Saturday, June 23, 2012

Race #182 - Summer Breeze 5k - Charlotte, NC - 06/23/12

What better way to celebrate your 33rd wedding anniversary than by running a road race! I woke up bright and early this morning, dug out a wedding photo that I hadn't seen in years, and fired up the scanner so I could broadcast to the Facebook world that it was exactly 33 years ago today that Linda and I first tied the knot. We had actually gotten married in Gaffney, South Carolina, two days before on June 21st because of a mixup on getting our marriage license in North Carolina, but since nothing I could do or say would convince Linda that we were married until we had our actual wedding in the church two days later, we now consider the 23rd the official date. She's kind of old-fashioned like that.

This was the fourth time we've run the Summer Breeze in the past four years. It's got a great atmosphere with the race beginning and ending in Freedom Park, and it's always good to see our Charlotte running friends, especially those who run the Run for Your Life Grand Prix races, as this is the fourth race in the series. It's a pretty big race with more than 600 finishers, and it's the only race we've ever run that has separate starting times for men and women, with the women starting at 7:30 a.m. and the men going at 8:00.

As with all of the RFYL Grand Prix races, the Summer Breeze is extremely competitive and in the three previous times I ran it I had never won my age group, placing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in previous years. Two of my biggest age group competitors were there: Butch Holt, who was still recovering from last week's stage race in Chattanooga (18 miles Friday, 22 miles Saturday, and 20 miles Sunday through rough terrain and mountains), and Bob Nelson, who has been recovering nicely from last year's injury. We're all friends, and I hate to admit it, but I've been known to avoid racing both of them from time to time. It's not that I'm afraid of losing -- you can't win 'em all and I'm fine with that -- it's more about the pressure to run harder in those races.

Bob, Butch, and I all started the race together and were close for most of the first mile. I think it was in the second mile that I passed both of them about the same time and tried to keep running at a good pace. I kept waiting for one or both of them to pass me, especially in the last half mile or so of the race. In my mind I was already trying to think of how I might explain in my blog that I was ahead right up until the 3-mile mark, then wouldn't you know it, they both passed me and kept going. I thought about looking back but remembered that quote that says, "If you look back for a second, that's where you'll finish." I figured the best thing to do was just finish as strongly possible and not worry about anybody else, which I did, and was relieved to find out that they were fighting it out between themselves maybe 15 or 20 seconds in back of me. It amazes me sometimes to think about the difference just a few seconds makes in a race.


Click Here for Race Results


My Stats:

Time:  21:01 (chip time)
Pace:  6:42
Age Group:  1 of  10
Overall:  80 of  661 (12.1%)
Average Heart Rate:  167
Maximum Heart Race:  177
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  16:53  (76.3%)




**************************************
* RACE RATING  (100 Possible Points) *
**************************************

Note: With my new rating system (started in December 2011) there's not a chance of any race scoring near 100. If it's important to you, look at each individual category to see how points were earned (or not). Just trying to be more objective with the details. I generally like all of the races I run. If there's something that really rubs me the wrong way I'll mention it in the summary above.

RACE COURSE  (20 possible points)
3 - Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 - Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 - Water Stops: (at least 1 for 5k, 2 for 10k, 4 for half marathon) (2 points)
1 - Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
1 - Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (1)good
2 - Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 - Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
2 - Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)pretty good to excellent
2 - Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 - Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
1 - Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

REGISTRATION  (6 possible points)
1 - Cost:  (0)expensive  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!
3 - Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

RESULTS  (3 possible points)
2 - Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 - Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

AGE GROUPS  (13 possible points)
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)
1 - Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (1)top 3 or better
1 - Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (1)yes
0 - Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (1)yes

AWARDS  (9 possible points)
1 - Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
1 - Age Group Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
2 - Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes
0 - Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (1)yes  (3)really cool medals

POST RACE  (7 possible points)
2 - Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (2)adequate  (5)a feast!
1 - Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
1 - Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (1)yes

REST ROOMS  (4 possible points)
0 - Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
1 - Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS  (8 possible points)
2 - T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
1 - Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice
0 - Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 - Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
? - Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes (Possibly... will edit when/if I find out)
? - Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 - Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes

PARKING  (8 possible points)
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

WEBSITE  (5 possible points)
0 - Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
1 - No dedicated site but separate page on other site (organization, running store, etc):  (0)no  (1)yes
2 - Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

OTHER  (5 possible points)
0 - Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
0 - Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (1)yes, some  (2)excellent
1 - Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (1)yes


TOTAL:  63