Race #292 – Cherry Blossom 5k – Cherryville, NC – 04/17/15

cherry-blossom-5k-logoThis was my fourth time to run the Cherry Blossom 5k in Cherryville. It’s a small but enjoyable Friday night race held in conjunction with the town’s Cherry Blossom Festival. This year it’s part of the Gaston County race series, which I thought would make it more popular than ever, but for some reason the number of finishers was down to only 59 compared to 151 who competed in the race last year.


It’s a pretty tough course with a number of hills so I was happy with my time of 21:57, which is exactly the time I ran for this race in 2012 (3 years ago) and it was actually faster than last year’s time of 22:20.


This was the second race of the 12-race Gaston County road race series, which I’m hoping to stay competitive in this year. So far, so good, as I’m tied for third place overall after the first two races, but that’s going to change next week because I’ll miss the third race since I’ll be running the Kings Mountain Half Marathon instead of the series race. Hopefully I can make it up over the next couple months and get back into the hunt.


One of the great perks of this event is the post-race pizza. I’m trying to behave myself in order to lose a few pounds to get back to my best running weight, but when I tried to pick up a banana that was right beside a pizza, my hand was almost magically and magnetically drawn to the pizza. I really can’t explain it but I went home without losing any weight.


Best of all at this race was that photographer Matthew Gregory was on hand to take photos, which he posts on his Flickr page and makes freely available to be downloaded. If you’ve ever run a race where professional photographs were taken you know that most of the time the photos are outrageously expensive, usually $20-30 for one photo, so if you can get just one good quality photo of your run for free it’s a huge perk. I think he tries to get at least one picture of everybody in the race. As far as the quality, they’re better than almost any race photos I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a bunch).

After I finished I went out to find my wife Linda and ran back with her. Thanks to Matthew Gregory for the photo!

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos on Flickr by Matt Gregory


2015-04-17-cherry-blossom-richard-1My Stats:

Time:  21:57
Pace:  7:03
Age Group:  1 of  3
Overall:  7 of  59
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:11 (75.04%)


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
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

2 – 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)
0 – 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)no (2)yes (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
0 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals

8 – 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

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

5 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
10 – 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

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
2 – 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:  88

Award winners from the Gaston County Runners
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