Race #370 – Spartanburg Half Marathon & 5k – Spartanburg SC – 03/25/17

This race is what was once the iRecycle Half Marathon, a race that ran for seven years in Spartanburg. I only ran it once, back in 2009. That was more than 300 races ago (it was Race #57). The recycling program was discontinued but some folks wanted to continue having the half marathon so this was the first year of what is now called the “Spartanburg Half Marathon.” I hope they’re able to continue because every city of this size needs a half marathon.

The race was small, with only 76 finishers in the half marathon and even fewer (35) in the 5k. With 76 runners spread out over a 13.1 mile course it can get lonely out there, and for much of the race I was virtually by myself for long stretches. The course was marked pretty well in most places and the city police did a good job of stopping traffic at most intersections, but there were some places where there was no one around and no markings could be seen so you had to guess which road to take. I guessed pretty well until the last (or one of the last turns) where I took the wrong route. Fortunately I was able to follow signs to the high school where the race started. I wasn’t the only one who got off track, and I overheard one runner saying he ran more than 14 miles. My watch read 13.17 miles at the finish so I ran the correct distance albeit in a roundabout way. It may have gotten messy if this had been a bigger race with major competition on the line, but I think everybody was just happy it was over.

Race Number:  370

Race Name:  Spartanburg Half Marathon & 5k

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina

Date:  March 25, 2017

Race Rating:  62

Winners (Top 15):

Course: Road course over combination of city streets, neighborhoods, and greenway. Plenty of rolling hills with 656 feet of elevation gain.


Weather at Start:  Sunny, 48 degrees, calm winds, 87% humidity.


Click Here for Race Results


My Stats:

Time:  1:45:04
Pace: 8:05
Age Group:  1 of 1
Overall: 10 of 76
Average Heart Rate: 160
Maximum Heart Race: 170
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:21:54 (71.29%)


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.]
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
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

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

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

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)
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL:   62


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Race #57 – iRecycle Half Marathon – Spartanburg SC – 10/10/09

The iRecycle Half Marathon was my 4th half marathon in the past 28 days and probably won’t be going into my highlight reel. Of those four half marathons, this one was my slowest, with a finishing time of 1:42:10, a 7:48 per mile pace, which is about 30 seconds slower than last week’s HM. I definitely can’t blame it on the hills. There were a few hills in this race but actually less than in either of the three previous ones. Great course too, and scenic, winding around a local lake and through nice neighborhoods as well as a good portion of the Spartanburg greenway system.
It was an unusually warm day for the middle of October, with the overnight low temperature about 70 degrees and the humidity above 90% at race time. I heard a few other people mention that they were bothered by the humidity and their times were a little slower because of it, so maybe that could have been part of my problem as well.
Strictly Running was in charge of the race timing and they seem to always do a great job. I came home and took a 1-hour nap and when I woke up and checked my email they had already emailed me a link to the results as well as race photos.
All of the half marathon finishers received a nice custom designed medal, and the age group awards were unique and attractive trophies made from recycled plastic.
I do have one beef with this race: 10-year age groups. The great majority of races these days have 5-year age groups. Of course, race directors are free to have any age groups they deem appropriate, but if I would have known ahead of time that there were 10-year age groups I would have instead run the Bethel Half Marathon (which had the normal 5-year age groups). I realize that everyone is not affected by this and that some people are just running to be running, and that’s noble and all that, but for some of us being an age group competitor is an important part of the race, and if we’re one of the top 3 finishers in our 5-year age group (in my case 55-59), then we get a little miffed to find out after the race that the people putting on the race decided to cut corners by throwing us into the mix with people 5 years younger than us. Although it wasn’t my best race, I was still the fastest finisher over 55 in the race, so normally I would have had 1st place in my normal 55-59 age division. With the 10-year age group though, I ended up in 5th place of 25 runners in the 50-59 age group.
Race Rating:
7 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
8 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
3 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Palmetto Grand Prix) (6=Yes and 4=No)
5 – 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)
3 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
3 – 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 – 85
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