Showing posts from 2008

Race #15 – YMCA Frostbite 5k – Kannapolis NC – 12/20/08

The Frostbite 5k in Kannapolis, North Carolina, provided a nice change of pace from last week’s massive Thunder Road, and instead of 7,000 runners there were maybe 150. Thunder Road was by far the biggest race I’ve been in over the four months I’ve been running, and now that I’ve done the large and the small I definitely favor the smaller ones — issues such as not having nearly as many people to trip over and the convenient parking and small-town charm are appealing, at least to me. As you may be able to tell from the photo, the weather was beautiful, unseasonably mild with temperatures in the low 60s, so “Frostbite 5k” ended up being a bit of a misnomer, but that’s fine by me. As far as the course goes, what Concord giveth, Kannapolis taketh away (they’re neighboring communities). The Santa Scramble in Concord a few weeks ago featured more downhill running than any other race. The Frostbite 5k today had more hills than I’ve seen in any of the previous races. I had to rely on the Jeff

Race #14 – Thunder Road Half Marathon – Charlotte NC – 12/13/08

It’s the biggest race in the Charlotte area, this year with about 7,000 participants in the marathon, half marathon, and 5k combined. I just started running about four months ago (Labor Day Weekend) and have run in a 5k race each week since then, so I was a little nervous about this race since I was running in a half marathon for the first time. I was kind of secretly hoping to finish in under 2 hours but I knew that would be a best case scenario since I had never even run 13.1 miles, even in training (my longest long run has been 12 miles about 3 weeks ago). Anyhoo, I finished in 2:01:05 (chip time), and that includes about a 2-minute bathroom stop at mile 8, so I’m pretty happy about that. Maybe next time I can drink less before the race or run a little faster; either way it gives me a number to shoot for. It’s kind of like apples and oranges trying to compare a race with 7,000 runners with a race of maybe a couple hundred (and sometimes less than 100). It’s easy to get lost in the

Race #13 – Jingle Bell Run 5k – Kings Mountain, NC – 12/06/08

I intended to take some photos to post here but never got the camera out of the car. It was freezing outside and didn’t seem to warm up any at all. I think it might have been about 35 degrees when the awards were handed out about 10:30 a.m. >>Click Here for the Race Results<< The course was up and down (lots of hills) through a maze of local nondescript neighborhoods and was centered around a gazebo at Patriot’s Park near the middle of town. Luckily Kings Mountain is a small town and it was easy to find the park at the edge of downtown KM because no actual address was given for the race other than “Patriot’s Park at the gazebo.” The race was sponsored by the YMCA, which would have been a better place to have the race and would have provided some shelter from the freezing cold. There were also no porta-potties and the only nearby restrooms were in the theatre up the street (which I think might have been providing care for small children during the race). On the bright side,

Race #12 – Lake Norman Turkey Trot – Huntersville NC – 11/27/08

In anticipation of eating too much later on, we decided to work it off in advance by running the 5k at the Lake Norman Turkey Trot in Huntersville. The weather was freezing — about 28 degrees when we arrived — and not much warmer at 8:00 a.m. when the races started. The three races (5k, 10k, and half marathon) started a few minutes apart and everybody ran the same the same route — one loop for the 5k, two loops for the 10k, and four loops for the half marathon. The race was run on the roads of a large office complex, and being Thanksgiving Day all of the offices were closed so there was no traffic to contend with, but there was also the absence of the great scenery you get in a lot of races with routes through historic neighborhoods and beatiful natural areas and that sort of thing. Click Here for Results of All Races (5k, 10k, and half marathon). After the race the food was pretty good — lots of bananas, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gatorade and bottled water — although some coffee or hot chocola

Race #11 – Santa Scramble 5k – Concord NC – 11/22/08

What a great race this was: a 5k that preceded the Concord, North Carolina, Christmas parade, with about 15-20,000 onlookers as the racers ran the parade route. With a record low temperature of 13 degrees last night we were happy that the race started at 2:15 in the afternoon so the weather had warmed up to the low 40s, but that’s still cold for North Carolina this time of year. For the most part the spectators were waiting for the parade to begin so I can’t say they were exactly cheering but there was a smattering of applause and words of encouragement. At one point right in the middle of the city I was between two groups maybe 50 yards apart and as I ran through by myself I heard quite a few cheers, which was nice — definitely better than what I usually hear while I’m running down the street, whether racing or not. Click Here for Race Result s Linda and I both got 2nd place in our age division (55-59) and I ran my fastest time yet — 24:05 with negative splits for each mile (Mile

Race #10 – Springmaid Road Race – Fort Mill, SC – 11/15/08

We traveled south of the border (the South Carolina border that is) for the Springmaid Road Race. It started out as kind of a rainy day, which seems to be a recent trend, but there was no rain and a pleasant temperature of about 65 at race time. The 5k and 10k races started at the same spot at the same time. The first mile of the 5k route was mostly downhill, which was nice, but of course you gotta get back up to the same elevation eventually so the 2nd and 3rd miles took care of that with some big hills. Click here for race results. For Linda and I, it was our 10th race in the ten weeks that we have been running. There are certain things that remain the same from race to race but every race seems to have some unique elements of its own and we’ve enjoyed every one of them.   Click here to download any of the photos from the slideshow here or to view pics at normal size. There was a professional photographer at the race named Steve Mills and he has posted several hundred photos (much

Race #9 – Fall Harvest Run 5k & 10k – Huntersville NC – 11/08/08

Since pictures seem to be in short supply for most of the races I decided to take my camera with me and get some photos of the Fall Harvest Run held at the Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatics Center. I uploaded them to Picasa, which I’ve never used before, but I think anybody interested can download them for free. It’s just a miscellaneous bunch of photos of people from the race. Since I was in the 5k I didn’t get started taking pictures until after that, but a lot of people are included in the 92 pics. Click on the picture below to view all of them.   All of the fastest guys my age were in the 10k, thus opening up the door for me to sneak in 1st place in my age group (thanks fellas!). I also had my best time by just a few seconds — 25:27. At the beginning of the race I had set my Garmin 305 to finish in exactly 25 minutes. I ran the first mile in 7:19 but the pace was too much for me so I slowed down some, figuring a slower pace might be preferable to cardiac arrest. The food wa

Race #8 – Dowd Y Run – Charlotte NC – 11/01/08

For some reason the Dowd Y Run didn’t seem like it would be too exciting but I didn’t find anything else close by we headed over there. I was completely wrong as usual. It was cold at race time but there was all kinds of excitement floating around. The races started with the Autobell Half Marathon and 700 runners, followed about 15 minutes later by the 5k race, which had 319 finishers. The 5k race went through the historic Dilworth section of Charlotte and the free food after the race was some of the best we’ve seen at any of the races yet, provided by several different Charlotte Restaurants. The T-shirts were the best we’ve seen yet — high quality long-sleeved black shirts with the design on the front showing the Charlotte skyline. It’s the same one on this blog entry and on the official race page here… My chip time was 25:33, which was only 2 seconds off my fastest 5k time yet. I didn’t place but was happy w