Saturday, July 11, 2009

Race #44 – Run for Your Cause 4-Miler – Charlotte NC – 07/11/09


I had heard they were expecting about 1200 runners for this race so I was surprised to see in the results there were only 678 finishers. Still, that’s a big race and I used my standard scientific measure of race size: I watch for Linda to cross the finish line then I go to meet her. If I can find her right off the bat then it’s a fairly small race. Today I walked around for about 10 minutes until somebody who had seen her heading for the porta potties headed me in the right direction.

The Run for Your Cause 4-Miler is the second of only two double points races in the RFYL Grand Prix and the fifth race in the nine-race series so all of the fast folks vying for position in the Grand Prix were there. I received a jolt of reality when I found out that a couple of the fastest runners in the 50-54 age group had recent birthdays and are now in my age group, dropping me like a ruptured colostomy bag out of the running for placing in the top 3. Optimist that I am though, I see that as an opportunity to not have to go out and spend money on that new trophy case I’ve had my eye on.

I was actually happy with my own race though. I finished in 28:38 (7:10 pace), which is almost 2 minutes faster than my only previous 4-mile race back in March. I read Theoden’s blog just before writing this one and he mentioned that the third mile was the slowest for almost everyone he had talked to. I hadn’t noticed it, but I checked my Garmin and it was my slowest mile too (mile splits 7:21, 6:53, 7:26, and 6:55). I didn’t really notice anything in the third mile to slow me down other than I was kind of tired because I just ran 2 miles, but I have a hard time remembering all kinds of things these days (anybody seen my keys?).

The T-shirt for this race was the best ever: a white tech material Asics T-shirt without a lot of ads on the back — just the race logo, which is pretty cool looking. And there was a similar pink shirt for the female runners.

I was surprised there was very little food after the race. No fruit and only some bread from Great Harvest Bread Company and some coconut macaroons from another sponsor (sorry I didn’t get their name). Both the bread and the macaroons were excellent, but in a race of this magnitude we’re expecting a bit more in the food department ya know? We’re getting used to it though and now know that it can be feast or famine after a race so we’re used to stopping somewhere and eating on the way home.
I was also surprised that the age group awards were drinking glasses once again. Ugh. What’s up with that? I was almost relieved I didn’t place and have to try not to break my glass on the way home, lest I not be able to say to family and friends, “Look at this here glass I won.” Are all the trophy shops closed down or what?
As always with the photos, click on the slideshow to view larger photos or to get free downloads (3000×4000 pixels) of any photos you want…
Race Rating:
9 – 1-10 Website (Informaton, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
3 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
3 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
10 – 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)
0 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=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)
7 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 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)
0 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
6 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0 – 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 80