Posts

Race #508 -- OrthoCarolina 5k Classic -- Charlotte, NC -- 09/18/21

Image
For this year only, the OrthoCarolina 10k/5k Classic was moved from its normal location at the main OrthoCarolina location in Uptown Charlotte to the South Park Mall area. With a 15k on my schedule for next week and a half marathon in four weeks, I decided to just run the 5k option this time around. The Good I managed to barely squeak in under 25 minutes at 24:56. These days that's my goal.  Plenty of free parking at the South Park Mall location. Course wasn't flat but there weren't any huge hills. Professional photography pics were nice. Nice size race with 316 finishers in the 10k and 251 in the 5k. Big enough for plenty of age group competition and small enough that you don't get lost in the crowd. Shirt is nice and I actually got one despite signing up late. The Bad As nice as the pro photos were, they were also too expensive at $20 for a single photo or $50 for all of your photos.  Race Name:  OrthoCarolina 10k/5k Classic Location:  Charlotte, North Carolina Date:

Race #507 -- HOOAH OORAH ALL THE WAY 5K -- Conover, NC -- 09/11/21

Image
I've always had a touch of triskaidekaphobia , so when a memory popped up on Facebook this week saying it was the 13th anniversary of my first race, I cringed just a little bit. It didn't help when I did the math to see how many races I was averaging per year. When I divided my total races (507) by 13 I came up with exactly 39, which is 13 x 3. I'm happy to have averaged 39 races a year over the past 13 years, but I'm not really comfortable here so I'm looking forward to my next race before something bad happens. I didn't encounter any bad luck during the race, and it was actually one of my best 5k efforts of the year and was only the second time this year that I ran an entire race without walking. What Was Good A perfect race to commemorate the 9/11 World Trade Center attack that was exactly 20 years ago on this date, as the race was dedicated to the military and supported by the Stop Soldier Suicide organization. One of the flattest 5k courses I've run thi

Race #506 -- Around the Crown 10k -- Charlotte, NC -- 09/05/21

Image
Every so often I get lazy and would rather do anything other than writing a blog entry. If that ever happens, you'll be able to tell because I'll either just completely dump the blog (I've done it twice over the years) or I'll just do some bullet points because that's easier than actual writing, but it does give a pretty good idea about the race. So here ya go. The Good It's one of Charlotte's biggest races of the year. It's the only race that allows you to run on the I-277 loop around Charlotte. Great finishers medal for all runners. Five-year age groups. Packet pickup/race expo is a pretty big event in itself if that appeals to you. The Bad The number of runners shrunk by about 1200 this year as opposed to pre-Covid (around 2800 runners this year and about 4000 in 2019). Maybe the drop was entirely due to the pandemic, or maybe there was just less interest for those who have already been there and done that. No packet pickup on race morning. Camp North

Race #505 -- Goat Island Games 5k -- Cramerton, NC -- 08/28/21

Image
Good race except it was about two-tenths of a mile too long, resulting in an extra minute or two of slower race times. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Big Ben Kassel, the overall winner, had it at 3.35 miles on his Garmin. Mine showed 3.24 miles, and I heard other varying distances from other runners. Either way, it wasn't my best showing even if it had been the correct distance, but not so terrible as my time of 27:45 might indicate. Aside from the distance discrepancy, there were lots of good things. The course scenery is above average, and Goat Island Park is a beautiful park along the South Fork River with playgrounds for kids, a fishing pier, and other amenities. The race was just one part of a day filled with different activities and contests (disc golf tournament, cornhole tournament, fishing tournament, ping pong competition, etc.) as well as live music. The race had a lot of uphill in the first half, going up to the high school, and quite a bit of downhill

Race #504 -- Slam the Dam 10k -- Lake Lure, NC -- 08/07/21

Image
It's an 80-mile drive from home, but I've always liked this race along the curvy and hilly roads along Lake Lure that begins at the Ingles Supermarket on the south side of the lake and finishes at the beach on Rumbling Bald Resort. The final stretch along the beach is fun and lined with cheering spectators, making it one of the best local race finishes. The post-race food is excellent, with lots of homemade goodies, but the best perk is the ice cream sundae bar where you can choose your ice cream and toppings, and they don't mind you coming back for seconds (I didn't try for thirds). There was one big disappointment after the race though. This year they completely skipped the awards ceremony for age group winners. There was a half-hearted attempt at an awards ceremony in that they gave an award to the 1st place overall male and female, but that was it, and quite a few runners were miffed that their age group awards were completely omitted from the post-race activities,

Race #503 -- 7th Inning Stretch 5k -- Shelby, NC -- 08/07/21

Image
Since 2011, the American Legion World Series has been held in Shelby, and the 7th Inning Stretch Festival is held every year to celebrate the series. The official festival was canceled this year due to Covid but the 5k race went on as usual. It's a good one as far as local races go, and although a little smaller this year as are almost all races, it was still fun and the organizers did a good job as usual.  They gave you a choice between a regular T-shirt that was just okay looking and a really great running singlet, and I liked the singlet so much I switched shirts before the race and wore it while I was running. That's usually a no-no but it was easy to make an exception for this one. The Tokyo Olympics marathon for women was held on Friday night before this Saturday morning race and I was absolutely inspired by Molly Seidel, who in only her third marathon won the bronze medal, becoming only the third American woman to win a medal for the marathon. As I watched her running th