Race #388 – Great Waldensian Foot Race 5k/10k – Valdese, NC – 08/12/17

For the past 42 years this race has been held in conjunction with the Waldensian Festival, a celebration of the history of Valdese. After the race it’s fun to stroll through the downtown festival just a couple blocks away from the race venue (the local community center) and check out the craft tents, entertainment, and food, all of which are hopping by the time the race ends.

The $10 race day entry fee (without a shirt) makes this the cheapest local race I know of, and every year the race draws lots of old school runners from surrounding communities but also quite a few high schoolers as well. I’ve run the race multiple times and have always chosen the 5k option. The rumors run rampant about the big hill on the way back if you choose to run the 10k, and I’ve never been in the mood to tackle an extra big hill. This week though, I missed a day of running as I was traveling and I needed a few extra miles so I figured I might as well see what all the fuss was about the famous hill and I opted to run the 10k for the first time.

It turns out that the big hill was tough, but I’d heard so many horror stories I thought it would be even worse, so it was a relief to find out it wasn’t that big of a deal. My Garmin measured the elevation gain of the entire race at a little less than 300 feet. That’s a speed bump compared to the Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon that I ran earlier this year, which had an elevation gain of 1,668 feet. I believe the hill might be more of a psychological roadblock in this race because it’s predominantly downhill going 3 miles out (maybe 75%) then it’s 75% uphill on the way back, making for an uncomfortable final 3 miles. It wasn’t easy but I enjoyed it (by the time it was over) and if I’m feeling good I’ll probably do the 10k in the future. The 5k always has many more runners than the 10k. This year there were 135 finishers in the 5k but only 39 in the 10k.

Race Number:  388

Race Name:  Great Waldensian Road Race 5k & 10k

Location: Valdese, North Carolina

Date:  August 12, 2017

Race Rating:  81

Winners – 10k (Top 25):

Winners – 5k (Top 25):

Course:  Out-and-back on country roads with rolling hills. Both courses go along the same route but the 5k turnaround is much less hilly since it turns around before the big hill.


Weather at Start:  Cloudy, 70 degrees, calm winds, 100% humidity

Click Here for Race Results


My Stats:

  • Time:  48:50
  • Pace: 7:52
  • Age Group:  1 of 3
  • Overall: 12 of 39
  • Average Heart Rate: 159
  • Maximum Heart Race: 169
  • Age Graded Equivalent Time: 37:57 (70.41%)
After the race with running friends Mike Albright and Dean Simon.



1 – 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
7 – 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

5 – Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 – 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)
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

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

4 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – 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
3 – Design: (1-5)
2 – Material Quality: (1-3)
2 – Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes

0 – Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x – Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
0 – 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
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
2 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  81

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