Saturday, January 28, 2012

Race #161 - Alyce T. Guettler Hunger Run 5k - Rock Hill, SC - 01/28/12

After two straight weeks of no races, it was a pleasure to wake up early on this Saturday morning and head to a race. January is probably the month with the fewest races so there aren't a lot to choose from but this is a good small-town race close to home. The Alyce T. Guettler Hunger Run has been held now for 32 consecutive years, which I'm guessing would make it one of the oldest races in the state of South Carolina. It's well organized and things seem to run smoothly, but it's a little old-school, and to me one of the drawbacks is that there is very little online information about the race. There's no website but if you look hard enough you get enough information to find your way there. As I write this at 9 p.m. the night of the race I still can't find the official results, but I've got a busy day scheduled tomorrow so I'll add results later on when they show up. [Note: After I posted this Stan Austin sent me a link to the results, which were up on the Active.com site.]

Much of the race takes place around the grounds of Winthrop University, and after looping around what I believe was Winthrop Coliseum you go back the same route, so the big hill that was such a pleasure to run down near the beginning came back to haunt me the last quarter mile or so of the race. I've gained a few pounds over the winter that I haven't been able to lose yet so I'm not running quite as well as back in the fall, and as I climbed that final hill about 2.9 miles into the race I looked back and there was nobody close enough to catch me so I took a short walk break of about 10-15 seconds, which is something I haven't done in a long time in a 5k. I'm not sure how much it affected my time but I finished 1st in the 55-59 age group and 15th overall in the race with a time of 21:09 so it wasn't terrible but I'm hoping I can get back under 21 minutes this year.

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  21:09
Pace:  6:49
Age Group:  1 of  11
Overall:  15 of  114







**************************************
* 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)
0 - Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 - Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
0 - 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
0 - 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)
3 - Cost:  (0)expensive  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!  (Just 15 bucks on race day w/no shirt!)
3 - Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

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

AGE GROUPS  (13 possible points)
2 - 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
2 - 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
0 - 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
0 - 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)
5 - Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (2)adequate  (5)a feast!
0 - 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
2 - 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
2 - Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
0 - Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
0 - 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
0 - No dedicated site but separate page on other site (organization, running store, etc):  (0)no  (1)yes
0 - Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

OTHER  (5 possible points)
2 - 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
0 - Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (1)yes


TOTAL:   50

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Race #160 - Resolution Run Half Marathon - Travelers Rest, SC - 01/07/12

I feel like a complete underachiever since almost every other runner I know ran either an ultramarathon or a full marathon this morning, but I did manage to finish 1st of 17 in the 50-59 age group (less than two months from my 60th birthday) and 17th of 196 overall at the 9th Annual Resolution Half Marathon in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. This is a particularly hilly area near Paris Mountain and last year it was my second slowest half marathon out of the thirteen half marathons I ran, so my goal going in was to at least run better than I did last year. It ended up well, with this year's time being over 7 minutes faster than last year. The weather was spectacular for January 7th with the temperature in the mid 40s at the beginning of the race to around 60 degrees at the finish -- much better than last year's bone-chilling 22 degrees at the start of the race that was cold and windy throughout.

This is a fun race that's organized well by the local YMCA. They announced at the awards that we could sign up for next year's race today for only 15 bucks. That's a great deal for a half marathon registration and I was tempted but you never know what might happen over a year's time, although I hope to be back for my third year in a row then.


My Stats:

Time:  1:38:37
Pace:  7:32
Overall:  17 of 196
Age Group:  1 of 14 (50-59 age group)



Click Here for Race Results


Click Here for 160+ Free Photos from Greenville Online

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

Note: With my new rating system 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 above.

RACE COURSE  (20 possible points)
3 - Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 - 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
1 - 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
0 - 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)
0 - 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less) (had 10-year age groups)
1 - 14 and under group (1)
0 - 65+ group (1)
0 - 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)
2 - Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
2 - Age Group Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
0 - Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes
3 - Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (1)yes  (3)really cool medals

POST RACE  (7 possible points)
5 - 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)
2 - Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
2 - 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
2 - Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 - Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
5 - Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
2 - Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
2 - 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)
2 - 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
0 - Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (1)yes


TOTAL:  72

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Race #159 - Freedom Park New Year's Ultra Run Half Marathon - Morganton, NC - 01/31/11

I didn't really have any big plans for a race on New Year's weekend, but on Thursday night when Stan Austin mentioned on Facebook that the ultra run in Morganton was adding a marathon and half marathon option at the last minute, I jumped at the chance to get one final half marathon in for the year. If you're scoring at home, you may remember that I had intended to run a half marathon every month in 2011. It didn't quite work out because I got sidetracked in November, but I managed to run a couple during two months and with this one on the last day of the year I ended up with 13 for 2011. I'll keep trying to run 10 or 12 half marathons a year as long as I can. Right now it's my favorite distance since it provides plenty of challenge while not requiring any extra training.

Since the marathon and half marathon were just added in the final week with no advertising at all, they were both tiny races, with only 6 runners in the marathon and 12 in the half marathon. Still, running simultaneously on the 1-mile walking track around Freedom Park along with the 24-hour ultra race there were plenty of runners on the track. In order for all the races to end at the same finish line the half marathoners lined up at a mark probably a third of a mile or so from the finish line and the marathoners were maybe a third of a mile in back of us. We all started promptly at 10 a.m., exactly two hours after the ultra began. I took the lead in the half marathon and was ahead for about 6 miles, but all the while there were two girls following me carrying on what seemed to be a leisurely conversation and I knew it was just a matter of time before they nonchalantly pranced around me. As they passed I managed to gasp out a few words: "What kind of time are you shooting for... 1:30?" I asked. Without missing a beat and hardly breathing, one of the girls just said, "-ish" and they were on there way. I watched them fade off into the distance little by little until the last lap when they were probably a half mile ahead of me.

I did finish third overall in the half marathon and was the first male finisher so that was nice, but it was such a small race it's hard to revel in the accomplishment of being "1st overall male" so I'll try to restrain myself.

As I write this the results aren't available yet. My guess is that David Lee of Lee Timing is probably sleeping all day after being up for the 24-hour race and half the night before it started just getting everything ready. Once the results are available they can be found at the link below.


Click Here for Race Results


Click Here for Race Website

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

RACE COURSE  (20 possible points)
3 - Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 - 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)
3 - Cost:  (0)expensive  (1)reasonable  (3)cheap!
3 - Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

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

AGE GROUPS  (13 possible points)
0 - 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
0 - 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
0 - 14 and under group (1)
0 - 65+ group (1)
0 - 70+ group (1)
1 - Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (1)top 3 or better
0 - 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
0 - Age Group Awards: (0)none  (1)yes  (2)excellent
0 - 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)
5 - Food for Race Participants: (0)none  (1)some  (2)adequate  (5)a feast!
0 - Entertainment:  (0)no  (1)yes
1 - Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (1)yes

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

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

PHOTOGRAPHY  (12 possible points)
0 - Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
0 - 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)
2 - Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
0 - 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
0 - Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (1)yes


TOTAL:  57*

* With my new rating system 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.