Race #329 – Community Foundation Run 5k – Gastonia, NC – 04/16/16

2016-community-foundation-startThis race was formerly known as Run for the Money and for several years it has been the largest running event in Gaston County. Since it began in 2003 it has raised more than $15 million for local nonprofits. There are about 5,000 participants, with the majority being walkers; however, there were 1,186 runners this year, with the top 2 runners in each age group choosing a favorite charity to receive extra money for their cause.


The last time I ran the race there were 10-year age groups and the 1st place winner of each age group won $500 for his or her charity, and 2nd place won $250. I always complained about the 10-year age groups as did a lot of other runners, and now they’re having 5-year age groups with the winner getting $300 and 2nd place getting $150. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a huge improvement since it allows more people to be age-group winners and also spreads the money out to more organizations.


My charity is Gaston Residential Services, a nonprofit that provides housing services to disabled adults in Gaston County. My wife’s twin sister has cerebral palsy and has been one of their clients for many years. We’ve been thankful for the service GRS provides and I’ve been fortunate to win 1st place in my age group each of the three years I’ve run for them.


Race day provides plenty of excitement and entertainment in uptown Gastonia, with dozens of tents set up providing samples and information on the different organizations involved. If you want to go around to all the tents there are plenty of freebies available, but there aren’t many perks for runners besides that. There were bananas and water at the finish line, and sadly that’s an improvement from past years where you were lucky just to get water. It’s more about the charities though, not the dining experience, so if you go into the race knowing that you’ll be fine.


I like the race even though it’s not the most runner friendly race ever, and I hope to keep doing it for a few more years.


Race Number: 329


Race Name:  Community Foundation Run 5k


Location:  Gastonia, North Carolina


Date:  April 16, 2016


Race Rating:  71



Top 5 Male Finishers


Top 5 Female Finishers


My age group (60-64)
My age group (60-64)

Course:  Too many turns and too many hills through the historic York Chester neighborhood of Gastonia. It results in generally slower race times for most runners. The long uphill climb at the end is excruciating, but an improvement in recent years is to send the walkers and runners in different directions. The runners and walkers merge at the bottom of the hill to the finish (1/4 mile maybe?) but the runners stay in the left lane and walkers stay in the right lane so it’s not a problem.


Weather at Start:  48 degrees (felt like 44), 53% humidity, 9 mph NNE wind


Click Here for Race Results


My Stats:

  • Time:  22:47
  • Pace:  7:20
  • Age Group:  1 of  12
  • Overall:  60 of  1186
  • Average Heart Rate:  164
  • Maximum Heart Race:  173
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time:  17:55 (72.49%)


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
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
7 – 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

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

0 – 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

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: (0-9)
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
0 – 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
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
0 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
3 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes (*Some photos in newspaper)

2 – Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 – Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
0 – 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
2 – 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:  71

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