Saturday, October 10, 2009

Race #57 – iRecycle Half Marathon – Spartanburg SC – 10/10/09


The iRecycle Half Marathon was my 4th half marathon in the past 28 days and probably won’t be going into my highlight reel. Of those four half marathons, this one was my slowest, with a finishing time of 1:42:10, a 7:48 per mile pace, which is about 30 seconds slower than last week’s HM. I definitely can’t blame it on the hills. There were a few hills in this race but actually less than in either of the three previous ones. Great course too, and scenic, winding around a local lake and through nice neighborhoods as well as a good portion of the Spartanburg greenway system.
It was an unusually warm day for the middle of October, with the overnight low temperature about 70 degrees and the humidity above 90% at race time. I heard a few other people mention that they were bothered by the humidity and their times were a little slower because of it, so maybe that could have been part of my problem as well.

Strictly Running was in charge of the race timing and they seem to always do a great job. I came home and took a 1-hour nap and when I woke up and checked my email they had already emailed me a link to the results as well as race photos.


All of the half marathon finishers received a nice custom designed medal, and the age group awards were unique and attractive trophies made from recycled plastic.

I do have one beef with this race: 10-year age groups. The great majority of races these days have 5-year age groups. Of course, race directors are free to have any age groups they deem appropriate, but if I would have known ahead of time that there were 10-year age groups I would have instead run the Bethel Half Marathon (which had the normal 5-year age groups). I realize that everyone is not affected by this and that some people are just running to be running, and that’s noble and all that, but for some of us being an age group competitor is an important part of the race, and if we’re one of the top 3 finishers in our 5-year age group (in my case 55-59), then we get a little miffed to find out after the race that the people putting on the race decided to cut corners by throwing us into the mix with people 5 years younger than us. Although it wasn’t my best race, I was still the fastest finisher over 55 in the race, so normally I would have had 1st place in my normal 55-59 age division. With the 10-year age group though, I ended up in 5th place of 25 runners in the 50-59 age group.

Race Rating:
7 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
8 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
3 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
5 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
6 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Palmetto Grand Prix) (6=Yes and 4=No)
5 – 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)
8 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
8 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
3 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
3 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups)
5 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
6 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities
0 – 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 85