This was our third time to run the Komen NC Foothills Race for the Cure 5k. Originally we were planning to run the Hopebuilders 5k in Charlotte, partly because it’s a little closer and also just for some variety, but when I found out my old high school buddy John Cushing was going to run it with his wife Diane, we decided to come back to Hickory to run the Komen race. It was John and Diane’s first race and they decided to go along with the untimed runners and stay together, which is probably a great decision for their first race, and they finished standing up and smiling, so I’m hoping they liked it enough to catch the running bug.
For me, of course, I’m a little on the competitive side so I lined up as close to the front as I could behind a flock of determined 10-year-olds. I knew that I’d spend the first half mile dodging them, which I did, but before long things cleared out and I could count the runners ahead. I could see that I was 11th overall and thought it would be nice to finish in around that same position, but of course I still had most of the race ahead of me. Hickory is where I grew up, and it occurred to me as I was running this race that it’s one of the few courses where I actually know all of the turns along the way. It’s always nice and nostalgic to run past my old high school. There’s not really a flat race in Hickory, but this one seems to me to be less hilly than most races in the foothills. The most challenging hill comes about 2.8 miles into the race, a fairly steep winding hill that climbs back up to the Lenoir Rhyne University campus where the race begins and ends. It really didn’t bother me much although I was passed for good by a 38-year-old whom I had been jockeying for position with, who had a lot more steam left than I did by that point. I felt pretty good though and it was the fifth 5k in a row that I finished in under 21 minutes. My final time was 20:45, which was about 45 seconds faster than the same race last year, and I finished 8th overall of 457 runners and won 2nd place in the Masters Division (40 and over).
There was one major snafu that occurred. At the very beginning, just before the race started, the race director said that the computer had crashed that contained all of the registrations for the runners, which meant they needed to add all of the names and important information back into the computer as people finished. The awards were supposed to take place at 10:15. Of course, not only did it take much longer than that, but almost an hour later, at 11:10, they announced that only the top 3 male and female awards would be given then, and everybody else could pick up their awards on Tuesday. That’s kinda sorta okay, but it’s a 50-mile drive for me so it’s not as okay as it would be if I lived in Hickory.
7 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
7 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
1 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
4 – 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)
6 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
5 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
9 – 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)
8 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
TOTAL – 84
1st Overall Male: Paul Pauma (17:58)
1st Overall Female: Grace Ridley (21:02)
Total Finishers: 457
Award: 2nd Place in Masters Division (40 and older)
Overall: 8 of 457 (1.8%)