Race #317 – ChristmasTown 5k – McAdenville NC – 11/28/15

ChristmasTown5KIn just its third year, the ChristmasTown 5k in McAdenville has become one of the area’s most popular races. For the past 60 years the tiny town of McAdenville (population around 600) has been known as Christmas Town USA to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come each holiday season to view one of the most amazing traditional Christmas light displays in the country. The Christmas lights officially begin on December 1st, but they’re lit up especially for this race to give runners and spectators a jump on the Christmas season.



The race is fun, but I ran into problems early on when my watch conked out in the first half mile and I wasn’t able to monitor my heart rate. That’s the way I run and I don’t do nearly as well if I have to guess. I took a short walk break on every hill, which probably slowed me down some, but I was still pretty happy with my time of 22:35.

Speedy high school runners Landon Maxwell and Andrew Inman started out fast and finished 2nd and 3rd overall.

What’s Great:

  • The Christmas lights, of course!
  • Free professional quality race photos from Matthew Gregory, who always does a great job.
  • Lots of runners with the Christmas spirit!
  • Beautiful weather this year (as opposed to freezing last year).
  • Part of the local YMCA race series.
  • Post race entertainment and awards in the gymnasium of the YMCA.

What’s Not So Great:

  • More hills than any 5k I know of other than those races that pride themselves in being all uphill (e.g. The Burn, The Bear, etc.).
  • Some dark spots along the way. The Christmas lights are great but they really don’t provide light for the street itself. It can be a little scary just hoping that you’re not about to step in a pothole although I didn’t run into any problems and didn’t see anybody else do a face plant.
  • Course changed this year to end up near the YMCA. Last year the race ended with a nice downhill of about a quarter mile. This year the finish was uphill for more than a quarter mile.
  • Post-race food was dismal and included only some water, popcorn, and bananas. I saw coffee and hot chocolate and thought that would be a nice touch until I was informed that coffee was $2 a cup and hot chocolate $3 a cup. Uh… No thanks.


Race Number:  317


Race Name:  ChristmasTown 5k


Location:  McAdenville, North Carolina


Date:  November 28, 2015


Race Rating:  96



  • M: Daniel Belton (Age 17) – 17:27
  • F:  Sophia Raspanti (Age 14) – 20:13


Course:  Almost entirely hills except for the bridge. Fortunately there are plenty of downhills in addition to uphills, but it’s still enough to slow most of us down.

Weather at Start:  Seasonably warm, 55-60 degrees (no Garmin data… watch died)


Race Results:


Click Here for Race Photos from Matthew Gregory on Flickr (152 photos)


My Stats:

Thanks to Matthew Gregory for his photos… great as always!


3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – 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
4 – 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
2 – Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no

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

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

2 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
8 – 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
1 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful

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

1 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no  (*About a quarter mile away from start/finish)
1 – 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:  96

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