Sunday, February 22, 2009

Race #20 – Park Ridge Hospital’s Frostbite 5k – Fletcher NC – 02/22/09



It was a rare Sunday afternoon race, and to paraphrase an old Bible Passage, “Many were cold, and a few were frozen.” As a devout coward when it comes to cold weather, I religiously checked weather.com all week, hoping the Lord would smile upon us with warm weather for this race, but despite it being in the afternoon the temperature never did warm up — at least not enough the suit me. Temperature at the 2:30 race time was about 32 degrees with a 20 mile per hour wind, making the wind chill around 24. I’m not really complaining because there’s nothing anybody can do about the cold — it’s one of the fringe benefits of running in the winter in the mountains.
According to the race director, there were 420 runners for this year’s 17th annual running of the Frostbite 5k — 100 more than ever before. True runners it seems, unlike myself, laugh in the face of cold weather, and possibly also in the face of those of us who are praying for some warm weather to come soon.
We arrived about an hour before race time and found out there were no T-shirts left, and were pleasantly surprised when they informed us that they would knock $15 off the regular $30 (late registration) fee since we weren’t getting a shirt. The long-sleeved technical shirts were pretty nice but I preferred saving the money since I already have a lifetime supply of running shirts.
The after-race food was good although the line was kind of long. It was fine though since we were inside the hospital’s auditorium where it was nice and cozy. The 5k race was a part of the hospital’s health fair, which was also going on at the same time in the auditorium.
The race was the second race in the Asheville Track Club’s Grand Prix series and the course was tough, at least for me. I’m not used to the hills in the Asheville area since most of my running is down in the Piedmont around the Charlotte area. As is my custom, when the going gets rough, I get in Jeff Galloway mode, which works fine for me. I started out too fast, which didn’t help, and I ran until I got tired, then walked for 30-60 seconds to give myself a break before running again. I took several walking breaks like that but still finished at 25:29, which is not my best time but okay for me considering all the hills. Oh, I left off the part about gaining around 5 pounds over the past week or two after having gone back to some of my old eating habits, so starting tomorrow I’m back to counting points on Weight Watchers until I get back down to where I need to be.
Race Rating:
  • 6 – 4/6 Number of Participants (4 for less than 100; 6 for 100 or more)
  • 5 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
  • 7 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, stating winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
  • 7 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
  • 7 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
  • 6 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No)
  • 6 – 4/6 Online Registration (6=Yes and 4=No)
  • 6 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
  • 7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
  • 4 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
  • 5 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
  • 6 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
  • 7 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups)
  • 5 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
  • 3 – 1-10 Other (3 extra points for discount on being out of T-shirts)
TOTAL – 87