Friday, November 28, 2014

Race #279 - Santa Scramble 5k - Concord, NC - 11/22/14

This was my sixth time to run the Santa Scramble, one of my favorite 5k races of the year. It's the first entry in the Concord Christmas Parade so there's plenty of excitement along the way and enough people watching to keep you running your best. The weather was great again this year and my best guess would be that there were probably at least 10,000 people along the course. For the most part they weren't there for the race but instead were there for the marching bands, baton twirlers, and the appearance of Santa Claus, but there's still a lot more encouragement as you run than there would be if they weren't there.

The best part of the Santa Scramble is the last mile, where there's a half mile of downhill running just before the finish. With the first couple of miles being mostly flat (with maybe just barely a little bit of an upward incline in places) it's the fastest 5k race I know of in the Charlotte area and mostly every year I've run it it's been my fastest 5k of the year.

The Santa Scramble is the only race where I've run a sub 20-minute 5k and I would have liked to done that this year, but with the races in the two previous weeks being my slowest half marathon of the year and my slowest 5k of the year, I felt like I'd be happy with just being under 21 minutes. I finished at 20:23 and won my age group so I was satisfied with that, and I felt better than I've been feeling over the previous month as I have been recovering from a cold.

Click Here for Race Results and Photos

My Stats:

Time:  20:23
Pace:  6:33
Age Group: 1 of  6
Overall:  50 of  551 (9.1%)
Average Heart Rate:  166
Maximum Heart Race:  176
Age Graded Equivalent Time:   16:06 (80.09%)

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* RACE RATING *
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RACE COURSE
3 - Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 - 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
4 - Course Scenery:  (0-5) 1=bad  and 5=fantastic
1 - Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 - Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
6 - Finish line: (0-9)   0=bad  and 9=spectacular!
0 - Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
0 - Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes (Maybe a tad short: 3.07)
1 - Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

REGISTRATION
5 - Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap! ($17 race day/no shirt)
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
2 - Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (2)yes
3 - 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
2 - Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
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

POST RACE
3 - Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
4 - 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
2 - Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 - Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
5 - Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap! ($5.95 each)
0 - Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

PARKING
0 - Close to Start:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 - Close to Finish:  (2)yes  (0)no
0 - 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
0 - Kids Fun Run: (0)no   (2)yes
x - Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)
3 - Extra points for 4-deep age groups!
3 - Extra points for fastest 5k course!

TOTAL:  93

Some of the Gaston County Runners before the race.