Most of the races I have run have been memorable in some way. This one will be remembered as the coldest race I have ever run, with a temperature of around 20 degrees at race time. Even more memorable though, it was the first time my daughter Nicole joined me for a 5k race. If you’ve read the early entries of the Old Runner blog, you know that Nicole provided the original inspiration for me to begin running less than two years ago. In the interim she was sidetracked from running with the arrival of our now 13-month-old lovely little granddaughter Eva. So it was a long-awaited special event for us. It was Nicole’s very first race, and I’m proud to say she finished in 2nd place in the 35-39 age group!
This race had originally been scheduled for December 19, 2009, but was rescheduled for January 9, 2010, because of the icy weather we had on the original day. Linda and I had also run this race a year ago (Race #15) and it was memorable for being one of the warmest races we had last winter, with temperatures in the low 60s just five days before Christmas.
We laughed at last year’s race at the balmy weather for the “Frostbite 5k” but this year it definitely lived up to its name. As is my custom, anytime it’s cold I overdress for the race. I know all of the reasons that I shouldn’t — I’m slowed down by the extra weight as well as the extra body heat, etc. — but I usually choose toasty over fast, and once again toasty and slow won out as I wore three layers of fairly heavy shirts, two pairs of tights, and my new warmest-ever Carhartt hat with built-in face mask, which is possibly completely out of place in a road race, but oh well.
The course was advertised as “New and Improved” this year and from what I remember, it was quite an improvement with a long stretch of the race and out-and-back course along the Kannapolis greenway. Still, the third mile seemed to be loaded with hills that are probably somewhat unavoidable, although Steve Staley told me after the race that he mentioned to the race directors that they could move the tough uphill that goes around the block to the beginning of the race instead of the end and it would make the ending easier, so hopefully they’ll take that into consideration next year.
Speaking of Steve Staley, he finished 1st in my age division (55-59) and I was 2nd. I hope to add a profile about him soon. He’ll soon be running his 1000th race. His wife and kids are all avid runners, and he just retired his baby stroller recently at the Turkey Trot now that the youngest is able to run the races. In the photo above Steve is explaining to Nicole and me how he outran me today! (Thanks to Bill Weimer for the pics!)
The awards ceremony was inside the YMCA and there was plenty of comfortable seating. You could stay inside before the race too.
The awards were nice — small inscribed trophies that look kind of like snowflakes. Linda finished 1st in her age group and hers was quite a bit larger than the ones Nicole and I got for 2nd place finishes.
They had a nice selection of door prizes. Nicole won 2 pounds of bacon and a pound of sausage. Weird, I know, but a good story to tell about her first race when she gets back to Brooklyn.
T-shirts weren’t fancy but at least they’re long-sleeved. That always earns an extra 2 points in my super-duper rating system.
The post-race food consisted only of apples and bottled water.
4 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.)
7 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10)
6 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10)
2 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10)
7 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No)
0 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No)
4 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No)
7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No)
6 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
8 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
4 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average)
10 – 0-10 Age Groups (10 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups)
5 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided)
5 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities