Monday, July 7, 2014

Race #262 - HFFA Firecracker 5k - Huntersville, NC - 07/05/14

This was my third time to run the Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics (HFFA) Firecracker 5k but the first time in three years. There was one noticeable difference from the two previous races: the race this year was less than half the size that it was then. In 2009 there were 401 finishers and in 2011 a whopping 471 finishers, but this year only 152 crossed the finish line. I'm not sure why the race has shrunk so drastically, but possibly the result of new races that have sprung up since then, most notably the Run for Your Life Spectacular 4-Miler and the Charlotte Firecracker 5k, which are both fairly new and popular races (although the Charlotte Firecracker 5k was canceled at the last minute this year because of severe thunderstorms). Anyhoo, this is an enjoyable race on a good course and if nothing else it was nice to be able to compare my present running times with those from previous years. This year my time of 21:19 was a little slower than 2011 (20:23) but a little faster than 2009 (21:39). 

Age Graded Equivalents:

2009 - Age 57 - 21:39 - Equivalent Time: 17:52 (72.19%)
2011 - Age 59 - 20:23 - Equivalent Time: 16:32 (78.01%)
2014 - Age 62 - 21:19 - Equivalent Time: 16:51 (76.58%)




My Stats:

Time:  21:19
Pace:  6:52
Age Group: 1 of  3 
Overall:  21 of  152
Average Heart Rate: 163 
Maximum Heart Race:  171
Age Graded Equivalent Time: 16:51 (76.58%) 

***************
* RACE RATING *
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RACE COURSE  
3 - Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 - Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 - Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 - Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
3 - Course Scenery:  (0-5) 1=bad  and 5=fantastic
2 - Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 - Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
7 - Finish line: (0-9)   0=bad  and 9=spectacular!
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  
2 - Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
3 - Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

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

AGE GROUPS 
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)
2 - Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (2)top 3 or better
0 - Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (2)yes
0 - Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (3)yes
0 - Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no  (5)yes

AWARDS 
5 - Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent ($150 1st; $100 2nd; $50, 3rd)
2 - Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent (Gift Certificates - $20, $10, $5)
0 - Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
0 - Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals

My friend and GCR runner Matt Longworth was 1st Overall and won 150 bucks for 16 minutes of work!

POST RACE  
5 - Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
6 - Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
2 - Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (2)yes

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

T-SHIRTS 
2 - T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
1 - Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
0 - Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 - Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY  
0 - Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
x - Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
2 - Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

PARKING  
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

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


TOTAL:  84

The local fire department saw to it that the kids didn't get overheated in the Super Soaker 100 yard dash!