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.


  • 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.).


  • 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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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
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

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!

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

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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