Race #291 – Racefest Half Marathon – Charlotte, NC – 04/11/15

2015-racefest-LOGOWith more than 2,000 finishers combined in the half marathon, 10k, and 5k, Racefest is one of Charlotte’s biggest racing events of the year, and one of my favorites. This was my fifth time to run the half marathon, and although it was my slowest time at Racefest I still managed to win the 60-64 age group with a chip time of 1:40:48.


The start and finish is on the streets surrounding SouthPark Mall so there’s plenty of free parking. The race starts on one side of the mall and ends on another side, and this year I decided to park near the finish line so I could clean up a little and change clothes for the after-race festivities. I arrived early along with my daughter-in-law Erica, who was running her fourth half marathon. It’s definitely nice to have somebody else in the family running, and it’s especially nice to have the grandkids cheering and holding signs at the finish line.

My daughter-in-law Erica (with the grandkids) after running her fourth half marathon.


There were some changes in the course this year and I’m not sure of the reason, but it seemed to be a change for the worse. We ran through a dark tunnel where music was blaring, and while that added an element of excitement, I was glad when I reached the other end. The course then traversed up what was called a “bike path.” It was a bumpy paved path where you had to watch your step to keep from tripping, and it was only wide enough for one person. The oddball path interrupted my rhythm and I ended up walking two or three times before I reached the end, making sure to step off the path so runners could go by me. Mercifully the path ended after about a mile and we were back to normal street running. I’m hoping they’ll omit that part next year and either go back to the old route or find a new alternative. Having said that, I still enjoyed the race and the bike path was just a minor annoyance.


Lately I’ve come to appreciate local races more because that’s where my friends are. Last month when I ran the NYC Half with 20,000+ strangers in New York City I stood at the starting line and wished there were some friends around to share the experience with, but nope. It makes me rethink my race choices, and I’m starting to think that for me, smaller and closer to home is better than bigger and farther away. Of course, there are those exceptions where plenty of friends are going to a big race that’s out of the area (the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon comes to mind).

Fast geezers — All age group winners at Racefest.



This was my fourth half marathon in the past six weeks. There’s another half I was hoping to run this coming Saturday but I’m running a local race on Friday night so I’m not positive I’ll be eager to jump out of bed Saturday morning for another half marathon. I’ll just wait until Saturday morning and figure it out… an additional fringe benefit of small local races.


Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos from Carolina Snapshot

Click Here for Race Website

My Stats:

Time:   1:40:48
Pace:  7:37
Age Group:  1 of  8
Overall:  86 of  1268
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 1:19:16 (74.71%)

A friend caught a pic of me as I was near the finish line.




3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – 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
2 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
8 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=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

0 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
0 – 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
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

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!
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

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

2 – Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 – 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!
1 – Material: (0)cotton (2)technical fabric (*both… depending on when you registered)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

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

0 – 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
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)


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5 Replies to “Race #291 – Racefest Half Marathon – Charlotte, NC – 04/11/15”

    1. Not good, I had been nursing a runners knee, first time I’ve had an injury in 15 years of running. I didn’t get in all my long back to back runs in. I was running at the right pace running 5 minutes and walking 2 minutes. At mile 16 got an awful back cramp and spasm. Was leaning to the right bad, probably favoring right knee. So I had my first ever DNF.
      Been to the chiropractor and thinks my right hip and pelvis out of whack made the knee sore. Have done 2 treatments so far and some what better. I can ride bike and walk and swim but no running for at least 5 more weeks. I made appointment with foot doctor as he thinks I could have a high arch on right foot.
      So in the mean time gaining weight which is not good.
      Will keep you posted.

      1. Ouch! You might want to consider just running shorter distances, but of course that’s up to you. I wish that I could run full marathons or ultra marathons but my body takes a beating after about 10 miles so I’m content with fewer miles, which probably results in fewer injuries. I have my share of aches and pains on the fairly light mileage I do, but I kind of feel like my body’s trying to tell me to take it easy.

        1. I’m going back to half’s and below once I get running again. We were in Branson 3 days last week and walked a lot of hills. Hate this not being able to run. Have a GREAT week.

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