Race #428 – Cat’s Cradle 5k/10k – Morganton, NC – 06/23/18

Although it’s a little more than an hour’s drive from home, it’s one of the Gaston County Runners favorite races of the year and we typically have 20 or more runners make the drive. It’s a great race with a good cause (if you like cats). It’s an almost completely flat course along the greenway, and the pleasant venue at Catawba Meadows Park along with good food, door prizes, and 5-year age group awards always make for a fun Saturday morning.

The flat course is offset a bit by the warm temperatures because of the late race start (8:30 a.m.) and generally high humidity, so I’m never surprised that my times tend to be a little slow at this race, but I’m getting used to that no matter what the circumstances.

Race Number:  428

Race Name:  Cat’s Cradle 5k & 10k

Location:  Morganton, North Carolina

Date:  June 23, 2018

Race Rating:  90

Top 10 (10k):

Top 10 (5k):

Course (5k):

Elevation:

Weather at Start:

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  24:25
Pace:  7:51
Age Group:  1/5
Overall:  7/100
Average Heart Rate:  156
Maximum Heart Rate:  166
Age Grade Percentage:   69.35%

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip & Gun 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!
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)
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
6 – 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)
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
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
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:  90

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Race #340 – Cat’s Cradle 5k/10k – Morganton, NC – 06/18/16

2016-cats-cradle-LOGOThe Cat’s Cradle 5k and 10k have become one of the favorite races of the year for my running club, the Gaston County Runners. It’s a fairly long drive from Gastonia — 70 miles or so — but it’s always a lot of fun. The course is flat and fast and most of the GCR folks choose the 10k option. I prefer the 5k, maybe because I’m getting a little lazy, but mostly so I can finish the race then take pictures of the people who still haven’t finished yet, thus providing some free photos for most of the runners in the race. This year I took a bunch of pics, got home and deleted the bad ones, and posted more than 1200 photos in two albums on Facebook that runners can download.

 

The race benefits the nonprofit Cat’s Cradle organization, whose mission is “To help bring about a time when no more abused or abandoned cats will be destroyed.” As a cat lover myself I’m always happy to be able to support this cause.

 

For me, the highlight of this year’s race was the appearance of Tom McCormack. Tom is a 62-year-old legend in the making who has the distinction of being the only person in the United States to ever run a sub 17-minute 5k at the age of 60, which he did two years ago in the national championship in Syracuse, New York, with a time of 16:58. He told me before the race that he’s been dealing with an injury and has only run three races this year, but he still managed to beat several fast high school runners in the 5k and get the overall win with a time of 17:42.

2016-cats-cradle-5k-me-mccormack-peay
Me, Tom McCormack, and Bill Peay.

Speaking of fast old guys, I met Bill Peay for the first time at this race. I’ve known him for a while on Facebook and have heard about his running history from some of the old-time runners in the Charlotte area. After a long layoff of many years he’s on the comeback trail at age 70 and ran strong in this race and actually edged me by two-tenths of a percentage point on an age-graded basis. He’s now living in South Carolina and has his eye on some of the 70-74 state age group records.

 

After the race about 20 folks from the GCR had breakfast at Granny’s Country Kitchen in Icard just off Interstate 40 on the way home. I’m pretty sure that’s a contributing factor to what makes this such a fun racing experience for our group. It’s also a contributing factor to what keeps those of us without any willpower about 10 pounds overweight.

 

Race Number:  340

 

Race Name:  Cat’s Cradle 5k & 10k

 

Location:  Morganton, North Carolina

 

Date:  June 18, 2016

 

Race Rating:  96

 

Winners:

5k Top 15:

2016-cats-cradle-5k-top15

 

10k Top 15:

2016-cats-cradle-10k-top15
Course: Out-and-back course entirely on the Catawba River Greenway. It’s a beautiful course along the river and is mostly flat with just a few slight inclines along the way.
Weather at Start:  Sunny, 70 degrees, 60% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

Race Photos:

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  22:38
  • Pace:  7:17
  • Age Group:  1 of  5
  • Overall:  13 of  130
  • Average Heart Rate:  160
  • Maximum Heart Race: 174
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:06  (71.72%)
2016-cats-cradle-GCR-group-CROPPED
Gaston County Runners

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* 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!
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)
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
5 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
6 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
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
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
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
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  94

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Race #299 – Cat’s Cradle 5k – Morganton, NC – 06/13/15

race3314_logo.brBl-IThe Cat’s Cradle 10k/5k has become one of my running club’s (Gaston County Runners) favorite races. For each of the past three years we’ve had an increasingly larger group each year to make the approximately 70-mile drive to Morganton for the race. It’s flat and fast along the scenic Catawba River Greenway, although this year by the 8:30 starting time the temperature was in the upper 70s and before the race was over it was a scorcher. I was about 2 minutes slower than at this same race last year, again running the 5k instead of the 10k, having just run a half marathon the previous week and with another one coming up in just a couple more weeks. Quite a few other runners were slower, mostly due to the heat, but I have other issues that probably affected me more than the heat.

 

After finishing the 5k I grabbed my camera out of the car and had fun taking pics of the rest of the 5k race then most of the 10k runners as well. I deleted a lot of the bad photos but kept the best and ended up with about 350 pictures in all, so my photography session was actually more successful than my race! Maybe I’ll become a race photographer if I ever have to stop running. The photos can be viewed by the public on my Facebook page. Click here for the photo album.

 

Race Number:  299

Race Name:  Cat’s Cradle 5k & 10k

Location:  Catawba River Greenway – Morganton, NC

Date:  June 13, 2015

Race Rating:  93

Winners:

5k:

  • M:  Abram Logan  (18:26)
  • F:  Amber Opp (20:39)

10k:

  • M:  Bobby Aswell Jr.  (41:14)
  • F:  Amy Edelstein  (43:25)

Course:  Flat and fast (just a couple of slight inclines). Lots of shade for the 5k provided a little protection from the heat. Not as much shade for the 10k.

Weather at Start:  Upper 70s (and climbing quickly)
Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos (My Facebook Album – 346 pics)

 

2015-cats-cradle-GCR-group
Group pic of the Gaston County Runners after the race.

 

 

2015-cats-cradle-me-and-linda
Me and my wife Linda. She’s doing great on her recovery from last year’s health problems and is back to running 5k’s.

 

2015-cats-cradle-chris-wendy
Our GCR friends Chris and Wendy. They ran the 10k in the morning and got married that afternoon!

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:10
  • Pace:  7:33
  • Age Group:  1 of  3
  • Overall:  10 of  115
  • Average Heart Rate:  162
  • Maximum Heart Race:  173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:09  (71.1%)

 

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

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
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
7 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
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
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
8 – 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
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:   93

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Race #263 – Athletic Quilt Street Light 5k – Morganton, NC – 07/12/14

To say there’s not much advance promotion for this race is an understatement. There’s no website or even a Facebook page, which could be set up for free in about 5 minutes. I couldn’t even find an address for it until I saw that somebody on Facebook had posted the address of the Roses store in Morganton. Having said all that, it was their 20th annual race and word of mouth over the years has resulted in it becoming a popular race even without any promotion. It’s a nighttime race, beginning at 9:30 p.m. There are enough street lights that the entire out-and-back course is lit pretty well except in just a handful of areas. There aren’t any hills at all and no turns to slow you down so it should be a really fast course, but most nights in the middle of July are hot and muggy and that generally slows things down. On this night it was really muggy, resulting in several people dropping out, and there was also at least one runner who needed an ambulance. From what I’ve heard, that runner recovered okay, but it was definitely a hot one.

Something about this race brings older runners out of the woodwork, with all of the older age groups being more competitive than at almost any race I know of. I managed to squeak by Daryl Simpson of Virginia by less than a minute to win the 60-64 age group. The 65-69 age group was even more competitive, with four runners finishing from 23:17 to 24:54. Two runners in their 70s finished in under 30 minutes.

Pros:

  • Money Drawing: Probably the biggest appeal of the race is that after the race part of the proceeds are given back to the runners at a drawing. It changes from year to year but this time around they gave $40 to ten different people and a grand prize of $100 to one lucky runner for a grand total of $500. This year I didn’t go home with any of the loot, but when I ran here a few years ago I won $50 in the drawing. 
  • Low Cost: This is one of the rare races that knocks off 5 bucks if you don’t want a shirt, making it $15 for race-day registration. I’ve got a lifetime supply of T-shirts so I always take that option when it’s available.

Cons:

  • No website and very little information can be found for the race. 

Click Here for Overall Race Results

Click Here for Age Group Results

My Stats:

Time: 21:51
Pace:  7:02
Age Group:  1 of  10
Overall:  61 of  446
Average Heart Rate: 163
Maximum Heart Race: 175
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:16 (74.71%)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

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

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

TOTAL:  95

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Race #259 – The Cat’s Cradle 5k/10k – Morganton, NC – 06/14/14

Last year a few of the Gaston County Runners made the trip up Interstate 40 to Morganton for this race and spoke highly of it, so this year even more of us attended (15-20 maybe?). The Cat’s Cradle is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing, sheltering, and finding homes for homeless cats. I’m a cat lover, so I’m all for supporting a race that rescues cats, and the organizers are doing a great job with this race so I hope it will continue for many years.

Having run two half marathons in the previous two weeks and with a 10k on my schedule for the week after this race, I decided to take it easy and run the 5k instead of the 10k.

Pros:

  • Cheap! Race day registration was only $20 for your choice of either the 5k or the 10k!
  • Flat and mostly shady course on the greenway that runs along the Catawba River, with the race starting and finishing at the beautiful Catawba Meadows Park.
  • Both the 5k and 10k have 5-year age groups all the way up to 80+.
  • Lots of good food for runners after the race (especially great pastries).
  • Results posted quickly after the finish, both at the race site and online.
  • A drawing was held after the awards (gift certificates, merchandise, etc.).

Cons:

  • No photography. It would be great if they had either a professional race photographer or just one or more volunteers with point-and-shoot cameras taking photos of runners that could be posted after the race. I believe it would generate more interest in the race (runners love race photos!).
  • Can’t think of anything else I didn’t like. I hope to make this a regular race I run every year.

Race Results:

5k Overall
5k Age Groups

10k Overall
10k Age Groups


My Stats:

Time: 21:07
Pace:  6:48
Age Group: 1 of  3
Overall: 7 of  114  (6.1%)
Average Heart Rate: 162
Maximum Heart Race: 175
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  16:41 (77.31%)

Some of the Gaston County Runners who ran the 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)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)not bad  (5)very good  (7)spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

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

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
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
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
8 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals

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

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

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

OTHER
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

TOTAL:  92

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Race #227 – Sunrise Run on the Greenway 10k – Morganton, NC – 09/07/13

There were a lot of races to choose from this past weekend, but because a bunch of the Gaston County Runners were going to this one Linda and I joined in. The greenway in Morganton is really nice and it’s pretty flat too, with nothing more than a few slight inclines along the way. According to the results I finished 5th overall in the 10k, but in reality I was actually 6th. There was a guy in front of me who stayed about 50 yards or so ahead of me for the entire race. He finished about 15 or 20 seconds ahead of me and I talked to him for a minute at the finish line but I didn’t catch his name. When the results came out he wasn’t listed. He did have a race number (431) so he wasn’t a bandit. My guess is that he probably forgot to put his timing chip on his shoe, or it’s possible the computer just didn’t catch him at the end.

Once again I wore my video glasses, and they tell the story of the race much better than I’m able to, so here’s the video, followed by a few photos…

The race started in the parking lot and, as you can see, there were a ton of people ahead of me from the git-go.

Only a quarter mile or so into the race the 10k branched off to the left and the 5k runners went to the right.

It was a little crowded in the first mile.

A couple miles into the race the runners thinned out.

As we ran past the businesses on the greenway I got a chance to check out my running form in the windows.
I was mostly reminded of how goofy my video glasses look. Wish I would have gone for a different style,
but them’s the breaks, I guess. They were expensive so I’ll hold on to them until they break. My previous video glasses
looked much better but only held up through about a half dozen races before they fell apart. The way these look,
they’ll most likely hold up for years so I’ll be stuck with them forever.

I stayed about this distance from this same guy for the last 4 miles of the race. I’m not sure why, but his results
didn’t show up in the listings. I can vouch for him that he ran the race though. 

At 2.68 miles into the race my heart rate was 172 and I was kicking myself about running the 10k instead of the 5k.
Just think… I’d almost be finished with the 5k. As always though, after the race I was glad I picked the 10k instead.
As we circled around to head back up and over the bridge, I caught a good glimpse of the half dozen guys
who were right in back of me. I kept thinking at least some of them would catch me but they never did.

This is where we split off from the 5k runners near the beginning of the race (we were coming from the right side).
The 5k runners were returning in the opposite direction and turning left to get to the finish line.
The 10k runners kept going straight and had to complete the 5k route then return to the finish line.

Once we were on the 5k course we met runners who were still finishing that race. Since it was out-and-back we also
met up with the runners ahead until the turnaround, and then we met the runners who were behind.
This is Robert Murray, the overall winner of the 10k as he was heading back to the finish line.

This is the guy who was ahead of me throughout the race. In the background you can see the cone that
marked the turnaround spot.

This is my good buddy Ray (yellow shirt) and some of the others who were on my tail just
before they reached the turnaround point. They seemed to be smiling much more than I was at the time.

Just about to hit the finish line. My official time was 44:07.

I finally caught up with #431 after chasing him for several miles. He told me his name but I didn’t catch it.
I thought he’d be in the results but for some reason he wasn’t. I suspect he forgot to wear his timing chip on his shoe.

This is my wife Linda (647), who at 61 is running better than ever. She started running the week after I did
almost exactly five years ago. She doesn’t keep up with the numbers nearly as much as I do but she has run
more than 150 races. I’m really proud of her and her running accomplishments, and I’m grateful that she has
put up with me for the past 34 years. That must be quite a feat in itself.

Click Here for 10k Race Results
Click Here for 5k Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  44:07
Pace:  7:06
Age Group:  1 of  4
Overall:  6 of  91  (6.6%)
Average Heart Rate:  169
Maximum Heart Race:  175
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  35:10 (76.34%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
2 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
0 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
2 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)not bad  (5)very good  (7)spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

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

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

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

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

POST RACE
4 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
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
1 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

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

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

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

TOTAL:  72

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Race #201 – Freedom Park Ultra Run Half Marathon – Morganton, NC – 12/31/12

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to stop wasting so much time writing my blog, so don’t be surprised if I keep it short. I do want to keep documenting my races and anybody interested is welcome to see how I did, but even I don’t want to read (or think) about all of the minor details.

This race and the full marathon were added on to the Freedom Park Ultra 24-hour race, which is the main attraction. After finishing the Huntersville Half Marathon in December in 1:42:00 I wanted to fit another half marathon in and see if I could get back under 1:40, which I managed to do — barely — with a time of 1:38:58. It was just 3 seconds slower than in this same race last year though so I’m happy with my time. I’m hoping I can stay under 1:40 for a while longer. I was also glad to see that my splits were much more even than I usually run, with my fastest mile (#3) being 7:11 and my slowest mile (#11) being 7:55.

The race is on the 1-mile walking track next to Freedom High School, very similar to Martha Rivers Park in Gastonia, where I usually run in nice weather. Of course the half marathon is 13 laps, which can get a little boring, but I kind of like being near the finish at all times. There are a couple of small hills which aren’t bad, but since you’re doing 13 laps those two small hills become 26 small hills during the race. The food was great, even for a vegan. They had something for everybody and I had a veggie burger, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and some potato chips.

This was my last race of 2012. For the year I ran 42 races including 16 half marathons, one 10-miler, three 10k’s, two 8k’s, and twenty 5k’s. In those 42 races I placed in the top 3 in my age group in all but two of them: the Brooklyn Half Marathon and the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon. I was 6th in both of those. I was also the Grand Masters Champion in the Running Journal Grand Prix, which I’d say was my biggest accomplishment of the year. Oh, and I also ran 366 days in 2012… yay for leap year! It was the first year in which I ran every day. My running streak (at least 1 mile a day) is now a little over 1 year and 6 months and I’m hoping to keep that up for as long as I can.

Click Here for Half Marathon Race Results
Click Here for Full Marathon Race Results
Click Here for 24-Hour Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  1:38:58
Pace:  7:32
Age Group:  1 of  1
Overall:  6 of  24
Average Heart Rate:  161
Maximum Heart Race:  172
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:20:04  (73:96%)

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

Note: I made a few adjustments to the rating system as of 10/27/12 to give races a chance to score more rating points, so it can be futile to compare an older race with a newer one. Hopefully the different items on the checklist will inform you of what you need to know about a race. I’m still trying to keep it as objective as I can. The total points points possible are more than 100 but I’m trying to fine tune it so that good races end up in the 85-100 range. It’s too much trouble to go back and make changes to the old race ratings, but one of these days after all of the fine tuning is done it may be much easier to compare races with each other.

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
2 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
2 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)not bad  (5)very good  (7)spectacular!
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
3 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

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

AGE GROUPS (* — No awards of any kind for the half marathon)
0 – 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)
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
0 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
0 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (3)fabulous door prizes!
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals

POST RACE
7 – Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (3)adequate  (7)a feast!
0 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
1 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (1)yes

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
0 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

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

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

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

TOTAL:  61

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Race #159 – Freedom Park New Year’s Ultra Run Half Marathon – Morganton, NC – 01/31/11

I didn’t really have any big plans for a race on New Year’s weekend, but on Thursday night when Stan Austin mentioned on Facebook that the ultra run in Morganton was adding a marathon and half marathon option at the last minute, I jumped at the chance to get one final half marathon in for the year. If you’re scoring at home, you may remember that I had intended to run a half marathon every month in 2011. It didn’t quite work out because I got sidetracked in November, but I managed to run a couple during two months and with this one on the last day of the year I ended up with 13 for 2011. I’ll keep trying to run 10 or 12 half marathons a year as long as I can. Right now it’s my favorite distance since it provides plenty of challenge while not requiring any extra training.

Since the marathon and half marathon were just added in the final week with no advertising at all, they were both tiny races, with only 6 runners in the marathon and 12 in the half marathon. Still, running simultaneously on the 1-mile walking track around Freedom Park along with the 24-hour ultra race there were plenty of runners on the track. In order for all the races to end at the same finish line the half marathoners lined up at a mark probably a third of a mile or so from the finish line and the marathoners were maybe a third of a mile in back of us. We all started promptly at 10 a.m., exactly two hours after the ultra began. I took the lead in the half marathon and was ahead for about 6 miles, but all the while there were two girls following me carrying on what seemed to be a leisurely conversation and I knew it was just a matter of time before they nonchalantly pranced around me. As they passed I managed to gasp out a few words: “What kind of time are you shooting for… 1:30?” I asked. Without missing a beat and hardly breathing, one of the girls just said, “-ish” and they were on there way. I watched them fade off into the distance little by little until the last lap when they were probably a half mile ahead of me.

I did finish third overall in the half marathon and was the first male finisher so that was nice, but it was such a small race it’s hard to revel in the accomplishment of being “1st overall male” so I’ll try to restrain myself.

As I write this the results aren’t available yet. My guess is that David Lee of Lee Timing is probably sleeping all day after being up for the 24-hour race and half the night before it started just getting everything ready. Once the results are available they can be found at the link below.

Click Here for Race Results


Click Here for Race Website

**************************************
* RACE RATING  (100 Possible Points) *
**************************************

RACE COURSE  (20 possible points)
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (at least 1 for 5k, 2 for 10k, 4 for half marathon) (2 points)
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
1 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (1)good
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
2 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)pretty good to excellent
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  (6 possible points)
3 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

RESULTS  (3 possible points)
0 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

AGE GROUPS  (13 possible points)
0 – 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)
0 – 70+ group (1)
1 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (1)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (1)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (1)yes

AWARDS  (9 possible points)
1 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
0 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (1)yes  (3)really cool medals

POST RACE  (7 possible points)
5 – Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (2)adequate  (5)a feast!
0 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
1 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (1)yes

REST ROOMS  (4 possible points)
2 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS  (8 possible points)
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice
2 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
2 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
0 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes

PARKING  (8 possible points)
2 – Close to Start:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Close to Finish:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Free Parking:  (2)yes  (0)no

WEBSITE  (5 possible points)
2 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
0 – No dedicated site but separate page on other site (organization, running store, etc):  (0)no  (1)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

OTHER  (5 possible points)
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (1)yes, some  (2)excellent
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (1)yes

TOTAL:  57*

* With my new rating system there’s not a chance of any race scoring near 100. If it’s important to you, look at each individual category to see how points were earned (or not). Just trying to be more objective with the details.
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Race #104 – HOP Race 5k – Morganton, NC – 10/02/10

This was my first 5k race since August 28th, a little over a month ago. In the interval since then I’ve run a couple of 10k races and the agonizing Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon, so running a shorter distance today was kind of a relief.  I had actually planned to run the 10k, but I’ve got a 20-mile training run scheduled for tomorrow and thought it might be wise not to overdo it on the race mileage.
Both the 5k and 10k start at the same time and are mostly downhill for the first mile, which is great, but it’s an out and back course so what the first mile giveth, the last mile taketh away. After that first mile it’s pretty flat on the beautiful Morganton greenway, which we ran recently in the Sunrise on the Greenway race.
It was fun to go back and run the HOP Race (I think it stands for “Help Our Project”… or maybe it’s “Help Our Park”). Two years ago it was Race #4 for me, so it was nice to come back for Race #104 and reflect a little on how much has happened in the hundred races since then. In those two years I’ve managed to get faster and faster then turn it around in midstream to start getting slower and slower. It probably hasn’t helped that I’ve managed to get fatter and fatter over the past year, gradually gaining back about 10 of those 50 pounds that I had originally lost when I started running. Over the next few weeks as I get closer to the New York City Marathon (34 days from now as I write this) I’m going to try to lose those 10 pounds so I don’t have to carry them all over New York with me.
Speaking of losing weight, this is a race where you COULD enjoy the delicious fruit cups that they serve after the race, but I took the path of least resistance and also enjoyed the brownies and pizza that they also serve. I figured one last fling before getting serious with the diet would be okay. Hope that’s not a bad omen.
To be honest, I’m not THAT much slower than I was last year, probably about a minute or so in a 5k, which I do believe is most likely attributable to the extra weight. On the bright side, I’ve learned a lot since those first few races and am quite a bit faster than I was in this race two years ago. At that time my 5k time was 26:46, and today it was 22:01, so it’s nice that at the age of 58 I’m 4 minutes and 45 seconds faster than I was at 56. My wife Linda has improved over the time also, and her time of 34:05 today was almost 5 minutes faster than in the 2008 HOP Race.
Monday Morning Edit: I just received a note from the official photographer at Table Rock Photography. He has more than 3,400 great photos from the race! I’ve added a link…
I posted an additional 130 photos from the race (mostly people coming across the finish line) on my Facebook page that can be viewed by everyone, and you can feel free to tag yourself or others as well.
Race Results:
Race Rating:
3 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
6 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
8 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
9 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No)
5 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
4 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
8 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
8 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
10 – 0-10 Age Groups (10 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups)
0 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
5 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0-10 Other
TOTAL – 88
My Stats:
Time:  22:01
Pace:  7:05
Age Group:  1 of 4
Overall:  18 of 128
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Race #102 – Sunrise Run on the Greenway 10k – Morganton, NC – 09/11/10

Sunrise runphoto © 2010 The U.S. Army | more info (via: Wylio)

I don’t believe that “you’re only as good as your last race,” although you’d never know it by the way I kicked myself around all week after running a disappointingly slow 10k last weekend at the Midnight Flight in Anderson, SC. It’s not that it was really all that slow, but at 47:07 it was 4 minutes slower than I ran the same race last year. This week I decided to get back out there and run another 10k to see if I had actually slowed down that much in a year’s time or if maybe I could do better. Fortunately it was a better race and I finished in 43:32. There were a lot of races to choose within about a 60-mile radius of home, but this was the only 10k. It was definitely worth the 60-mile drive. The race was centered around the Catawba Meadows Park in Morganton and it’s got to be one of the most beautiful parks and greenway systems in the state. The entire race was on the greenway, with the 5k and 10k races starting together but then separating after just a minute or two into the race.
I started close to the front and was surprised to see so many runners already ahead of me as the 10k runners ahead took their separate route. I estimated that I was probably in about 20th place in that first mile. There were no hills to speak of. I passed a few runners and a few others passed me. I considered taking a walk break, which is nothing new for me, but I figured it could be in my best interests to keep running, which I did. At one point a runner passed me and I said something to encourage him like “good job” or something similar. It sounded to me like he replied with, “I’m not doing that good… you’re just doing bad.” Hmmm. Maybe I was just hearing things, or maybe he was just trying to be funny… or a jerk.  No biggy either way, I guess, but it was a strange response if I heard it right.
So I’m happy with my time and considered this a major tune-up for next week’s Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon, the second race of the Running Journal Grand Prix season. I also have another half marathon scheduled for the following week. I’m still wearing a knee brace and at times I’m feeling just a little instability in my right knee, but hopefully it won’t be too much of a problem until I run the New York City Marathon on November 7th.
Race Rating:
9 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
9 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
8 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
3 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No)
0 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
4 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
8 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
8 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
10 – 0-10 Age Groups (10 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups)
5 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided) (Covered area)
5 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0-10 Other
TOTAL – 91
My Stats:
Time: 43:32
Pace: 7:01
Age Group: 2 of 6
Overall: 14 of 79
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