Race #378 – It Takes a Village 5k – Newton, NC – 05/20/17

With a special $15 entry fee for runners 60 and over, Linda and I decided to head up to Newton for the “It Takes a Village 5k,” which is held at the Abernethy Laurels retirement community. It was a fun race that was well organized by the always efficient Kelly Stewart of RunTime Races, and the retired residents from the community supplied most of the volunteers.

 

It was a hot and sunny day, and with the race starting at 10:00 a.m. it was pushing 80 degrees by the time the race began. Sunny and hot always appeals to me more than dreary and cold, so even though I may be slowed down by the heat like everyone else, it’s still what I prefer. I did manage to get back under 24 minutes this week with a time of 23:31, and I’m hoping I can stay there for a while and maybe even get back under 23 minutes, but we’ll see.

I was proud of my wife Linda for running. It was one of her few races lately and she came in 2nd in the 60-64 age group. She’ll be going to the 65-69 age group in about two months.

Race Number:  378

Race Name:  It Takes a Village 5k

Location:  Newton, North Carolina (Abernethy Laurels Retirement Community about 2 miles east of Newton)

Date:  May 20, 2017

Race Rating:  87

Shelby Adair came in 1st overall.

Winners:


Course: Lots of turns. Seemed like there were more hills than the elevation chart indicates (maybe it was the heat). Pleasant scenery in the retirement village with plenty of support from the volunteers. One stretch of unpaved trail near the end.


Elevation:


Weather at Start:  Sunny, 77 degrees, 7 mph WSW wind, 65% humidity.

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos on Facebook (103 pics)

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:31
  • Pace:  7:35
  • Age Group:  1 of 4
  • Overall: 15 of 101
  • Average Heart Rate: 164
  • Maximum Heart Race: 178
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:20 (70.8%)

 

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

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

REGISTRATION
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

The awards ceremony was held after the brunch.

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

POST RACE
10 – 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

The post-race brunch was spectacular!

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

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

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

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

  • Parking was almost a half mile from race venue, but there were golf carts and other transportation taking people down to the race area.

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:  87

 

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Race #267 – Soldiers Reunion 5k – Newton, NC – 08/23/14

This is one of my favorite 5k races. It’s a little bit farther away from home than some other races on the same day but I’ve run a couple of the others and always end up coming back here. It’s a good size for me (272 finishers this year) but the attendance was down from about 400 last year, most likely due to another popular 5k in Hickory that was on the same day this year.

Pros:

  • Well-managed, well-established race.
  • Mostly flat course with few turns.
  • Great trophies both for age groups and overall winners.
  • Reasonably priced race-day registration ($20).

Cons:

  • No photos.
  • No porta potties.
  • No race website.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  21:51
Pace:  7:02
Age Group:  1 of  11
Overall:  15 of  272 (5.5%)
Average Heart Rate: 166
Maximum Heart Race: 178
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:16 (74.71%)

(L-R) Me, Dianne Allen, Susie Kluttz, and Roberta Villneff. Dianne and Roberta are great runners and long-time friends.
It was a special treat to meet 77-year-old Susie Kluttz (orange shirt). I’ve been hearing about her for years but this was the
first time I’d seen her at a race. She has broken 24 National age-group records since she began running at the age of 48.

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
3 – Course Scenery:  (0-5) 1=bad  and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9)   0=bad  and 9=spectacular!
0 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
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 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
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
4 – 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)
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
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
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
Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10):
5 – Special awards for military veterans

TOTAL:  94

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Race #224 – Soldiers Reunion 5k – Newton, NC – 08/17/13

I’m not gonna lie — I’m a fair weather runner. I like it warm and I like it dry. Most runners seem to prefer running in colder weather, maybe 30-50 degrees; for me, a perfect race temperature is closer to 70-75 degrees. And if it’s raining on race day, that’s my cue to just roll over and go back to sleep.

By Friday night, the 50% chance of rain forecast for Saturday morning had me about 50% on the side of not racing on Saturday. The distance from Gastonia (30+ miles) and the fact that there would be very few people I knew there made it even less likely I would go.

I was just about ready to skip it altogether when Bill Weimer posted this on my Facebook page…

When I got to my profile page on Facebook I was reminded of the new cover photo that I had posted earlier in the day… Oops…

Ouch! I figured that come Saturday morning I would either be lazy or obsessed, and since I had insinuated less than 24 hours earlier I was obsessed I figured I’d better run the race.

I got up early and headed for Newton. About 12 miles out of Gastonia I realized that I had forgotten to bring the trophy that my friend Holly had won in Valdese the week before and I told her I’d give it to her in Newton. I mentally kicked myself and decided it was too late to turn around and go back. Then I looked down at the display on my dashboard and it showed that the hybrid battery on my 2001 Honda Insight was dead. Uh-oh. At that point there was no doubt about it. I’d turn around at the next exit and hope I could make it home without the battery. The car seemed to drive fine and has done fine since then (I’m writing this a week later), and since a replacement battery will cost me 5,000 bucks I think I’ll just drive it as is for as long as I can. Anyhoo, when I got home the GPS said that I still had time to get to Newton before the race, so I hopped in Linda’s car and took off, making it to the race with a few minutes to spare.

To save myself some time I decided not to wear my video glasses during the race, eliminating the need to do all of that video editing (it was a busy week). And to save myself even more time (and because I’ve already run another race since then, I’ll spare you the details of the race. It’s a good race but I was a little disappointed that more of my running friends didn’t show up for it this year. The awards are always nice but they kind of skimped on the food after the race this year. Oh, and I was freezing waiting for the awards with temperatures after the race still in the mid-60s.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  21:43
Pace:  7:00
Age Group:  1 of  6
Overall:  35 of  362
Average Heart Rate:  169
Maximum Heart Race:  178
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:19  (74.51%)

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

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

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

POST RACE
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
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

WEBSITE
0 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
0 – 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:  71

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Race #141 – Soldiers Reunion 5k – Newton, NC – 08/20/11

This was my third year in a row to run the Soldiers Reunion 5k in Newton. It’s actually a pretty big 5k by small-town race standards, and it’s also one of the longest running races in the state. I’ve always thought of it as a pretty fast and flat race too, but after the race a couple of people mentioned to me that it’s not as fast as, for example, the hilly Waldensian Classic held a week earlier in Valdese, and their times were slower here by 30 seconds to a minute. After running two 5k’s last week with times of 20:20 and 20:29 I was hoping to get into “20-minutes flat” territory, but I didn’t quite make it, although my time of 20:43 was 1st in my age group and a minute and 5 seconds faster than last year’s memorable showdown between Steve Staley and me where we finished 1-2 in the age group, both at 21:48 and with me ahead only by a few hundredths of a second. Two years ago I ran this same race at 22:10, so I’m really happy with this year’s time of 20:43. It’s nice to feel like there might be a possibility for additional improvement ahead, especially since I’ll be entering the 60-64 age group in just a few months.

I’m currently on a 7-day work week so until that’s no longer the case I’ll probably be cutting the blog entries short. One other thing I should mention about this race though is that my wife Linda took a nose dive at about the halfway point of the race. Thankfully she’s not injured too badly — just a few abrasions, mostly to her knee and elbow, and it remains to be seen if there’s much bruising or possibly a knee problem that keeps her out of running for a while. It was the first fall either of us has taken in three years of racing and I’m hoping it’ll be the last one a for a long time to come.

Click Here for Race Results on Active.com

Click Here for 200+ Photos on Flickr Posted by the City of Newton

Race Rating:

3 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
9 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
9 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
8 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10) (watermelon/cantaloupe/soft drinks, & more)
7 – 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) (FREE on Flickr!)
6 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
7 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
8 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
7 – 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)
5 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0-10 Other

TOTAL – 100

Race Stats: 

1st Overall Male:  Dave Max (17:03)
1st Overall Female:  Savannah Fornshell (20:35)
Total Finishers:  287

My Stats:

Time:  20:43
Pace:  6:34
Age Group:  1 of  5
Overall:   32 of 287

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Race #99 – Soldiers Reunion 5k – Newton, NC – 08/21/10

The 99th race of my nearly-two-year running career turned out to be a battle of epic proportions between me and Steve Staley, if only in our own minds. I’ve said this before but it’s something that always amazes me about races. There’s only one overall winner and the great majority of us will never be the overall winner in a race, especially if we’re in our late fifties before we even get started, but underneath that upper echelon of runners are many more levels of competition, whether it’s a runner just competing against the clock, or maybe someone just trying to complete their first race, or in the case of me and Steve, two guys in the same age group (55-59) who are kind of on the competitive side.
Steve is the patriarch of Charlotte’s First Family of Running. He and wife Kari have been at the top of their respective age groups for years, and their three kids, every one a top runner for their age, are following in their parents’ footsteps. In today’s race, all five family members placed in the top 3 in their age group. For many years the majority of Steve’s races were run with him pushing a jogging stroller. As you can see from the photo here, he beat me to the finish line in the 2009 China Grove Main Street Challenge while pushing SpongeBob SquarePants and his then 6-year-old daughter Kasidi, who by the way finished 3rd today in the 5k in the 11-and-under age group.
At the beginning of the race I looked around and didn’t see Steve anywhere. Usually he’s up near the front but as I scanned the crowd of more than 350 runners I didn’t spot him. I started the race with my friend Michele Hoheiser, who has been the #1 female in a couple races this year and was just a step behind me in Morganton a few weeks ago. Michele runs almost as fast as she talks and with her native Long Island accent she is in the running to be the Snooki of the local road racing scene.
Although this race is fairly flat, it starts on a steep uphill climb and I decided to go out fairly slowly in the beginning. Once we got to the top of the hill I turned it up some, trying to build speed gradually to reach my heart rate range. I felt pretty good but there was a lot of traffic and I found myself surrounded by runners that I wanted to pass. I finally found an opening and slipped through. I didn’t see Steve Staley up ahead so I figured he was not too far behind. I saw Derek Widenhouse in front of me. I had finished just ahead of Derek in the 2009 Spencer Mountain 10-Miler, but since then he’s been living right and lately I only see him from behind. He’s coming into the 55-59 age group next month and we’ll have our work cut out for us to try and catch him.
One good thing about trying to find Steve Staley in a race is that he has this distinctive throat-clearing thing that he does every so often. I don’t think I heard him in the first mile but then in the second mile I could hear him behind me in the distance. I try not to look in back of me too often, but I found a spot where I felt comfortable turning around to take a look and Steve was maybe 3 to 5 seconds behind me. According to my Garmin, my first mile was 6:48 and the second mile was 6:52. That’s a good pace for me if I can stay there but the gradual uphill slope in the last mile slowed me down and I ran the third mile in 7:23. Steve caught me maybe a quarter of a mile from the finish. I “good-jobbed” him as he passed by but I felt like I still had a little bit left in the tank. I knew he was running faster than me at that point but I decided to at least try and stay right behind him for as long as I could. I thought I’d stay back just a little bit so maybe I could surprise him but he took a quick look over his shoulder and saw me, so I went for Plan B, which was to get right next to him and run at the same speed. We were both huffing and puffing and it was probably too early to give it everything we had. I slowed down some, hoping that he would maybe stick with me and we could make a mad dash for the finish line once it was in sight, but he was in no mood to slow down so I got back with him. We rounded the last corner, which was maybe 200 yards from the finish line, and it was on.
As you can see in the photo, we were in the middle of some traffic as we approached the finish. If you don’t know me, I’m the one (#256) who looks about 20 years older than I should, and Steve’s the one (#268) who looks about 20 years younger than he should. The 2nd place female was on my right (green shoes and blue shirt) and a young guy (#11) was right in front of me. At this point we were flying past these runners. I was almost boxed in by #11 but managed to squeeze between him and Steve as we approached the finish line. I’m pretty sure I’ve never run as fast as I did in the last hundred yards of this race. We were neck and neck the whole way and when the dust settled, I hit the finish mat just a fraction of a second before Steve, with probably less than a tenth of a second in our times. My Garmin said that the final stretch was at a pace of 4:22. Wow.
For me, it was one of my most memorable races ever. For the people watching, it was mostly just two guys running pretty fast to the finish line. Funny how that works.
Race Rating:
4 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
9 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10) (Nice trophies!)
6 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 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)
6 – 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)
7 – 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)
4 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities (Indoor restrooms but no Porta Potties)
0 – 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 90
My Stats:
Time: 21:48
Pace: 7:01
Age Group: 1 of 10
Overall: 36 of 359
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Race #48 – Soldiers Reunion 5k – Newton, NC – 08/22/09

It was my first race in Newton and I’d been looking forward to it for a while. Having grown up in nearby Hickory, I had always heard of the “Old Soldiers Reunion” in Newton. It’s one of the oldest events of its type in the country, having begun in 1889 and held annually ever since except for two years in the 1940s when it was canceled due to a polio outbreak. The 5k part of the festival is fairly new, relatively speaking, but this was the 19th annual 5k race.
It was also a special race for me because I lived in Newton for a year or two about 1966. It was the town where I sowed the wildest of all my wild oats as a 14-year-old rebel without a real cause back in 1966. It was more than I or anyone else could handle, and before my 15th birthday it landed me in Stonewall Jackson Training School, where they had a way of getting things like that out of your system. I’ll save the details for my never-to-be-published autobiography, but suffice it to say that on those rare occasions when I visit Newton it really brings back all kinds of mixed emotions for me.
The 5k course was a good one. It actually started out up a steep hill for maybe 200 feet, but then it flattened out for the remainder of the first mile. The second mile had a few easy rolling hills but nothing too strenuous, then we circled around what used to be the old county hospital (I’m not sure what it is now) and headed back to town for the finish. I liked that there were only a handful of turns in the entire race.
I heard an announcement after the race that there were 349 runners but I’m not sure whether that was for just the 5k or also for the fun run, but it was a good crowd. It wasn’t my best race ever, but I did manage to finish first in my age division with a time of 22:10. The trophies were perfect: appropriately sized for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each age group and clearly inscribed with all of the race information. Mine says: Soldiers Reunion 5k Run — Male Age 55-59 — 1st Place — 2009. Why don’t more races do that? The trophies for the overall winners were spectacular (you can see them in the photos).
The T-shirts were nice as well. They were bright yellow cotton and nicely designed. This shirt will be one of the 10% or so of race T-shirts I have that I’ll actually wear.
The post-race food consisted mostly of fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, cantaloupe, and watermelon) and this was the first race I’ve been in that in addition to water and sports drinks also had soft drinks afterwards. Not the healthiest choice, I know, but the Diet Mountain Dew hit the spot with me… anybody ever notice water doesn’t have a taste?
I’ve included 112 photos I took, and as always, you can view or download the high quality originals (3000 x 4000 pixels) for free by clicking on the slideshow and going to the Picasa site to view them.
Race Rating:
4 – 1-10 Website (Informaton, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
10 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
8 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
8 – 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)
6 – 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)
7 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups)
5 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
6 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0 – 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 93
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