Race #349 – Run for Hope 5k – Shelby, NC – 09/10/16

2016-run-for-hope-5k-logo

There were races all over the place this weekend, but with nothing major to do I decided on this fairly small local 5k in Shelby, which had a reasonably priced registration fee and was for a good cause. For the first time in a while I actually ran the whole race without walking, which one would think would lead to a faster time, but that didn’t happen. Still, I was happy that I could run 3 miles without walking and despite being slower I’m still feeling good.

 

After the race the food was great — plenty of fresh fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, bananas, strawberries, etc.) as well as fresh baked good such as cakes and brownies. The awards ceremony was inside a large room in the church, where age group winners received custom pottery medals and overall winners also took home some cash.

 

Race Number:  349
Race Name:  Run for Hope 5k
Location:  Shelby, North Carolina
Date:  September 10, 2016
Race Rating:  80
Winners:

2016-run-for-hope-5k-top3-male

 

2016-run-for-hope-5k-top3-female

 

Course:  Fairly flat course mostly on streets near downtown Shelby.

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 72 degrees, 88% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  23:32
  • Pace:  7:34
  • Age Group:  1 of 1
  • Overall:  11 of 115
  • Average Heart Rate:  158
  • Maximum Heart Race:  173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time: 18:30 (70.18%)

 

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

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

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

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
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
0 – 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)
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
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

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

PARKING
2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
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:  80

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Race #346 – Step One 5k – Shelby, NC – 08/27/16

2016-step-one-LOGO

The highlight of this race for me is that I was joined by my 28-year-old grandson Ryan, who drove from Tennessee to visit for the weekend. Ryan did great, finishing 3rd in his age group! I managed to win my age group but it was actually one of my slowest 5k’s ever, bumping up over 24 minutes (24:07 officially) for the first time in a normal 5k since February 2, 2009. Ouch.

 

I decided after the race to join WeightWatchers again to try to get back near my best running weight, which was 138 pounds in 2011. I’ve gradually gained about 20 pounds since then and I’m hoping to reach a point that I can only blame my slower race times on being older. Not a lot I can do about the aging process but the weight gain is reversible if I can manage to add a little self control to my diet.

Race Number:  346

Race Name:  Step One 5k

Location:  Shelby, North Carolina

Date:  August 27, 2016

Race Rating:  72

Winners (Top 25 Overall):

2016-step-one-top-25

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 79 degrees, 74% humidity (9:00 a.m. start)

 

Click Here for Full Race Results

 

My Stats:

  • Time:  24:07
  • Pace:  7:45
  • Age Group:  1 of 5
  • Overall:  15 of 54
  • Average Heart Rate:
  • Maximum Heart Race:
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:57  (68.49%)

 

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

RACE COURSE
0 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
3 – Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
5 – 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)
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)
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

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

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

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

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

PARKING
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
5 – 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:   72

 

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Race #344 – 7th Inning Stretch 5k – Shelby, NC – 07/30/16

7th_Inning_Stretch_logo_CS4-5k-2016-outlines-300x300This 5k is part of the 7th Inning Stretch Festival in Shelby, which is a celebration of the American Legion World Series that is held in Shelby each year. This was the 4th year of the race but the first time I’ve run it. It was fun but a little disappointing that more regular racers from Shelby and Gastonia didn’t show up, although a few of the faithful were present.

 

The race was fairly well organized with the exception of the course being marked well. The overall winner didn’t have any problems but several runners after him went the wrong way, resulting in running out of the way for about a half mile. That’s no big deal if you’re one of the runners who didn’t get lost, but it’s huge if you did.

 

I didn’t get lost but I also didn’t run particularly well either. Nothing in particular is hurting, so that’s good, but I really like to eat. Right now I’m about one stomach flu, two food poisonings, and three bad breakups away from my goal weight.

 

Race Number: 344

 

Race Name: 7th Inning Stretch 5k

 

Location:  Shelby, North Carolina

 

Date:  July 30, 2016

 

Race Rating:  71

 

Top 25 Finishers:

2016-7th-inning-stretch-top-25

 

Course: Mostly flat with just a couple little hills. There weren’t many turns but also not enough volunteers to guide the way at intersections and there were no markings so several runners got off track. Fortunately for most of us (including me) we were able to follow people who were going in the right direction.
Weather at Start:  Sunny, 72 degrees, 100% humidity, no wind.

 

Click Here for Race Results
My Stats:

  • Time:  22:58
  • Pace:  7:23
  • Age Group:  1 of  4
  • Overall:  11 of  107
  • Average Heart Rate:  161
  • Maximum Heart Race: 179
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:03 (71.92%)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  71

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Race #307 – Step One 5k – Shelby, NC – 08/29/15

2015-step-one-LOGOAfter last week’s big city race I decided to dial it back a notch this week and go to a small local race in Shelby. There were some friends there from both Gaston and Cleveland County, and that’s always nice, and running buddy from the GCR Andy Inman was the overall winner, while another friend, Amy Edelstein, was the overall female winner. This was my first time to run this race, and from what I heard from a few others who had run it in previous years, it was a little disappointing this year (almost no post-race food, 10-year age groups, etc.) and the crowd was down from previous years.

Race Number:  307

Race Name:  Step One 5k

Location:  Shelby, North Carolina

Date:  August 29, 2015

Race Rating:  62

Winners:

  • Andy Inman (Gastonia, NC):  18:32
  • Amy Edelstein (Shelby, NC):  20:18

2015-step-one-mapCourse:  A few small rolling hills through local neighborhoods but nothing major.

Elevation:

  • Elevation Gain:  100 feet
  • Elevation Loss:  107 feet
  • Minimum Elevation:  816 feet
  • Maximum Elevation:  887 feet

 

Weather at Start:  Sunny, 63 degrees, 88% humidity.

 

Click Here for Race Results

 

My Stats:

Time:  21:57
Pace:  7:04
Age Group: 1 of  5
Overall:  7 of  86
Average Heart Rate:  161
Maximum Heart Race: 172
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:24  (74.59%)

 

2015-step-one-GCR

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

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

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

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 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)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

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

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

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
1 – Design: (0)not good (1)not bad (2)nice (5)beautiful!
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: (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
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:   62

 

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Race #290 – Run for Glory 5k – Boiling Springs, NC – 04/03/15

2015-run-for-glory-LOGOIn a pleasant detour from all of the half marathons I’ve been running lately, Linda and I both decided it would be fun to run a Friday night 5k so we could sleep in (sort of) on Saturday morning. This was the 10th annual Run for Glory 5k at the Flint Hill Baptist Church near Boiling Springs, which is a few miles from Shelby. This was our first time to run these country roads but I’ve known about the race being a favorite of some of our friends for several years.

 

The race director is Bubba Anthony, a great runner whom I have known since I began running, and the race is known for its great food after the race as well as the nice trophies that are handed out to the age-group winners. And speaking of age group winners, my wife Linda is on the comeback trail while still recovering from Bell’s Palsy, which first affected her on August 20, 2014. She took home the 1st place trophy in the women’s 60-69 division, and I’m proud of her for still running even though she’s still dealing with quite a few aches and pains related to the BP.

 

Packet pickup and race registration are held inside the church, which comes in handy if the weather’s bad, but on this beautiful spring evening the weather was nice and warm although it was windy enough to blow over the race timing clock before the race began so the clock was put away and there wasn’t a clock to look at as the race finished, but it really wasn’t an issue.

 

2015-run-for-glory-richard-running-CROPPED
Thanks to Patrick Green for the photo!

I finished 11th overall out of 126 runners at a time of 21:58, which I was happy with, but finished 2nd in the 60-69 age group, with 60-year-old Jerome Smith finishing 13 seconds ahead of me at 21:45. Somebody asked me if I was taking it easy because Jerome didn’t look like he was old enough for my age group, but no, I’m not one to take it easy no matter who’s up ahead. I did the best I could and there was no catching anybody who was ahead of me. The one issue with this race is that they had 5-year-age groups all the way up to 60, and at that point they went to a 10-year group for 60-69 then 70-and-over. It didn’t affect me but it did affect several guys who should have been in the 65-69 age group, and I would hope they’ll add that single age group in the future.

 

Over the next couple weeks I have two more half marathons on my tentative schedule. I haven’t registered for either one yet and may decide to run shorter races instead because of some pain that’s been bothering me, but it’s half marathon season and I hate to miss it. We’ll see.

Click Here for Race Results (PDF)

My Stats:

Time:  21:58
Pace:  7:05
Age Group:  2 of  10
Overall:  11 of  126
Average Heart Rate: 165
Maximum Heart Race: 177
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 17:12 (74.98%)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:  81

 

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Race #234 – Rhythm and Roots 10k – Shelby, NC – 11/02/13

This was the 4th annual Earl Scruggs Center Rhythm and Roots 10k and 5k. Having spent countless hours playing the banjo for the past 40 years and trying to emulate the sounds of Earl Scruggs, I have a deep appreciation for his music. Earl set the standard for banjo playing back in the 1940s and undoubtedly has been the most influential banjo player who ever lived. But I digress.

I arrived at the race site early and parked right across the street from the Don Gibson Theater and the finish line (Don was another music legend from Shelby). Both the pre- and post-race activities where held in the lobby of the theater, which was great, but to register on race morning the registration was set up about a block and a half away in a little building (I think they called it the Well House) up by the courthouse. Registration went smoothly and I loved the race T-shirt. With the combination of two of my passions (running and banjos) on the shirt, it’s one that I’ll actually wear.

As usual, the video and pics from my video glasses can tell the story better than me, so here ya go…

In the distance, in front of the three runners in blue shirts, you can barely see Allen Alfaro (red shirt),
who flew out of the starting gate.

Just a block or two into the race, the turn wasn’t marked and the volunteer pointing to the turn
was caught off guard and Allen missed the turn. The course actually went around the courthouse then
back to this same street so for the time being he was still on the course.

Despite Allen Alfaro being misdirected numerous times, the course was well marked and
there was a volunteer clearly pointing the way to go at almost every turn. Of course,
it only takes one wrong turn to land you in the middle of nowhere.

The race route went by the grave of country music legend Don Gibson, who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. He wrote classics such as “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Oh, Lonesome Me,” and “Sweet Dreams.”
Thanks to Noel Manning for getting this photo of me coming through the graveyard.
I’m not sure who took the picture since Noel was running the 10k at the time.
It was around this time that Noel’s son Thomas (T-Cube) passed me up, along with
another runner, as I was walking up the steep hill in the graveyard. I didn’t have my
glasses on at the time so I didn’t get it on camera.

This is the last time I saw Allen Alfaro in the race (far left side of the photo).
At this point he had a huge lead over the 2nd place runner. and I was in 4th.
We ran through this festival of some sort but I never did figure out exactly what it was.
Maybe somebody will clue me in.

After Allen became hopelessly lost, Garrett Hastings became the overall winner of the race with a time of 42:07.

Thomas Manning (T-Cube) finished 2nd overall, 30 seconds behind the leader, at 42:37.
I loved the race but there were a few times that dodging cars on the course was a nightmare.
If you watch my video you’ll see that right here I was barely able to squeeze past this car on the right side,
while also avoiding the oblivious girl on the phone and trying to make sure I wouldn’t get killed by
an oncoming car from the left as I ran into the road heading to the right.

My official time of 44:16 was about 3 seconds faster than the clock read at the finish,
possibly because we started back a short way from the starting mat.

Allen Alfaro was surprisingly good-natured about his misfortune after the race. He showed me his watch
and he had run 7.67 miles in about 51 minutes, which is about a mile and a half farther than he should have run.
I didn’t find his name in the final results so I guess he officially dropped out. It’s too bad because he should
have been the overall winner. I guess he was just having one of those days.
Thomas Manning and me after the race. We’ve gotten to know each other the past couple years at races.
He’s just 14 years old and keeps on getting faster and faster!

This is the race shirt and my loot for finishing 3rd overall — a banjo-shaped medal and the coolest tie-dyed shirt ever!

Click Here for 10k Race Results

Click Here for 5k Race Results


My Stats:

Time:  44:16
Pace:  7:08
Age Group: 1st
Overall:  3rd of  53 (5.7%)
Average Heart Rate:  169
Maximum Heart Race:  176
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  35:17  (76.09%)

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

RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
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
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
2 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

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

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less) *** 10 Years ***
1 – 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
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
8 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
9 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (2)yes

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

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
5 – 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:  81

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Race #165 – Strides for Seth 5k – Shelby, NC – 03/03/12

A runner is one of the few people on earth who would actually be excited to turn 60, but that’s what I am (both a runner and excited), and I eagerly anticipated my 60th birthday like a kid turning 16 and getting his first car. Since I had just begun running at the age of 56, this was the first time I’ve advanced to a new age group. Over the past 3-1/2 years I’ve watched younger and faster guys turn 55 and enter the 55-59 age group as I’ve become one of the older people in the group, and in running as with everything else, the older you get the tougher it gets. I’ve been fortunate over that time in that I haven’t really lost any speed and have remained competitive in the 55-59 age group.

Possibly more than just changing age groups I’m relieved that I’ve finally reached an age where I can more honestly say that I’m an “old runner” and not get laughed out of the room by much older runners, who view people like me as youngsters. When I first started running I actually thought it was unusual to begin running in my fifties, but now I know that plenty of runners start in their fifties and even older. I named my blog “Old-Runner.com” because when I searched for a name that was still available it was one I found that I felt described me and was short enough to be easy to remember. It’s taken a few years but I feel like I can now live up to the monicker.
On this particular weekend I was eager to get back out and race, partly because it would be my first race in the new age group and partly because I had skipped last week because it was cold and windy and, as you may already know, I don’t like cold weather. Weatherwise, this weekend was shaping up to be as bad or worse than the previous weekend. It was warmer but the warm air was mixing with a cold front and all over the eastern United States there were tornadoes that killed dozens of people and the forecast called for the storm to hit our area early Saturday morning, although there was a possibility of the bad weather being over by the 9:30 starting time of the Strides for Seth 5k in Shelby. I had almost decided to stay home again but around 7 a.m. I heard birds singing outside. I looked out and the rain had stopped, so I got dressed and told Linda she could sleep in, which she was more than happy to do, and I headed off to the race in Shelby. It rained a little as I drove over, but once I arrived at Crest Middle School, the site of the race, the weather was perfect and not another drop of rain fell.
I was pretty sure this would be a small race with maybe 100 runners at most, but I was surprised to see that the parking lot was packed when I arrived. As soon as I hopped out of my car I saw Bubba Anthony, who is part of the great community of runners in the Shelby area, and who I’ve become friends with through the races. Bubba started running at the age of 56 just like me, and we also had in common that prior to becoming runners we were both folk musicians. Anyway, Bubba is one of the top runners in the 60-64 age group and will be going to the 65-69 age group before too long, so he’s now in that unenviable position of watching the younger runners (like me) coming along until he ages up to the next group. I guess it never ends.
The race started on the middle school track with race director and cross-country coach Brian Soash announcing that 483 people had registered for the race. As usual, the actual number of finishers was somewhat less but it was still a surprisingly large number of runners for a race that I thought would be small. Once we made a trip about three-fourths of the way around the track the easy stuff was over, as we headed up the wet grassy slope and through the school parking lot. We ran towards the street but probably 50 feet before the street the race route took a turn, running right through the grassy lawn in front of the school. I virtually never run on anything besides pavement or a treadmill and any other surface feels uncomfortable to me. The rest of the race consisted mostly of hills, which seemed more up than down to me although that could just be my selective memory kicking in, and unpaved trails, which I presume are probably the school cross-country trails. The race ran between Crest Middle School and Crest High School (I think) and I guess the trail system is shared by the two schools. Anyway, it was some tough running for me — possibly one of my toughest 5k races ever — and I was happy to see the finish line when it appeared out of nowhere about three-tenths of a mile short of a 5k (my Garmin read 2.82 miles). The race director commented later on Facebook that rather than worrying about a perfectly measured certified course his intention was to do something good for Seth Strickland, the young middle school student who is battling cancer, and that’s all you really need to put things in perspective. 

My Stats:
Time:   20:18
Age Group (60-69):  1 of 10
Overall:  18 of 374  (4.8%)
**************************************
* RACE RATING  (100 Possible Points) *
**************************************
Note: With my new rating system (started in December 2011) 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. I generally like all of the races I run. If there’s something that really rubs me the wrong way I’ll mention it in the summary above.
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
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
1 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
2 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)pretty good to excellent
0 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
0 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
0 – 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)
2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes
AGE GROUPS  (13 possible points)
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 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
1 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
2 – 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)
2 – Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (2)adequate  (5)a feast!
0 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
0 – 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
1 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice
0 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes
PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
0 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
x – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes <– Maybe (will revise if found)
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)
0 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
1 – 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)
2 – 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:  52
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