 25):

 

Course:  First 2 miles are rolling hills at the top of the mountain, followed by about 9 miles down a dirt road to the bottom of the mountain, with the last couple miles fairly flat to the finish.

 

Elevation:

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 70 degrees, 100% humidity, calm winds

 

Race Results:

 

Click Here for Race Website

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  1:42:01
  • Pace:  7:47
  • Age Group:  1 of 5
  • Overall: 42 of 255
  • Average Heart Rate:  155
  • Maximum Heart Race:  167
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:19:31 (73.42%)
I was taking one of my many walk breaks about 12 miles into the race when I heard my name and looked around. It was my friend Marcy, who ran with me the last mile as we provided each other some encouragement to the finish line.

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

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

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

POST RACE
9 – 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
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
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

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
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
+10* – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

  • I added 10 points to the total just for the race experience. There are a few things that result in a lower point score such as parking and no professional photography, but overall this is a unique and enjoyable race that every half marathon runner should experience if you’re able to. 

TOTAL: 98

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